February 22, 2012 "I am so happy to be home that I'm bawling my eyes out. There is nothing, nothing that can replace being in your own home with your people who love you." I wrote that just a few days ago on my first day home from the hospital. Today is Post-Op Day 8 and I'm not bawling anymore, but I'm still so thankful to be home. This last hospitalization was harder on me than any other. There were so many factors. I was very fearful of this surgery. I didn't realize how scared I was. Intellectually I told myself that it would be OK. I knew the pain would be less and this surgery was much less involved than when I fell and had surgery on my hip and knee in September. They said I'd be in the hospital 1-3 days. I was going to be sure it was 1day only. I knew I could talk my doctor out of making me stay in the hospital. I'd come home, have Dave help me upstairs and be comfy, cozy and happy. I knew I was covered in prayer and I felt it. I believed it. I wanted it. I just knew that this time it would be OK. There was a deeper, emotional level to this whole equation. I had hidden in my heat or my psyche a load of traumatic memories and very hard times. I only took one trigger in the hospital and events came tumbling from the back of my mind and I was in panic mode. I've never been one to act outwardly regarding stress and fear. Usually when I get to that point I pull everything inside: I don't talk or even listen to anyone. I don't even want to move. That's how it started: I'll lay in my bed with railings up. Those alternating air pressure leg wraps to prevent blood clots were in place and would periodically squeeze my legs. Each squeeze would be a shock to me. It was forceful and the pressure rolled around my leg. That was my trigger. I tried to dismiss it but I couldn't. I tried to kick them off but that wasn't working. Next thing I knew the room closed in on me. I sat up and tried to get my breath. Even though my bed rails were up I tried to climb out of bed. If Dave hadn't been there I would have tried and most likely fallen. next thing I knew I was in the middle of a full blown panic attack. Let me be the first to say here that I don;t like those! It has to be one of the most horrible things in the world. It's so bad that I'm going to stop describing it because it could be another trigger. The good news is that at that very moment I had several people gathered around my bed who wanted to help me. Dave was the one who I listened to as he very directly talked me part way out of it. As I stared into his beautiful baby blue eyes, I started calming down a bit and began to breathe a little easier. Throughout that night, I had several of the nurses sit up with me, hold my hand, read scripture, sing and generally keep me calm. I am forever grateful to those wonderful RN's and patient care aides who helped me through. I was well cared for and even though i had a couple more episodes, everyone knew what to do and that helped a lot. The lesson here is that I have to be very careful so I don't have to go back. I guess the other lesson is that if I do ever get in trouble again I know help will be close by.