I was so eager to get out of the confines of the hospital I never once considered that I would no longer be on constant pain medication, complements of my IV, nor would I have a handful of people at my beckon call any time I needed something.
I also didn't consider the fact that without that pain medication, the two incisions through my rib cage and the fact that my lung had been purposefully beaten and bruised would actually hurt a LOT more.
[ Pop Goes My Lung Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3 // Part 4 // Part 5 // Part 6 ]
It was somewhere around a week before I literally left my parents recliner. I literally couldn't get out myself if it was reclined, because I just could not use any of my core muscles without crying in pain. I had to have my mom or dad help me get up out of a chair any time I needed to go use the restroom, or eat. I slept in the recliner just because a bed was SO uncomfortable.
Even worse than the physical pain though, was the emotional side. It wasn't until I was back home at my parents house that it really hit me what I had just been through. I mean I woke up on a Friday morning just like every other week before that except my lung was no longer functioning. And then I had a weeklong rollercoaster of emotions when I thought I was recovering, and then learned I was getting worse, and visa versa. And then in one fell swoop I was being taken to a different hospital and rushed into surgery in the lingering hours of the night. And then... THEN.... after being constantly watched, monitored, cared for, they up and sent me home to handle it all on my own. (Granted, I wasn't on my own, my mom once again rearranged her work schedule so I was rarely left alone at their home, and my dad and LT put in their fair share of babysitting time)
So I spent somewhere around an entire week or two in tears. I was in pain. Coughing would hurt, breathing would hurt, moving would hurt. And to top it off the pain medication they had me on was making it worse. I couldn't sleep. I would get an hour or two at night. And when I did doze off, I was having the most vivid, outlandish dreams that would wake me up. I was struggling with the mental aspect where I knew my lung was well enough to go home, but my body wasn't recovered enough to be normal again. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. And it was scary.
People would crack jokes about "oh aren't you back at work yet? Slacker!" and it would send me off the edge into a crying fit.
It was a few weeks before I ventured out of their house. At least four or five weeks before I was able to be up walking around in a semi-pain free state. Six weeks before I even made it back to work. Over six weeks before I even returned to my own house, and even then I had my mom or LT staying with me.
Truth be told, as I sit here writing this today, two months to the date of my spontaneous pneumothorax, I still struggle with it.
I still get SO frustrated that I am not back to "normal". I don't have the physical capabilities I did. I'm still not able to be completely independent. I can't even mow my own grass for god's sake. And for the girl who has always been too stubborn to ask for help, this isn't an easy thing to face.