So whilest on my my extended vacation at UTMB and Methodist Hospitals, there are several little things I missed while I was there…
1. My puppies….to be specific Frank the Pug (11 yrs), Puddles the chocolate lab (12 yrs), and Lucy the wonder-mix (4 ish years). To be specific also, I am a born and bred dog lover 🙂 They are amazing furry wonders that love you no matter what…a perfect trotting around four-legged example of unconditional love. So going months without seeing them was short of torture. One of the main arguments towards the end of my stay was the stipulation that I am not supposed to be that close to dogs physically. My doctors were sympathetic and fellow dog nuts and advised me to love my furry friends with a giant bottle of hand sanitizer near and keep them clean and the yard super clean. When I was finally released home Sean and Dad let them out one at a time to see me…it was pretty great. Also, sidenote for any Pug owners…you know how smelly and farty they are ALWAYS…yea, I missed that too…no lie, especially since frank always sleeps on my pillow 🙂
2. Showering & Going to the restroom alone: This one kinda speaks for itself haha. From roughly early September to the last week of December I had all kinds of audiences for going to the restroom…after the first week, all shame goes away entirely and it was actually kinda freeing, yet still disgusting. (You dont know gross until you explain to someone how you poop while in and out of sedation unable to move) The shower part…well, kinda hard to take a shower when hooked up to wires for the same time frame. My hair…AWESOME by December. I really have no idea what people did before the whole shampoo/soap thing was invented because my head was rocking a cement helmet with a hair rubber band in their somewhere. They do have these weird waterless shower caps which I tried once, but honestly made things worse.
3. Real blankets – like fluffy comforters & real mugs: For those that know me I am a tea fanatic. There is just something calming and zen about holding a mug and smelling the warm goodness that you’re about to imbibe and instantly your day is a little better. Or at least that’s my experience with tea. I’ll admit it’s not always platonic and I’m ok with that level of love and affection for it (kidding…maybe). Anyways, in the hospital everything is plastic. Plastic blue mugs for coffee that always smell like coffee…so don’t think about trying to drink water out of it. Tan mugs for tea and those are ok ish. Also I may or may not have a stock pile of said mugs in my kitchen. So I missed those…moving on. I also missed actually big fluffy comforters. I think this files under super girly things, but a lot of times in my hospital rooms even though each room had their own thermostat most of the times it was freezing and surprisingly I actually was told a lot that they were out of blankets and waiting for the laundry service which takes hours sometimes. I could go on about this fact and how it more effected my elder wall-mates in ICU…or the weird group room where 6 ICU patients were all sleeping together in, while everyone else had their private room. But moral of the story…I missed warmth in general.
4. My cell phone: This might sound shallow at first, but I didn’t have my cell phone to update ya’ll myself as everyone knows by now. The reason for this was part that I was in no way alert enough to use it but also becs for months my hands shook so badly that I couldn’t use or type anything. Remember when I mentioned I couldn’t speak for a while because I was on a ventilator and trached? Yea, for a while I couldn’t speak or write legibly to let anyone know what I wanted, felt, etc. It kinda sucked. So I missed being able to talk to everyone, shamelessly surf the internet or my secret addiction which is WWF haha.
5. Walking barefoot – Seeing the colors outside – sky, flowers, clouds, grass etc: So I’m not a fan of socks or shoes…like long term fan. I used to get in trouble for it all the time at SBS and even know at UTMB I’ll be dressed like a full grown work adult yet sans shoes when I can get away with it. So I missed walking barefoot specifically outside, seeing the sky and colors. As a former art student and being deprived of colors for so long that is probably why my new favorite hobby is building a garden in the backyard. The windows in the back of the house pretty much let me see the flowers anywhere I am in the house. I love it.
6. My UT sweatshirt.…Anndddd lastly my beloved, torn up, beat up old old UT Texas sweatshirt. I’ve had this sucker for going on 11-12 years I think. It’s the sweatshirt or piece of clothing all of us have that we wear when we need to feel comforted, hugged, consoled. It’s the piece of clothing that makes everything better after a long day at work, or when we wake up sick. It’s the one you consider violent options when your spouse threatens to wash it or throw it out – kidding, kidding….