I’m back home now after my 5-day-stay at the hospital and I would be lying if I said the painkillers aren’t having their very own effect on my mood. My mood is swinging more than I ever did as a kid. It’s scary and very emotional and exhausting. But I wanted to document this experience anyway.

Milada Vigerova

Pre.

I was scared to the point I felt like throwing up. It wasn’t a major, major surgery, just something by the knee and others have it worse, but I was still terrified because I’d never had surgery before. The older lady sharing the room that I was brought into at first started talking to me when I changed into my hospital gown. She saw me fidgeting and being unable to just lay down and relax, so she tried to cheer me up. “That’s going to be nothing, love. You’re still young. […] You’ll go through this a lot later on in life.” Even though it brought me to laughing, and it seemed like bad advice, it made me feel bad for her, and the fear somewhat diminished. She’d probably done this so many times already that it was nothing to her. And I would be off and free to go after. She probably had to stay a longer while. So I lay down.

They gave me something to calm down before the surgery. It worked well. I didn’t fidget, I was still, I didn’t have a panic attack like I thought I would. Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t afraid still. Because I was. I kept saying it, but I just didn’t look like it on the outside. Then I tried something that I often try when I’m sick of being me. I pretend I’m someone else. A strong character that doesn’t give a flying shit. I pretended to be Alyssa from TEOTFW and just lay there, acting her out, convincing myself that this was going to be nothing. And with that mindset, they brought me on the surgery bed and helped me drift off into sleep. I don’t even remember when I lost conscience.

 

After surgery.

I woke up 2 hours and 45 minutes later. My first question was whether I had snored. I hadn’t. My mother had waited the entire time. My friends were on their way to my room. The surgery went well and everything was well done. I woke up feeling a little sleepy, dizzy. I was glad that I didn’t wake up during the surgery, which can’t exactly happen when the nurses make sure you breathe in gas for that throughout the entire thing. I felt stinging, burning pain in my knee and felt bad for my body right away. The ride still wasn’t over.

 

Post.

I spent the next following days intoxicated with a lot of painkillers, eating, sleeping, eating again, taking more painkillers, trying to sleep in ungodly positions and refusing to drink water or eat much because walking to the toilet was rather painful. Which defeated the purpose of getting better. So I was forced to eat and drink water and move around more. I began my first few therapy sessions and got my knee moving a little. Step by step. It hurts, still. But it’s helpful. And it’s good to know that soon I’ll be able to walk normally again. And the new cast they gave me is mobile, too. Things were looking up.

 

Post surgery depression.

Yes, that exists. And I think this is something I do deal with still. My mood swings have been horrible because of the painkillers. I’m putting them off because I absolutely hate how they make me feel all day. I literally feel zombie-like. I began to feel mad when I didn’t even have reason to. I was irritated at everything and everyone. I cried at small stuff and was happy the next. If you think that sounds absolutely nuts, it felt like that, too. I couldn’t explain it. And admittedly, I still kind of feel that way. Even though I got dismissed today, I cried when I got home. About everything and nothing. And I feel weak and unaccomplished and done for. Even though I’d gotten so far. The only thing I have to focus on right now was getting better. So yes, I too, wonder what the heck is wrong with me. But to figure that out, I’d probably have to go back to therapy.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, even though it’s less of a lesson and more of a documentation of thoughts I had. I’ll probably feel completely different by tomorrow. But it’s not about that.

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