03 February 2008

Surgical Safari: Or How I Quit Smoking & Learned To Love The Lungs

Normally, I don't blog images from my life that are terribly private, but this set of images seemed like something I should post. These were taken by me with my cellphone in my hospital room and bathroom during a not-so-nice surprise stay of five days.

Below is one final, very telling shot taken by my friend Janie. The blurriness caused by her cellphone camera is actually rather appropriate for the feel of this day. My second surgical procedure had occured hours before and I had a hellish post-anasthesia experience, which I was only just coming out of during her thoughtful visit.
This was shot during an EKG that I was given after complaining of persistent chest pains. I told her (and all others) to remind me of the five days I spent with a drainage tube in my chest any time I complained that I wanted a cigarette. This photo alone should provide an excellent reminder.
I am using these photos to not only mark my stay in the hospital for a Spontaneous Pneumothorax (also known as a collapsed lung) but also to mark a time that has indelibly become a "line in the sand" for me. Though it may seem odd, I'm also using these pictures to celebrate the fact that two weeks on, I am declared healthy, improving steadily, eating and moving normally, working my way toward normal life. I am at home now, looking MUCH better than I was in these pictures, returning to work and no longer smoking cigarettes for the first time in 20 years. Morristown Memorial Hospital. Franklin Tower Room FA018.
20-25 January 2008.