My uncle and I had a true family style road trip to Cleveland yesterday. We stopped once for gas and had chips and soda along the way. We pulled into the parking lot with fifteen minutes to spare.
My doctor visit went without a hitch. The drain removal was quick (it felt like a bad pinch under each arm) and I finally got that darn vest off. Then I was told to wear it for 6 more days. No way no how. That thing had fit so tight I had bruises where it cut into my side. I’ll take my chances without it.
I am surprised that there is still tightness around my chest even without the vest. I suppose it’s where the skin was pulled down – the suture line seems to be where I primarily feel it. Most of my chest is numb – it’ll take time for nerves to grow back and reattach.
For the next few weeks, I will need to take care of the wounds and grafts by keeping them covered in antibiotic ointment and sterile gauze. A small chore compared to the drains but I’m really looking forward to life getting back to “normal”.
After the doctor visit, we checked into the hotel and headed out to one of the best steakhouses in Cleveland. What a treat – I couldn’t believe how far I’d come in one week! When we returned to the hotel, I had my first shower in eight days and collapsed into a deep sleep.
The trip back to Charleston today was much more relaxed. I had time to reflect on how far this journey has already been and how often along the way I was resigned to my fate. I’d been stuck in some special form of punishment – never at home in my own skin. Even though I’m sore and full of scars, I am finally coming home.