Cabin Fever

02Nov10

Sting like a bee - clexane shot and a cast/gimp legI have a confession to make:

I need to get out.  Freedom is calling my name, and I must heed its call!

Yes, folks.  Cabin fever has struck (see the Wikipedia article on Cabin fever).

Due to a lack of muletas (crutches), I have been unable to physically leave my apartment for the past three weeks.  With one exception– my friend, B, came by and drove me to my doctor’s appointment at the hospital on Friday so I could have my temporary cast removed and replaced with an official plaster one.

But aside from that one exception (which resulted in four and a half hours of waiting at the hospital with B and P), I have not stepped one foot out of my front door.  My world has shrunk.  The expeditions and treks through the European continent were cut short and I was left with nothing but a gimp leg and a glorified set of boxes that pass for my apartment.

[Ok, I’m being mean.  I like my apartment, and, honestly, it wasn’t too bad for the first two weeks.  It’s quite spacious, and the TV has been set to show most American TV Shows and cartoons in English– or, as the case may be sometimes, in Japanese.]

I am writing this entry to tell you about injuries and surgery and other things people don’t normally think about when they first imagine traveling Europe.

First of all, it is not fun.  Any type of hospital stay is never comfortable, and it is especially difficult to bear when you can barely understand what nurses and fellow post-surgery roommates are saying (and can say even less than you understand).  I was not allowed to get up from my bed, and I spent most of the day reading or on my laptop, feeling sorry for myself and waiting for the nurses to bring us food or to change the bag of liquid feeding painkillers or saline (I think . . . I hope?) into my arm.

But the pain and the boredom settles in, eventually.  I would be able to understand how some people might go into a hospital and come out worse than when they went in.  I’m still young–plus, I had my laptop and homework to do– so I will bounce.  I had some discomfort, but the pain faded as I healed rapidly enough.  I’ll bounce.  But my roommates in my hospital bedroom were elderly women who were clearly in pain.  How could they bear it?  The pain?  The age and slow crawl of healing that, for them, would take much longer than it did for me?

I hope that no one I love ever ends up bedridden and in a hospital.  I hope I never experience it again.

Coming home from the hospital was amazing.  The only downside was having to inject my stomach with a small needle (see above) and self-inject with Clexane, an anti-thrombosis medication, every night.  It hurt quite a bit, but it was a small price to pay (not so small of a price on my wallet, unfortunately).

But now I’m tired.  Tired of my rapid transformation into a walking and talking television directory because I watch so much of it.  Tired of being unable to see the morning sun.  Tired of being unable to get a fresh breath of air.

I need freedom! . . . and crutches.

(On the plus side, I’d like to take this chance to say that my experience with Basurto Hospital has been no less than excellent.  I have received excellent care, and the nurses, doctors, and surgeons have all been extraordinary.  And, if I understand correctly, my cast will be off in ten days, at which point I begin strengthening my leg and ankle.)

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