My strength returned day by day. I began to gain weight. With the weight gain came ostomy trouble. The bag would pop off every few hours, making a full night’s sleep impossible. I got sick of changing it constantly. How does anyone live with this? Seriously?
My family took me on outings. I didn’t have enough strength yet to walk around a store, so my husband would drop me off at the front; my kids would get me a scooter, and I would ride around with everyone. I got the nastiest stares from people. I’m sorry. I know I look quasi normal (minus my skeletal face), but I’m not one of these lazy people who rides in carts because I don’t feel like walking. I physically can’t walk through the store! I think it irritated my husband more than it did me. If anyone had anything to say, I would just lift my shirt in response. It never came to that, but I was prepared to do so.
Soon it was time for the final surgery. At long last! By this time, I could walk around quite well. I met my friend Sydney in downtown Charleston, and we walked to Starbucks. My bag popped off right there in public! We had to rush home to change it. Frustrated, I was thankful again that this was temporary, and surgery was a day away.
Surgery came and went. They couldn’t close the incision in order to prevent infection, so I had a hole that would slowly close over time. I had to pack it daily with gauze. Yuck. I’ll include a photo in this post, but I must warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart, so don’t scroll to the bottom if you don’t wish to see!
Finally, FINALLY I was discharged! Michael brought the kids and we planned to make a weekend out of it at my grandmother’s beach house. We seriously deserved some family R&R. Four hours later, while I was dozing comfortably in bed, the gentle salty air breathing over me, John knocked on the glass door.
“Kat! Kat! Come to the beach! Dad broke his leg!”
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! This had to be a joke. A prank to get me on the beach with them and have a good laugh. Surely. SURELY.
I walked down the white, sandy path to the beach. Michael had his arms around the two oldest boys, hobbling out of the water. One glance at his swollen ankle, and my heart sunk to the ground. The man had jumped off the sand bar into shallow water, snapping his leg in 3 places. I seriously had been out of the hospital for 4 hours. Even though I was on the mend, this wasn’t over yet…