PSU#6 – I wanna do it all by myself

Five days after my surgery, I sat up on the side of the hospital bed in the early morning hours and all I could think was “I wanna do it all by myself.”

Sound like a two-year-old, doesn’t it?

Let me explain.

I had a finger monitor on the forefinger of my left hand that was monitoring the oxygen in my blood.  And I had an oxygen tube in my nose to ensure that oxygen level stayed up in the 90’s.  I needed it … I found it difficult to get to even 200 ml on the infamous Voldyne 5000 Volumetric Exerciser (at home I average between 1500 and 2000 ml).

Oh Lord, I just wanna breathe all by myself …

I had an IV bag providing me liquid sustenance … for nearly seven days (counting pre-op prep) I could not eat and could not drink.  Just chew a few ice chips from time to time.

Oh Lord, I just wanna eat and drink all by myself.

For five days I had an IV bag feeding pain medication through my epidural constantly.

Oh Lord, I just wanna decide when and if I need to have pain medicine all by myself.

For six days I was on ureter stints with a catheter.  A tube flowed out of me to a bag capturing my urine.

Oh Lord, I just wanna stand up at the toilet or urinal and go to the bathroom all by myself … and flush the toilet.

For the rest of my life, the colostomy bag will be a permanent part of my life.  For now the nurses and my wife (God bless her!) empties my bag.

I just wanna (and Lord I need your help desperately in this regard) be able to swap and empty the colostomy bag all by myself.

For my entire stay, I wore the ever popular open-air back hospital gown … a gown loaded with snaps and strings that would even confuse the great Houdini.  Only trained nurses can truly make it work.  And for most of my stay I lost all sense of modesty.

Oh Lord, I just wanna wear t-shirts, underwear, shorts and Crocs and dress myself all by myself.

And to top it all off … and I really find it humorous … then the nurses tell you to get up and walk the halls … the one place you are actually encouraged to moon the population.  OK, I’m on pain medication, I need to drag an IV pole along without getting entangled with any of the four or five tubes sustaining me and find my way back to the room that oh-by-the-way I was under anesthesia when I entered … the big plus in all this is I have those cute slip-on non-skid socks (not that I ever thought I could reach a speed where skidding would be an issue … even with the highly waxed floors).

Oh Lord, I would love to be able to walk without an IV pole, pain medication and tube free ALL BY MYSELF.

Perhaps … just perhaps … having such a desire to do these things all by myself … is a good sign in recovery and release from the hospital.  Two days later I was on my home.

Thank you Lord!

(to be continued)



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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