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From a Crab's Perspective

by Ann Ulrich Miller

Posted on July 10, 2010 by Web Dreams


On Father's Day something unexpected happened. Because of increasing abdominal pains, I had Doug take me to the emergency room. I thought perhaps I was having an episode of appendicitis.

When we got to the ER, they did blood work and I got a CT scan, which showed that the cecum, the part of the intestines where the large meets the small, was twisted and causing a major blockage that was dangerous. So they sent me on to Mercy Hospital in Durango.

Doug drove me and we arrived sometime after midnight. They admitted me, and Doug spent the night with me, but didn't get much sleep on the cot in my room -- certainly not more than an hour. In the morning I was prepped for emergency surgery. I don't remember anything after being wheeled into the frigid O.R. The next thing I recall is being taken back to my room.

For five days I was hospitalized. It was very painful at first and I was given lots of morphine, which did not set well with me. I kept asking to be put on different pain meds, and after two days I finally convinced my doctor (the surgeon) to try something different because the nausea and wooziness was killing me.

Doug came every day to see me. He brought me a dozen red roses the second day, a card, and I've kept all the notes he wrote to me, to be cherished forever. He realized this was serious business. I was fairly oblivious to the fact, actually. Friends came to visit and some called, so I know people cared.

On Friday I was released and Doug drove me home to Pagosa Springs. He made sure I was comfortable in my home, and reminded me that the speed dial button on my cell phone was just like the nurse's call button in the hospital. If I needed something, push the button -- and he'd be there.

He made me his famous therapeutic chicken soup and was true to his word, responding when I'd call. The first order of business was getting off the pain meds they'd sent home with me. I soon discovered that one of the side effects is depression, and I was starting to feel those effects. I do not do well with depression. My emotions are way too volatile in the first place, and so I was willing to put up with a little pain to avoid that monster of despair.

It's now been more than two weeks since I've been home. Recovery is slow but steady. I move slowly and I can't lift more than 10 lbs. I am restricted to a low fiber diet and trying to put back on the weight I lost. It's amazing how a few days in the hospital can cause one to end up looking wasted. No fun! The worst has been the lingering depression, however. How does one deal with such a malady?

Here is it the middle of summer. Beautiful weather in the most beautiful part of Colorado... and I can't go hiking yet! All the things I dreamed of doing have to wait. It's not fair. Yet maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe Universe was telling me it is time to slow down, stop whizzing around like a busy bee, and start smelling the roses. I need to count my blessings and be thankful that this condition was caught and fixed. I'm grateful to Doug for his caring and his patience with me.

Life is precious and there is still time for us. I thank God several times a day that I am alive and that my life has been fulfilling and, for the most part, a very good life. When there is love, that is all that matters.

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