April 12, 1999

Thursday, April 12, 1999, marked my last day of freedom and life as I knew it. Had I known then what I know now maybe I would have made some different choices. I guess it’s a good thing we don’t know the future sometimes.

Between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm I had to start the preparation for my surgery the next day. Since they would be cutting my abdomen open I had to clear everything out. (Like when you have a colonoscopy). Fortunately I only had a little bottle of Fleet Phospa Soda to drink not a gallon jug of yukky stuff. Don’t get me wrong, the Fleet Phospha Soda was nasty and tested my gag reflex in ways I never imagined possible. But that was only the beginning of the joys to come.

The doctors really don’t prepare you when you go through this cleaning out process. I’m not going to go into the gory details but let me just tell you from experience, if you ever have to do this just STAY ON THE TOILET! DON’T GET UP AND DOWN WIPING EACH TIME! I made that mistake and my behind was ON FIRE!!!! Eight hours of fun-filled action.

What made it even worse was knowing what was coming the next day and I had no way of diverting my thoughts, trapped in my bathroom. My 70/30 aneurysm surgery. (see my post “70/30” on March 26, 2013 and “March 25, 1999” on March 25, 2013 for more details) I had absolutely no control over any part of my life after the cleaning out began. I was just a slab of meat to be cut open and hopefully fixed and put back together. Outcome unknown. Future undetermined. SCARED OUT OF MY MIND! No one was there to help me through the cleaning out process. Looking back I needed to be better prepared being alone. But I survived.

Chain smoking because I was so scared and nervous sitting on that toilet all day with nothing to do but think. Wondering if what was going on with my body was normal or if I was slowly killing myself with this stuff. Knowing full well I was told to quit smoking weeks before the surgery to make my survival odds better. I really didn’t care. I smoked 2 1/2 packs that day before surgery. Maybe I was secretly hoping I would die and not have to go through whatever was coming next.

Today I’m grateful for:

1. I’m finally able to begin writing about this painful time that changed my life so dramatically. 14 years later.

2. I don’t have to go anywhere today in this pouring down rain.

3. I got another “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” This time from Shaun. Thank You!!!

My advice to you if you have to do this clearing out process: Set up camp in your bathroom. Take a cooler for your liquids that you will need to drink, take your books, puzzles, phone, laptop, whatever you need to keep you occupied and DON’T MOVE UNTIL IT’S OVER!

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