Departing from my regular articles, I would like to take an opportunity to thank the many people who wished me well in public and in private as I was dealing with my health crisis. It seems banal to say, but the positive thoughts of so many people from so many places felt like a halo of good vibes over me. It was a boost, since I have often felt so alone in dealing with the mystery of how to take care of myself in this changed life.
My operation was a success, longer than is usual for these procedures and produced a huge, mysterious, heavy rock... a kind of mini boulder, coming out of my abdomen, one of the largest that the surgeons had ever seen. I remember being awakened from anesthesia while still in the operating room by the attending nurse, who is also a friend of mine from way back. She was holding a jar and shaking it in front of my face. She was wearing a surgical mask, but I could see her eyes were smiling, and the clinking of this crazy thing in the jar that they had fished out of me. She was laughing and saying, "Jennifer, sei finalmente libera!" (Jennifer, you are finally free!).
My experience in the hospital was peppered with so many visits from so many friends and family that I cannot count them all. I try to imagine my surgery as day surgery, as it is performed here in the US, and cannot. I had this feeling that I could not quite describe when the surgeons came to check on me everyday during morning and evening rounds. I can best describe it as love... I wanted to hug them and bake them cookies. There is obviously something profoundly strange about this, but I now realize how I deeply craved care. And they were giving it. I kissed all of their cheeks when I left, several of them blushing.
Thank you all again.
~Jennifer, finally free