Subject: Home from hospital, and feeling well enough to consider bringing in that little bag of dryclean-only garments that I didn’t want to pay for pre-surgery…

Apr 4, 2018, 4:55 AM

Hi my dear friendsnfam 

I am so extraordinarily grateful for your love and support, in all its forms. Despite my non-responsiveness, you buoy me. Your emails, mailings, prayers in all their forms and denominations, flowers, long-distance reiki, healing light matrices, shells, foodthings, cards, games, drawings, books, sequin notebooks, psychic vibes, AND MORE, have helped keep me afloat since my October surgery, and continue to through to this most recent one. On Sunday night, I started writing an update when I got home from the hospital. It is slightly out of date already, but I include it below to break the habit of writing three-quarters of a message, but never hitting send.

Sunday night:

I’m out of the hospital and back in Baltimore. In contrast to the unexpected-to-me depressing October surgery, I am emotionally intact this time, which is helpful when walking like an old lady with giant baby feet. (see pic below). I left NY in a winter coat and flip flops. The puffiness, which I have restrained myself from over-googling — I’m still under 15 re-phrasings of “how long time does swelling legs post-abdominal surgery after resolved kidney injury take to go away” — makes me realize I did nothing in my life to deserve knees and ankles in the first place. 

Not gonna lie, this whole surgical event was a shit show, from the start. I’ve moaned and groaned aplenty in my life (enough to feel justified using “aplenty”), but I had never pain-screamed for more than maybe ten seconds before, let alone pain-screamed content, as I did after waking up post-op this time. I needed to: they ignored my coarse animal cries and I had to up my point-proving game. “YOU…ARE…MEDIEVAL! AAAAHRH! I WILL REMEMBER THIS WHEN I’M ON MY DEATHBED! WAAAAAARG. OR IS THIS MY DEATHBED?!…GRRAAAAH… DON’T.. TELL.. ME… TO… DEEP.. BREATHE- I AM A..FUCKING YOGI [when my 10 class pass is about to expire], I MEDITATE [once I run out of other hole-filling options]… HAVE YOU HAD INTESTINAL SURGERY? YOU CAN ONLY TELL ME TO CALM DOWN IF YOU HAVE”. That, plus, an extensive itemization of my CV of catastrophic life and medical events, how preferable, physical-pain-wise, they were to this latest evisceration, etcetera and so on, and I think the doctors, residents, nurses were charmed. It only took 30 little minutes until they upped my fentanyl sufficiently, during which time I regret that I lacked the material and the originality to avoid repeat argumentation. Embarrassing overuse of WHATHEFUCKS, too. And as the piercing/throbbing/tearing sensations finally began to settle, a righteous: “just so you all know [audible inhale], only right now am I reaching the point where deep breathing is helpful [obnoxious exhale].”

Why did that happen? Besides their lack of humanity, broken judgment and flawed personalities? They said my blood pressure was too low to suddenly up the narcotics. (Weak!). Also, from what I understand, the surgery was hard: it involved several hours of scraping out the unexpectedly cement-like scar tissue that my former, small, twisted, leaking j-pouch (internal colon substitute) had apparently become. An internal pelvic exfoliation treatment! This was both risky and risqué, as the areas to which the old j-pouch had adhered were delicate. But Dr. Just-Call-Me-God didn’t hold back, if how low the staples go is any indication. Bonus billy goat pubic haircut. And then, he did the thing that is the point of all these surgeries: with fresh slices of my small intestine, he built me my prized new pouch. He said, in the end, it went well. We will only actually know how well after the third surgery, which, at the moment, is difficult for me to contemplate. For now, this new internal construction is healing, while I continue to shit through the diverting ileostomy bag. And that’s kewl by me.

There were more hard things, like the (resolved) kidney business I casually threw in earlier, and the surgeon actually loathing me, but I hate to show off.. I think that gives enough deets that we can go straight to you whenever we next talk.  

With gratitude for knowing I have you in my life, even in the moments when I’m feeling too fucked up to make contact. I can’t imagine how this would feel otherwise. Sending YOU, MY love. And foot pics. 

Sunday foot. I was too vain to include my non-ankle and now there is no document of what wasn’t:

Tuesday foot. Too-vain to too-veiny?! (JK). Legs, knees, ankles, feet, as before! While I don’t yet feel that visible tibia and fibula are my birthright, or even that I earned them, my existential vanity pain is fading (she says, with her dangling shit bag):