Pain Journal: Part II of III

Being helpless triggers a shifting array of emotions. I’m so grateful for assistance and so touched by kindness. When my husband is careless for a moment, I want to kill him.   I tell him that I’m going to read for a while, and he leaves the room, aware that I have no books or magazines within reach. I’m testing him, to savor my anger.

He’s better than a nurse, though. At least he’s not actually trying to hurt me. If he needed to stick a catheter tube up my bladder, he’d fucking well do it.

When I couldn’t pee and it went on for days, the nurse on duty couldn’t find my bladder. She went to get another nurse to help. The two of them stuck tubes up me, peering between my legs as though they were explorers on the Amazon River. “Where is it? It should be right THERE!”

They couldn’t find it. I started to worry that my bladder was now somewhere else. When they changed shifts, a new nurse, named Sol, rolled her eyes and promised “I find it.” She was a young Filipina with beautiful white teeth, and she knew how to find a bladder.

The temperature in my bedroom at home is around 100 degrees. I’m always sweaty. All my visitors complain about the heat but it doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m only concerned with degrees of pain. I experiment with leg placement, trying to relieve the pressure on my tail-bone. I smell awful but no one offers to wash me. My sister suggests Female Wipes. She also eyes my Oxycodone.

When I left the hospital in an ambulance, I had just started shitting after 5 days of laxatives. Morphine is constipating, as it turns out. My stomach was churning in agony but the ambulance had been ordered for 4 o’clock.

The nurse put me in an adult diaper, big enough for a 500 pound man. She put my friend’s cotton dress over my head and didn’t bother to zip it up. The two young ambulance guys lifted me onto a gurney, showing great respect for my pain.   One of them flirted with me a little, unaware of my shit-filled diaper.

Finally home on a hospital bed, I couldn’t stop shitting. Eventually, I lifted my body to the bedside commode with excruciating effort. I cried while ten thousand tons of Morphine marinaded shit flooded through my bowels with a sickening force.

The next morning I was still shitting. I chewed tablets that promised to stop the tide but nothing worked. By nighttime, my stomach was finally peaceful and most of the shit was cleaned up. Now I could return to worrying about constipation.

My husband bought bright red sheets for my home hospital bed. Friends are reminded of Frida Kahlo when they see me. I feel a new affinity with Frida. I am Frida without the paint.

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16 Responses to Pain Journal: Part II of III

  1. emma says:

    amazing! you poor, poor thing – i can barely imagine. i hope this journal goes a little way to making you feel better – or maybe even amuses you when it’s over and done with.

  2. is it wrong that i’m irrationally delighted that you are back and that you have been posting such dramatic, pulitzer-standard writing for me to read?

    oh i feel terrible for you. so much tragedy and pathos. let me mop the sweat from your suffering brow. 🙁
    poor, courageous sister wolf.
    normal bodily functions are so undervalued. And when they are gone, there is pure pure agony. As an invalid, it is your duty to make others suffer as much as possible with you. I am glad that there is the small mercy of poetry in red sheets.

  3. stella-mayfair says:

    oh dear! this is horrible! i’ll go suffocate those retarded nurses with a bunch of dirty diapers for you, sister!

  4. hammie says:

    Is that the health service you guys have to shell out thousands in insurance to pay for everyday of your working lives?
    Ours is crap (he he) like that too but at least it’s free.
    Get well soon Sis.
    The Fecking feckers.

  5. Lora says:

    Yeah you are Frida Kahlo without the paint!
    My heart goes out to you, & wishing you a speedy recovery.

    In response to the previous post, I also blame this (& those snatchy nurses) on Bush.

  6. WendyB says:

    I’m alarmed that nurses could misplace a bladder. And relieved for you that the pooping has stopped.

  7. enc says:

    I have never read anything like this. It’s so finely-wrought that I’m getting nauseated and my skin is prickly at the thought of the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. I hope that as the days go by things get better.

  8. Sister Wolf says:

    Thank you for your sympathy and for struggling along with this. It must be pretty sickening to read. Writing about this has been useful to me. and I think I’ve gotten on top of it now.

    Blessings to all!

  9. Mark says:

    You continue to rule, even in extreme pain and discomfort.

  10. Imelda Matt says:

    although I’m not loving the thought of you in pain I am enjoying the rawness of sharing this experience. this is blogging in it’s purest shit filled form.xxxx

  11. being sick in a hospital is totally dehumanizing, it’s amazing anyone gets better. and I can’t blame your sister for eyeing the OxyC, the stuff is lovely. keep an eye on those pills.

  12. Honeypants says:

    That sounds like my definition of Hell. If either one of us were Catholic I’d nominate you for Sainthood.

    I’m sorry! I love you!

  13. rollergirl says:

    Hospitals suck, god at least you’re home now. Can’t believe all that finding the bladder crap, I mean, seriously?!

  14. Sister Wolf says:

    Yep, my bladder hears you, rollergirl.

  15. Glad your bladder has been located.
    Nothing is as humiliating as being a helpless sick person. Keep taking the Oxy until you don’t care.

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