Phantoms

I spent sometime in a place yesterday where I had spent a long time at before. However, the situation for me being there was different. The differences of my time there yesterday and the time I was there before were startling. For one I walked into a building that I had never walked into before under my own power and I left that building under my own power which is another first. Wandered down hallways where I fully expected to see myself or rather the phatom of myself. I often swear I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Just being places I used to go to before my recovery was complete is enough for me to flash back like an LSD abuser.

Time to go back and make that make sense.

May 30th, 2008 I woke up in the morning at 6 a.m. spent sometime with my kids, kissed them goodbye and left with my husband for Concordia Hospital. When we got there we went to admitting, from admitting to day surgery where I was given a gown, and put into the third bed on the left hand side. From there the I.V.’s were put in and Kevin and I spent time talking about how it wouldn’t be long now. This was it…the first day of the rest of my life without this gripping evil pain that has swallowed me whole and tainted our family. We said our goodbyes, he ressured me he would see me as soon as he could, that I would go home soon, and shortly after that they wheeled me away.

February 23rd, 2010 I wake up in the morning, I get the kids breakfast and Kevin and I head out after saying our good byes. We drive to that same Concordia Hospital and we head to that same admitting station and directed to the same day surgery area where on our way by we point out the third bed on the left to each other. My husband gets into his gown, and we say our goodbyes to each other as we agree that this test is needed for him to start taking care of himself. I tell him I will head home and drop off the stroller for my mother and then I will come back and wait for him. I also ask him not to die on me cause I am sure I can’t do this on my own. What can I say he’s the rock and I am the occasional blubbering mess. He completes me.

However, after he goes in for his procedure and I get back from my run home to drop off the stroller I have too much time to think…too much time to look. Alone in the van on the way back to Concordia I am flashing back to that day where Kevin was driving and I saw life with a hazy film of pain. Memories of that time always blur…reality intermixed with pain. If you ever wanted to know the colour of pain it is definately dark grey and it taints everything it touches. There was no traffic on the road that day because of the early hour. I park the van and walk up to the main doors and I see the area where Kevin pulled up, got me a wheel chair and wheeled me inside while he went to park the van further away.  I walk in the main doors and I walk past admitting to day surgery as I go down the hallway I see the recovery room where I woke up twice, the hallway where I was wheeled and on that day in May I lost myself. I gave in and let every emotion I had been feeling…relief, fear, trepidation, sheer terror. I remember someone telling me that they would have something to make me stop feeling scared but I had to let them take me into the operating room first. I walked past the area where I had my surgical staples removed, the place where they did my pre-assesment before surgery, the area where I waited for them to take my last round of blood work, and as I walk along back to Day Surgery with my cup of Tim’s and tea biscuit the visions kept coming back to me. There is such an intimate energy to the whole building.

So now I wonder. Did my energy touch the building and do I still reside there? If I go up to Room 213 and go to bed B by the window will I sense myself there? Is my energy lingering in that hallway in front of the OR where I felt my strongest emotions that I had allowed in a long time?  Am I only a phantom to myself or am I a phantom that others can sense and gain feeling from?

My response to the whole wave of emotions and feeling, the sights that assault my senses. Walk to the ladies room, go in a stall and cry. Let it wave over me and accept it.

I will still never look at that hospital the same again. As we left after Kevin’s procedure I wondered if leaving this time was easier for him because we left together. I never thought how hard it was for him to leave that day in May but he’s always the one that can be strong, that would walk away and face the day head on. He’s amazing that way and I envy it.

On a lighter note. I remember thinking that I hope my friend Erin was having a great birthday…despite the fact that she told me she didn’t care if I remembered her birthday at all because I was getting my much needed first surgery. I still remembered and now know I can never forget. It’s not everyday your left hip and one of your friends share a birthday.

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About Shirley Robert

Wife, Mom, Politician, Project Manager, Arthritic, Blue Bomber Season Ticket holder, Mary Kay Rep, and Advocate. I'm a whole lot of different and proud of it! View all posts by Shirley Robert

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