I’m never truly flying solo. At least that’s what I learned when I walked into HSS for another spinal injection; number 2 of 3.
I dragged myself over to the check in desk and was hit with the question, “Is Gloria still your emergency contact? Will she be picking you up? Despite finding it gut wrenching to answer the same question I responded to last month, I calmly said, “no she’s passed. I’m gonna home alone today.”
“For the first time ever, I’ll be trying to get myself home alone after a procedure on my spine with little or no anesthesia,” I said.
When I got to the second floor, I was greeted by a chorus of, “happy new year.” The nurses, clinical assistants, physicians assistants and cleaning staff who became familiar with my during my many outpatient procedure were genuinely happy to see me. Although they all pointed out that they didn’t want me in pain. Their friendliness distracted me from the nervousness that was building in my tummy.
After 15 minutes of pain in the OR I was in recovery. There, a nurse reminded me of my usual snack, something she taught me to eat, graham crackers with cheddar cheese. I wasn’t comfortable taking off my mask and eating it, so the nurse packed it up for me. I did a quick walk around the floor to make sure I was steady I my feet, alert and able to drive. Then, I was released.
I didn’t look for my mom to come get me this time before I walked out and I wasn’t sad about why she couldn’t come. I thought about the people who surrounded and cared for me the way that she would and I was humbled.
#frontlineworkers #hss #nurses #backpain #neckpain #chronicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #spoonie #autoimmunedisease #death #rebuilding #recovery