Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to know you're HOT

It has been four weeks since I left the hospital. During my six week stay in the ICU, I ran pretty constant fevers. You know you're hot when the hospital staff has to search high and low to find a fan big enough to cool your body down. Apparently I was always so hot that the fan became MY fan. It went everywhere I went. When I was moved to the short-stay surgical ward after the ICU, the fan came along too. When they came to bring me down to the rehab unit, they brought my fan too. The funny thing though... I never needed it again after arriving on the rehab floor.

It is hard to explain how devastating it was for me to be in the ICU. I am not even sure now how much that time has affected my life. Being confined to four walls for a month will make anyone stir-crazy. Add to that the incessant bells and alarms going off all hours of the day and night, and you get what is affectionately known as ICU Syndrome. When I was taken outdoors one day in October, the sky was brilliant blue, nice breeze and the trees were aflame with color. Just feeling the sun on my face and the wind on my skin was like being re-born. I felt alive and safe for the first time in what seemed like forever.

I have to come to realize that I spend a great deal of time out-of-doors each day. Whether that time is spent walking, hiking, running errands, gardening, moving stuff from the house to the studio.... all of it adds up to lots of time observing my surroundings. The sounds of birds, the pine trees overhead creaking or even the cars driving down our road, all are part of my daily life. Being cut off from those sounds drove me crazy. Even now, if the house is too quiet I have to open a window or door so I can hear things outside. Fortunately, I am able to find a way to be outside everyday now. I walk around the yard, meander to the studio and occasionally drive into town. Each time I head out the door, I smile, knowing that this is right. This is home. I am safe and sound in our little house. It is good to be back.

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