By the end of April, I had already lost a month of this year to the hospital; I spent about half of February and half of April as an inpatient.
In the midst of this time my cousin got married—I was unable to stand up as a bridesmaid so she had her wedding recorded and sent to me. My grandmother also suddenly passed away. Oh, did I mention that I am a full time graduate student?
While it’s been a few years since I’ve had long hospital stays, it doesn’t take the sting of realising those are days I will never get back. I have gotten better at coping with these stressful and draining situations, but regardless, bouncing back is a challenge.
We all lose time and it isn’t necessarily due to illness. While I’m happy to be home, it is not all rainbows and sunshine.
I think it’s important to recognise that once someone is out of the hospital that doesn’t make them instantly well, it just makes them stable enough to go home. I’m still fairly sick. I’m also recovering from a great deal of sleep deprivation because the hospital world does not sleep.
I've been out for about two weeks. Simple things like showering and doing my hair are completely exhausting. Showers are like a race to get out, rather than a time of relaxation. There have been times when I'll get out of the shower only to lie on a towel to recover for a few minutes. It feels good to have clean skin, and I know it's important, as the sores from the heart monitor leads heal up. I hope they don't scar.
I have follow up appointments to continue my path to wellness, but this feels like I never left the hospital to begin with.
Walking downstairs to get my breakfast in the morning feels like I ran a marathon. My heart races doing even the most minimal things. I should interject that part of my recent stay included mononucleosis, and I'm still dealing with cold sweats and general fatigue.
I honestly can't say which is worse. My clothes will be drenched with sweat but I'll be freezing. I want to cover up because I'm so cold, but this only makes me sweat more. It's most frustrating when I just want to go to sleep but my bedsheets are soaked with sweat. There's nothing I can do except wait it out. Healing takes time and patience, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
I've spent my whole life in and out of the hospital and it never gets easier recovering from a stay. I tend to get nightmares about my hospitalisation following a stay. To be honest, I've been in therapy to deal with this and it was helpful. However, there is no "fix all" for the nightmares. (Post continues after gallery).
Essentially, I've felt a strong need throughout my life to try to stay as calm and collected as possible, when in the hospital. I realise panic will not aid in healing, and with so much uncertainty at times, it's important not to jump to worst case scenarios.
However by doing this, I never allow myself to feel what I am going through. The nightmares are a delay of my feelings. I often refer to them as stress-mares because I'm not coping with things during the daytime, my brain then plays it out at night. I'll have dreams where they will be digging for an IV and unable to place it. This happens to me many times while hospitalised, but again, I remain "tough."