Take Me Somewhere Else
I suck as a friend. I admit it. Not a friend in real time. Like if you came to my house and we hung out. I’m great there. I’ll feed you, laugh with you, and take a lecture or two out of my pocket about how you are better than you think you are. People actually don’t ever want to leave when they come visit Tim and me. I can’t tell you how many have spent the night on our couch and were fed breakfast and coffee in the morning.
No…I’m talking online. I suck at my online presence. Mainly because I really don’t spend much time on any specific website. I pop in – I pop out. If someone has sent me a message, I’ll read it and then mean to take about ten minutes to think about how I’m going to reply, but forget to because I went and did something else. Five days later I remember I have to reply to that message I read last week. While those who sent the message are calling me all sorts of colorful names for not replying. The best way to get in touch with me?? The phone. I’ll talk your ear off.
This last week was hell. And I expected it to be, so there was no surprise there. However, my surgery didn’t go half as bad as I imagined it. I have never had surgery before, so I was anticipating all sorts of monstrous misdeeds which never happened.
Most of the time I am a bottomless pit of thanks, but never show it. Or express it. I just assume those that need thanked KNOW they are thanked and we just go on with our lives with the knowledge that there was an implied pat on the back or a fist bump.
Like Ashley at Advent Health Out Patient services – who stuck my arm to put an IV lead into it so that I can be put to sleep during surgery. She was incredibly nice and told me, “you’re going to get sick from this. Most people do,” and I just shrugged her off and said, “I just had a colonoscopy and didn’t get sick from any of that. Pffft — I’m tough!” Guess what, Ashley? You were right. I spent the day after surgery puking my guts out for six solid hours. THANK YOU for the warning that I refused to graciously accept.
And to Jimmy in the recovery room at Advent Health Out Patient services who was the first person I woke up to. I opened my eyes and saw the figure of a man between my legs. He was busy taking off stickers that were used to monitor my heart, he applied bandages, and removed the IV lead. He was incredibly nice and when I asked where Tim was —he summoned Tim and there was my guy to my left within what seemed like 20 seconds. THANK YOU, Jimmy, for being a great guy to wake up to.
Or to Polly at Dr. Lewis’ office who handled all the scheduling for this surgery AND called me post-surgery to make sure I was doing fine at home. I thought this was incredibly above and beyond the call of duty. THANK YOU to Polly, and to Jennifer, and to Missy who turn the wheels in the very complex mechanism that is “surgery”.
I would suck even harder as a friend if I didn’t mention the doctors here. Like Tarrah O’Donnell who takes care of my everything. If I have something going on – she figures it out and helps me squash it. Dr. Thomas John is the one who takes care of my piping. If it comes or goes – he’s the one who meticulously drains, unclogs, and repairs what is ailing me. Dr. Chauhan is the one who manages my heart (I call it the “battery”). If it wasn’t for THIS doctor I would have been dead. And then to Dr. Bertram Lewis who did the actual surgery. I may have said this before, but he treated me like I was/am/are his best friend. Which made me feel a zillion times easier about being cut into and body parts being removed. These four doctors right here…if you’re in Dade City and need a doctor, these are the ones you go see. I kid you not. THANK YOU all for keeping me alive and to help me with my issues. I know I have a lot of stuff going on, but thanks to you I now have a much smaller portion left to conquer.
Then when I got home Tim checked the mail to find cards (remember those? Old school pieces of card stock with art on them that you can send through the United States Postal Service?). THANK YOU to Matt and Shortcut for sending me encouragement and support through the mail. One from England and the other from California. That meant a lot to me. Cards are important to me because ANYONE can send an email. It takes a special kind of friend to take the time out of their day to search for the right card, write sentiment in it, lick the envelope, slap a stamp on it, and then send it to me. I keep these cards. Ask Tim – I have a box full of cards. They’re little love notes that I’m just not ready to give up any time soon.
But most of all – THANK YOU to Tim who spent six hours in the waiting room while I was sleeping and getting sliced and diced. If you know Tim – twenty minutes is tough for him to get through without some sort of electronic entertainment. Six hours was his personal hell. And then to spend the next seven days running up and down the stairs to get me this or grab me that from downstairs. To stay awake while I slept, or to sit by the bathroom while I showered. I am the luckiest guy alive to have you in my life.
A THANK YOU goes to Tina who was our backup plan in case taking care of me and my needs were too much for him to bear. She makes this friendship gig so freaking easy.
And my dog – Styx. While I was knelt in front of the toilet vomiting, Styx would lay on the bathroom floor next to me. I used to only consider her my “joy”. Since my surgery she’s gotten a new badge. She’s now also my “comfort”. No matter where I am in this apartment, all I have to do is look to my left or right and there she is, smiling at me. Honestly…Styx smiles. It was freaky when we first got her. But now HER smile makes my heart smile.
I know I’ve forgotten some people that really need to be thanked. Like the lady at Circle K (I can never remember her name) that I see at 2am when I get a craving for chocolate milk. She is always a friendly face that I can count on. Or to Lauren, who runs the apartment complex we live in who contacts me periodically to check in on how I’m doing. She doesn’t need to do that, yet she does.
And lastly – my Facebook and Twitter friends. I know I haven’t been online to see how YOU all are doing, but you make sure to check in on me to see how I am doing. Which makes you a much better friend than me. THANK YOU to each and every one of you that made me smile when I really didn’t feel like smiling.
Each and every one of you – from online friend to doctors and nurses – THANK YOU. I am grateful I have people like you in my life that helped wipe out the doubt and allowed light to shine all over my anxiety about the change I was about to confront. I will never be able to repay any of you for the graciousness and support you’ve offered to me freely.
My grandmother once told me, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”. I must have a fucking awesome vibe because I have the BEST tribe anyone could ever ask for.