As I have been mostly lying here in bed over the last several days (occasionally being manipulated, fed, or visited), almost completely at the mercy of the fortunately merciful people around me. I do not even have the strength (or length of oxygen tether either, truth be told), to go to the bathroom myself. Number One is taken care of by catheter without my awareness (except once in awhile when the tube backs up). I understand that I go Number One a lot. Like, probably too much, like maybe I need to be eating more, drinking less water, and just in general working on my electrolytes. Number Two takes place in a bedpan. Frankly, I don't understand how it can be possible that a bedpan works, but, at least in my experience, 95% of the time there's no spillage. Nevertheless, 100% of the time it's an exercise in a variety of stoicisms.
All of this has led me to the realization in the last couple days that what I am going through is a sort of rebirth. I've been pretty much reduced to scratch, at least in one of the major ways I've always considered to be so exclusively me: my body (as for mind, spirit and emotion? Who knows what's coming . . .). For a while I couldn't breathe on my own. Now I can, but it's still much better with assistance. I can now sit up on my own, and I can even feed myself (this has been much less of a WAHOO! moment for me than you might imagine, because my taste buds are a bit off still, and, honestly, the food offered by the hospital for the "soft diet" is awful. Ian and I are working out a private larder). I could today, with the assistance of two strong PTs, stand, and march in place for 25 steps, before the combination of muscle fatigue and lung fatigue became too much and I had to sit down.
I am having to learn to walk again.
And I thought I was going to spend the summer waterskiing.