life with an ostomy. candid, not sugar-coated. empowered, not embarrassed.

Mar. 22, 2006

Enter my uterus...

Of all the things that could have started bleeding after my surgery, I guess I should be thankful this was the biggest.

But it was truly inconvenient and just my luck that my period would hit the day after ostomy surgery.

It was also kind of a neat coincidence that I had surgery on the same week that nurses-in-training would be floating about the post-op ward looking for odd jobs.

One such odd job was giving a sponge-bath to the new ostomate in the corner room. Me!

I don't remember her name. She was nice, but totally without experience and probably assumed that what I had to say was simply demerol-induced, hallucinogenic, paranoid ramblings.

No. As a leant over the sink, nauseous, I tried to communicate that I had my period (that part she got) AND that my anus had just been removed and there was a gaping wound between my ass cheeks, which she should be careful about wiping around. That entire second clause she either misheard, or she was the devil's minion.

The giant front-to-back swoop she made with that warm soapy cloth probably did clear away a mess of clotted menstrual blood. This might have felt nice if my drugged-up body had a chance to register that 0.02 seconds before the abrasive lump of towel was shoved and scraped across the raw open hole that just 72 hours before had housed my anus.

The details of what followed this are blurry. Extreme pain, however, played a large role.

She came to visit several times in the week or so that followed. I think she felt too weird about it to apologize but she was extra nice. It wasn't until my last day in the hospital that I was able to forgive her and actually say something mildly pleasant to her. I knew all along it wasn't really her fault; it was an accident, right? But under the circumstances I just didn't have the energy to be nice and pretend like I wasn't totally scarred by the event.

On the bright side, I imagine that as an RN now, she probably gives the gentlest sponge-baths ever.


Blogger Diego said...

that was a fucking hilarious retelling. i mean, im sure it wasn't amusing at the time, but when you wrote, "That entire second clause she either misheard, or she was the devil's minion," I was wincing in anticipation of what was to follow.

3:31 p.m., September 11, 2006


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