As of this moment, it's been six weeks since my surgery. Recovery and rehabilitation are not painless. Everybody's pain tolerance and therefore experience differs. I cannot say that I have been in excruciating pain, rather in a constant discomfort of a varying degree. Since my body "kills the painkillers", I don't burden my liver with pills. It is important to listen to and monitor one's body's reaction at every step and make educated guesses, what is good for it. One should never stop educating oneself, learning about one's condition and the state of medical progress. My second hospital stay wasn't pain-free and pleasant like my first one. Still, I had a noteworthy experience worth sharing.
"The Night Nurse" As I pressed the button for the night nurse, a black nurse with pretty features, and judging by her color, not a single “white” gene in her lineage, came in. I asked her for a procedure to alleviate my discomfort. She showed me that “it was not necessary.” I insisted, and so did she. To ease up our stalemate or to cover up her feeling of insecurity, she started to straighten out my room. I was about to ask her, how is that going to help me. While she was tending to this mindless activity, she could have done what I had asked her to do. I did not trust her expertise, she knew it and it made her unsure of herself. My sensible argument, that was just about to leave my mouth, would have further fortified us in our positions. A thought flashed: I don’t have to do this – humiliate another human being. I sat on the edge of the bed and tears came to me, I did not know why. She asked me, why I was crying. I don’t know, I replied. I feel so vulnerable. She sat next to me, put her arm around my shoulder. We started talking about our experiences with doctors’ procedures and diagnosis. She was impressed by how much I knew about medicine. She suffered from irregular digestion, something very familiar to me until few years back. I told her about my own breakfast recipe, that’s nutritious and fiber-rich. When she left, I wrote it down on a paper napkin. The morning nurse came in, I asked her to call the night nurse, if she is still on duty. She was, and she came. I gave her the recipe. She was moved by “my taking the time to write it down”, as if I were busy with more important things. "Am I going to lose weight?" she lit up. I cannot promise that, I said. She left thanking me. I was pleased at the turn of this little episode. Before the night nurse left her shift, she popped in once more to say good bye. Now I was touched. So ended my best experience I have had this time at the hospital.
Conclusion No matter how advanced present or future medical technology, the physician/therapist/nurse-patient relationship should still be of paramount importance, and at the heart of healing.