There were the obligatory trips to the hospital as a small child to visit to the elderly and infirm alongside my parents. A trip to the hospital back then meant spending time staring at the bed pan sitting in the corner of the room, wondering just what it was for, while searching for abandoned wheelchairs to race down the hallway with my brother when my parents weren't looking.
There was aÂ childhood trauma where I discovered, up close and personal, how much damage the business end of a horse's hoof can do; how flesh sews up surprisingly similar to the polyester fabrics folded in my mother's sewing room and how it may take well over eight weeks for a nose to return to normal after being smashed by said hoof, a class filled with 11 year old hyena's will make it seem like forever as they point and laugh along the way.
There may have even been an incident as a teenager involving an ankle, an aluminum cheese tin lid, a pool hall and an artery which culminated in an annoyed father, a grumpy emergency room resident and me whining 'ow, ow, ow' each time I received a stitch.
But it wasn't until I tested my womanly organs and pushed forth life out of my loins that I started spending more time under a hospital's roof than my own.
Yet another reason to be thankful I was horny and dumb in my early twenties. Rewarded with children and the inside knowledge of how to steal free jell-o when the nurses aren't looking.
Sadly, the knowledge of how to steal free jello is not near as thrilling when one is a patient in the hospital being encouraged to eat the jiggly gelatin. I learned this myself as I shuffled slowly down the hospital hallway in search of non-jello related food items while my butt cheeks peeked out from behind my hospital gown.
*Side note: When one's back has recently been filleted to correct spinal damage, one could care less who see's what part of her anatomy and more about where they keep the good drugs. Another lesson learned this past week.
I can officially add survivor of back surgery to my resume. Because future employers will be duly impressed with my bionic spine and my complete inability to touch my toes. It'll distract them from my finger pecking typing skills and from noticing the only thing professional about my resume is the quality of the paper it's printed on.
Surgery went fine. I think. I mean, I was there, but I was ratherÂ drugged up and drooling onto the floor as my ass cheeks saluted God Himself. My surgeon tells me all went well and he seemed quite pleased with his handiwork when he was telling me about it. Of course, he could have been bold-faced lying. Let's face it, if he's smart enough to pass medical school you'd think he'd be smart enough to not to tell me if he forgot a sponge in my spine or some other mishap.
However, all signs point to Go! and I'm recovering as well as can be expected after one's back is slit open by a pimply faced doctor who looks young enough to be dating your daughter, who then roots around and rips out your spine and replaces it with popsicle sticks and staples.
My first and most favourite tattoo, however, did not fare as well.
I don't know how bad exactly the tat held up after being attacked with a scalpel but I think it's safe to presume it isn't going to look the same once the bandages come off if my doctor and his resident's peels of laughter are any indication. Not only did they laugh when I asked them how my ink looked but they then tried to distract me with promises of Jell-o.
What can I say? Jell-O. It's a party in my mouth and I can't resist it.
One thing I discovered I could resist while I was laying flat on my back and listening to the moans of the other residents on the neurology ward: the power of the BedPan.
Listen, I understand the usefulness of the bedpan. I'm a big believer in the theory of the bedpan. However, in practicum I'd have much rather they inserted a catheter into any orifice that required future draining. However, since that didn't happen to be my fate, I had to make friends with the dreaded bedpan.
I tried. Really. But when one's dignity is already shattered, one's back is sliced open and one's bladder is about to burst, it is not the optimum time to make nice with new toileting tools.
It was a complete and total bedpan fail that had my nurse shaking her head and my husband wondering how he could have married someone who couldn't figure out how to pee in a pan. I'm telling y'all, it's not as simple as just sliding that baby under your bum and letting loose. There is a science to it, one I never managed to figure out.
What turned out to be a bedpan fail turned into a mobility victory when I managed to stand and shuffle myself to the washroom all by myself just hours after surgery. I couldn't help but feel a little smug about my accomplishment.
So smug about peeing in the potty I had to commemorate the moment for posterity.
I mean, I had just failed to piss in a pot. At this point, I'd see a victory in just about anything.
I've since discovered peeing in a bedpan is much easier than having a bowel movement post operatively. I was drowning myself in fibre and worrying I would never make nice with number two again when my dad dropped by my house with a box of suppositories. Take it from me people, nothing will scare the crap out of you faster than the thought of having your arthritic grumpy old father cram a sliver of glycerin up where the sun don't shine and smile while he does it.
The worst is finally over; all systems are a go and the pain is finally manageable thanks to my friendly neighbourhood pharmacist. In fact, at this rate, it won't be long before my husband posts video of me on Youtube walking across the kitchen floor using only my bum cheeks.
I am one day closer to making my dream come true and bringing back the bendy in my life.
Sometimes in order to aim high enough to reach your goals you need to learn to bend low.
In other news, I learned almost as soon as I was wheeled out of recovery that my blog was named as a finalist for a Bloggie in theÂ Best Canadian Blog category in the tenth annual Weblog awards. If I were politically correct, I'd tell you to wander over there and peruse the finalists because there is some fabulous blogs from all over the world nominated for an award. If I were politically correct, I'd tell you that it didn't matter to me if you voted for me or not, just that you voted at all. But I'm not politically correct. See this post for proof from last year. I want to win because my self worth is based soley on the acceptance and approval of my internet peers. Â I want to win for every person who ever felt like they never fit in, that they weren't cool, that they were destined to never rise beyond the mantle of geekdom that some jerk in junior high shrouded them with.
Plus, I want to win because a sandwich blogger beat me last year.
And that just hurts.
So go, look, and vote. A vote for me is a vote for freedom. Er...too much? A vote for me is a vote well wasted. Closer to the truth but not quite right. A vote for me, is a vote for the YOU you always wanted to be.
I give up. Obviously I don't write slogans for a reason. Just go vote.