How time flies: a week ago at this time, I was (I think) in the midst of surgery. I seem to be healing pretty well -- still weak, still easily exhausted, still bruised and relying heavily on pain pills, but a little bit stronger each day.
The earliest post-surgery memories were in the intensive care unit -- very slowly coming back to consciousness, seeing my family and the Ski Bum, learning that everything went well. Being surprised at how lucid I was, especially since other people in the unit seemed to be in early stages of dementia. Then, the first night, as I learned just what it means to have tubes stuck in your neck, arms, ribs and groin -- crying out for pain pills or ice chips (I think I told the poor nurse about 16,000 times that I might not end up addicted to painkillers, but I'd definitely be addicted to ice chips when I got out. I found the sensation of ice chips placed in my mouth so soothing that I seriously imagined that I'd be crushing ice and eating it recreationally once I was out), getting doped up on morphine or Percoset or whatever I was on at the time, then asking the nurse if it was time for my pain pills and finding only 15 minutes had elapsed, not four hours as I'd imagined. At some point in the early hours I heard a wailing noise -- then realized it was me, and I couldn't stop it.
Later, once I was moved to a private room and switched to Darvocet, I started having strange dreams/hallucinations where I'd be observing a real-life scene, then zonk out and start imagining something else going on. I was watching my mother knit one day, drifted off, and saw a small gnome helping her out. Another time the word "SEINE" -- either the French river or the German term -- starting flashing in red on the bathroom door. Weird stuff. Thankfully I'm more grounded in reality since getting back home, though I am still pretty far from being off the pain meds.