Michael was discharged from the hospital yesterday morning, eight and a half days after being admitted. That’s longer than he was in when he had his initial cancer surgery, and the incision he has rivals that first one – a vertical slice about eight inches long running up the middle of his abdomen. He lost quite a bit of weight in the hospital and looks gaunt. He’s weak and sore and has quite a recovery ahead of him. But he still went to Joey’s baseball game last night. He’s determined not to miss a game. Probably not the best thing for him to have done physically, but clearly what he needed mentally.
To say it’s wonderful to have him home sounds empty and inadequate. All I know is that I feel complete with him here, and when he was gone there was a void. When you’re faced with losing someone, it’s funny how all the little grievances you have fall away, and all that’s left is how much they mean to you.
Today, though, I feel a lethargy settling on me. It’s as if the euphoria of getting him back yesterday has worn off and now I’m decompressing, processing what happened. When he was in the hospital, it was survival mode, and I was running on adrenaline. Just put one foot in front of the other and deal, because that’s just what you have to do. It was hard, and I was scared, and seeing him all hooked up to machines and in pain was awful, but I don’t think I really let myself think about how bad it might be. The truth, though, is that he could have died. He was septic and his body was shutting down. The doctor told him yesterday before he was discharged that had he not been young, he wouldn’t have made it. So why did he languish in a hospital bed in no-man’s land all day on Sunday without seeing a doctor, while they just kept upping his pain meds? He could have died. A few more hours, and he might have died. The reality of that, the gravity of it, it’s doing a number on me.
But he’s here. I don’t want to be one of those people who sits around wringing their hands thinking their life is so hard. There will always be worse circumstances, people who are faced with harsher things. And yet, I can’t help thinking . . . how much more? We’ve been though so much. How much more?