I've always been pretty healthy, and (in the past 12 years at least) have been pretty fit. I've gone to the doctor for my annual physical and, on occasion, if I've been sick. I trust my doctors, and do what they tell me. I know they have the education and knowledge to truly know what is best for the human body, specifically MY body. As much as I appreciate the training and discipline it takes to work in the healthcare field, though, I had not really "gotten it" in terms of just how much heart and soul are required as well.
Enter my recent reality check.
I took up residence (for an entire week) in the hospital recently, an hour from my home. While there, I was overwhelmed in so many ways...with my emergency surgery (and the severity of my situation and the strict recovery regimen that resulted), the sincerity of the surgeon (whom I'd just met, unexpectedly, on a quick inter-office referral...only three hours prior to the operating room), the compassion of the Infectious Disease doctor (also a new acquaintance), and the unselfish, devoted attention of the numerous nurses who took care of me.
|hooked up to the wound vac (peeling skin from the trauma of enormous stretching to accommodate the infection)|
To site a few examples...
**Constant plugging/unplugging the wound vac to enable me to walk to the restroom (and avoid using a bedpan #eeewww)
**12-hour work shifts (half of which began at 7:00 p.m.)
**Vigilantly administering IV medication (and calmly searching for new IV sites --on both of my hands and arms--when the original sites started to leak)
**Explaining all of the pills (and their purposes) at each and every dosing session
**They all got the briefing on my history, so they knew I was a runner. Every one of them asked me about my races and listened with interest as I told them about my recent marathon. One of my nurses was also a marathoner, and also named Kim (yes, we bonded).
**I even had a nurse tell me that my urine looked clean and clear and smelled "normal" (yes, they do unimaginable things for their patients).
Although it was tough being an hour away from my family, friends, and house, it also was a bit scary when it came time for me to go home. After placing all of my care in the hands of medical professionals, it was a bit alarming to realize I'd be on my own here on out.
I was sent home with a supply of wound dressings (and detailed instructions on how to care for the healing 6-inch suture site on my knee). Ugh...would you want to be responsible for all of that?
|Gauze, medical tape, and Ace wraps aplenty|
|self-infusing totally feels like I'm doing something illegal (instead of something necessary) for recovery|
*Do you visit a doctor regularly?
*Even if your doctor isn't a runner, do you take his/her advice regarding injury prevention, recovery, and wellness?
*Have you ever had to administer IV infusions in the "comfort" of your house?
As much as I will miss my running, right now my main focus is recovery. This suture wound is not gonna heal itself after all. Any stress on the suture site (thankfully not directly over the kneecap, but right alongside it) can and will prevent the suture from sealing. Trust me, I don't want another infection creeping in there...this initial infection has wreaked enough havoc. A 2-month sabbatical from running is worth it (and necessary) to ensure being able to wear my running shoes after it ends. The big picture, right?
Not because it's pretty, but because I've had some people ask about it...here's a brief peek at the suture site. The stitches came out Tuesday (YAY!!!) and the healing continues. By the way, at the suggestion of Deborah, I've named it Voldemort. Fitting, no?
|Say hello to Voldemort|
** I'm linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner