Monday, February 27, 2012

Continuing from BURNS

While I remember more than I normally admit to, I could never remember everything at once or in any sort of order.

What I do know is I was in the hospital for 6 months, and I was in ICU for 5 of those months.

After the helicopter, I had to have my spleen removed in an emergency surgery since it had ruptured from the blast when I was thrown back. Because it was an emergency surgery, it left a big, long, severe scar reaching from right below my breasts to a little past my belly button. It’s right down the middle and about an inch in width. This is one of the things I’m most self-conscious of.

It would be two months before I'd wake up from my coma. When I did wake up, I was heavily drugged.  In fact, I was building up tolerance to the drugs so quickly that at one point I was on enough morphine to put down a stinkin’ BABY ELEPHANT! Pretty good for a 90 pound girl, eh?

Aside from the burns, I experienced a lot of internal complications. I’m bad with the terminology, but there was basically a hole between my wind pipe and esophagus, so anything I swallowed caused me to choke. For more than 5 months, I had to suck out my saliva from this sucker thingy, I often referred to as Mr. Sucks. As you can imagine, without even being able to keep your saliva, you become quite thirsty.

Well, for almost six months, I could not eat or drink anything. I was constantly thirsty, and I had nothing to do but think of all that I craved.  It was terrible. I firmly believe this would be a very effective form of torture.

My first memories of the hospital are quite unpleasant. I was in a lot of pain – indescribable pain. My internal injuries had me in and out of surgery so often, I couldn’t keep track.

On several occasions, my father was told that I would not make it through the night. Once, they even told him that I only had a few hours left and that all they could do was make me as comfortable as possible. And, there came a time when my heart stopped for more than two minutes. I hope that I will never know what my dad went through with this when I become a parent some day. He is indeed, a very strong man - a big, strong, bald, burly manly man.

Speaking of parents, since both of mine were in the accident, I went a few months with no one there with me. I was 9 years old and going through this horribly traumatic experience and I didn’t have my parents. All the family I did have was in Connecticut or in Italy. They tried to fly down when they could, but only if funds permitted and, hey, they had their own lives.

So, my parents friends tried to replace them as much as they could. I mainly only remember visits from my mom’s best friend, though. She’d read me the Secret Garden. :)

In ICU, everyone that comes to see you has to be covered from head to toe. Their shoes are covered, they’re wearing long sleeve gowns, they have on gloves, a face mask, and a cap for their head. Whenever I did receive visits, I could only see their eyes. After a few minutes, I could tell, by the little skin visible, that they were sweating profusely. And I always felt guilty about that.

I was too young at the time, but in later years I found out that said mom's bff has a very weak stomach as far as “medical things” and pain are concerned. She never let it show when she would come read to me. She was like a second mom to me growing up, and her daughter was my first and best friend. I know seeing me with tubes, and IVs, and staples and all of my wounds couldn’t have been easy for her. But she still came to see me more than anyone, and I will always love her for that and I appreciate her more than she could ever know.

I think I’ll stop for now, as things are beginning to intensify over here on my end and I don’t like it! I’ll post from time to time about stuff from the hospital. I’ll indicate these blogs with either “burns” or “hospital”. It’s just too much and too emotionally draining to write in one post. Hopefully from now on, it'll be more organized and focused on one particular topic.

I’m going to go watch funny youtube videos now.

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