On July 20, 2022,
I should have been packing my clothes and leaving my apartment along with a semester of school behind for five months, traveling to Japan and Korea.
Always be prepared to have your life plans spin you in another direction.
Where am I headed? Even now I do not know. What I know is I can tackle this interruption head on with a great attitude and smile.
What do you do when you are in your early stages of recovery?
Who do you call when you need groceries? When you want McDonald’s? This is not the day and age of family and friends coming to the rescue.
In those first few days, I was very thankful for family and friends who sent me groceries via Safeway delivery option. They deliver? Who knew? Everyone but me. Do not ignore the plethora of options via a fee and tip, like DoorDash, UberEATS and other services who can deliver to you when you have no one else.
How can you make recovery in those first few days comfortable for you and those around you or in my case if you are all alone, how can you survive the loneliness and not let it eat at you so much you want to disown everyone you know?
Prayer always helps. As does binging movies. Calling everyone you know. And write everything down. You never know who it may help in the future.
Healing After Surgery
Write a journal. Keep a diary of your feeling and how those feelings are affecting your body and mind. Find fun things to watch. Fun and exciting things to do if you can physically do them.
I was not. Tired from the appendectomy, I slept every two-three hours. When I rose, I walked the length of my junior one-bedroom apartment, ate only fruit and drank everything I could get my hands on.
I binged comedies. Thank you, Kevin Hart and Sandra Bullock. By Wednesday, my appetite was back and so was a warm sensation in my calf.
The feeling was familiar. Three years ago, I experienced my first DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), also known as a blood clot, days after an injuring my foot on a bike ride. I tried to sleep less and walk around more, but I realize now the damage was done.
What I should have done was reach out to my doctor in California. I was living in Hawaii attending a PhD program, and get her opinion. I did not. If I had, I might have saved myself days if not weeks of recovery as the clots would not have had the time to spread.
There was no one I could reach out to on a personal level for advice. The only person who had a history with blood clots died 23 years ago, my mother.
Loneliness rears its ugly head.
I say this only because if someone else was around watching me wobble back and forth, they would have insisted I return to the emergency room a lot sooner than I did.
So, God stepped in.
How? My professor from The University of Hawaii at Manoa stopped by when she heard about the surgery. She asked if anyone was available to assist me. When I told her I was healing solo, we both blamed it on the ‘COVID effect.’
It was Thursday, four days after my surgery, when she dropped off a gallon of Green Tea and a pack of sparkling soda. My former professor was kind and very thoughtful. She had just buried her step-father and her mother had been ill all summer.
I shifted my weight, and she knew something was wrong with my leg. Immediately she suggested I return to the ER. Complications from surgery can be worse than the surgery itself.
I waited two more days. I am not entirely sure why. It might not be another DVT.
A part of me thought God would step in and perform a miracle. Another blood clot meant more medicine and less mobility. Even worse, it meant I could not fly.
I could not go to Okinawa as planned in nine days from now. My last visit to see my niece and nephew occurred in 2018. My plans for the remainder of the summer and most likely the rest of the year would change entirely.
On Saturday, I returned to the ER.
They confirmed the DVT in a matter of hours. The doctor apologized for not taking my history with blood clots or the fact that I had tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the surgery into consideration when releasing me so soon after surgery.
Should they have kept me for observation? Obviously, but I should have fought for a bed and my right to a healthy body. I knew a blood clot was possible too. I placed no blame on him or anyone else but myself for not speaking up for what I deserve. My right to full medical health care.
The health care journey had begun. Before the week was over, I returned to the ER. The leg would look like nothing I had ever seen before.
And more surgeries would begin…