I feel like blogging.
You ever get the itch to just start tippytapping away on a keyboard for no other reason then to just be typing frantically? Maybe that's just me as I don't get afforded many opportunities to write copious amounts of text in a streaming coherent fashion. Most of my keyboard usage is limited to sentences equaling 140 characters or less, or interrupted with curly braces, ctrl-tabs, alt-enters, and double semicolons (for that extra boost of speed).
Making intestinal issues even worse.
Stress is a funny thing. And by "funny", I mean, stress is a huge asshole. Stress is the person you really don't want to be at your party, but they sneak in anyway, get really drunk, and the start forcing the people you do want there to leave. You know... people like "sanity", "good health", and "sleep". But stress is bigger than you and can be quite violent when provoked... so you just kind of smile it off, crack a joke or two, "Hahaha! Oh look at stress doing his thing again.", and hope to god he either passes out quickly or gets bored and leaves.
(frosted tips AND spray tan? sign me up)
Given that my digestive system already hates me (yay auto-immune disorders), stress is even more un-welcomed because he and my disorder go together like mentos and coke.
What stress could you possibly have?
I'm not emotionally strong when it comes to the fragility of my loved ones. Humans are very fragile beings. Sure, we can heal ourselves like a slow Wolverine... but think of what separates you from death... squishy stuff.
Do you know why the military uses strong and hard elements to create armor and not squishy stuff to protect their assets? Yeah... squishy stuff isn't very good at protecting things.
It's even worse when someone I love is going through a procedure where a man who I've never met will be cutting open my wife and jamming 5 robot arms into her midsection. I crack jokes about how a stranger will be up in my wife's guts... but I crack jokes because secretly I'm destroying myself inside.
I have this thing I do...
I play hypothetical games in my head to prepare myself for any possible outcome. However, never is there a time where I focus mostly on the "everything goes great" outcome. I spend most of my time focusing on what I would do if my entire world collapsed on itself. See... if my wife were to ever be torn away from me... I would die inside. I'd physically stay around because my children need me, but I guess I'm just one of the lucky bastards who got the girl of his dreams and the thought of losing that girl hurts... a lot.
As I explained to her... she's the Borg nanobots that have assimilated into my flesh... you can't just remove the Borg side of me without killing me in the process. I have been assimilated.
(I wish I was this handsome)
Surgery day finally arrives...
I'm strong. The 4 males of my family have a theme song... "I am a rock... I am an island... and a rock feels no pain... and an island never cries". My wife needed me to be strong, to be there for her... she, afterall, was going to be the one going into the surgical room.
She's a smart cookie, though, and picked up on the fact that I would be sitting in a room and waiting... for what the doctor said was going to be 2.5 hours. She laughed and counted herself the lucky one because the whole ordeal for her was just a long nap. She'd go in, fall asleep, and wake up when it was done. I, on the other hand, would be conscious the entire time... slowly counting seconds and hoping to god she'd come out ok.
It didn't take 2.5 hours...
I got the call from one of the nurses that was assisting in the surgery. "Hi Mr. Bauer. I just wanted to give you a call and let you know that everything is fine but it's going to be about another hour."
BULLSHIT! WHAT'S WRONG?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY WIFE! ISABELLLLLAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
(i didn't look anything like this)
What came out of my mouth was an overly cheery and fake, "Ok! Thanks for letting me know!". As if to say, "hahaha! yes my fine dear, I am well aware everything is going to be tip top cheery-o. I will quite simply be over yonder enjoy a relaxing spot of tea."
The next hour dragged on and my stomach started turning against the spinach salad I forced down for lunch. I was feeling gassy... sour stomach... it was horrible.
But... it didn't take another hour...
I never did get another call. At the 3.5 hour mark I got up repeatedly to check the status board and all it did was mock me with "In Operating Room" next to her code.
What was happening? Why was she still in there? Why haven't I gotten another call?
Terrible images of surgeons and nurses scrambling around my wife trying to resussitate her in a serious drama made for TV style as her beep beeps flat-lined, the paddles coming out... "CLEAR!" bzzzzt.
Another 2.5 hours later...
I was getting up one last time to check the board before going for another walk to try to shake my pain... my worry... to try to get rid of the nautious feeling that had taken over. The damn board still said "In Operating Room" when her surgeon ran into me.
And you know what he had... which he piled RIGHT into my face?!
He was smiling and I was torn. I didn't know whether to hug him because I finally knew that my wife was ok, or to punch him because he was so cheery after my body had practically digested itself.
We talked, he explained why it took so long, told me how it went, things that they found. I think I was there for most of it. Of course I had on my best Sunday game face as if to let him know that nothing could shake me. He said I could see her in an hour.
We shook hands and went our separate ways. He to another case and I to my car.
... and I cried...
I called my brother... my emotional rock in times of pain... someone who knows fear and uncertainty and fragility of life... and I cried like a little girl who forgot how to cry. The tears didn't want to come at first because I felt I was being weak... that I was failing at being a rock for Isabella... but they came.
The rollercoaster, all the hypothetical games I played with myself, the stress, the pent up emotions... they just couldn't be contained any longer.
I sat in the car and I cried.
She's healing - I'm healing
Her body is bouncing back at an alarming rate. She was up on her feet withing 3 days. It took me about a week to get to the point where every piece of food didn't have to be choked down to avoid barfing it back up immediately.
My parents did a good job training me to always mask your pain... to put on a mask when in front of other people. To make people think you're the top of the world even though you're more flawed then everyone else. It was a terrible lesson to be taught as a child. I'm hoping there is no "next time", but if there is I'm really going to have to stop trying to be super human on the outside.