Below is another part of My AVM Story: the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
28 Days Later
Nope, not the movie…I’m leaving the hospital!
My night sleep was quite short due to a powerful headache, but I was excited because I was moving on. I was almost done with the hospital! Removing stitches and staples, getting cleaned up, and taking a short ride were all that was left between me and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation hospital.
I got my hair washed that day by one of the techs. I think this was the second time I had my hair washed after surgery, and it scared the living daylights out of me. Initially, I had refused to let anyone wash my hair because I was so afraid of anyone touching my head.
It’s not that my head was in constant pain. It really wasn’t at this point. It was more the thought of people touching the incision that made me woozy.
I didn’t have any mirrors in my room so I really had no idea what I looked like, and I definitely wasn’t with it enough to care. However, one day my mom gently put her hand on mine and said, “Emily, you really should let them wash your hair.”
Ha, my poor, sweet mom. I must have looked a fright. Who knows what was in my hair (besides the usual oils and such)? Was there ointment or something to help the healing? Was there any goo leftover from the surgery? It’s kind of funny to me now, but I was terrified then and for several weeks to come of touching the incision.
Anyways, after I got cleaned up, I tried to find some real clothes to wear. I use “find” in the loosest form of the word. I was still very bedridden at this point, and I had only that morning begun to ask to sit in another chair during my meals.
Mary Free Bed specifically asks that the patients only bring loose fitting, elastic waisted clothing so that it is easy to get on and off. I had come to the hospital in jeans (I think), and I had been in a hospital gown for 28 days straight. I didn’t exactly have other clothes to choose from.
My nurse found a pair of scrub pants for me to wear, and they deemed my shirt from admittance day was good enough. The pants were an extra-large…funny story soon to come about that.
Final Medical Procedure
Dr. Rob, Dr. Figueroa’s PA, came to remove my staplers and stitches that morning. Dan and I really liked him. He was great, and confirmed over and over that we were making a good decision going to Mary Free Bed. He had girls of his own, and he was so happy with how much hair I still had on my head and how good the incision looked.
It’s crazy to me to think that removing a bazillion staples from my head really didn’t hurt a bit. I could barely feel it as he took them out. Of course, I was nervous to let him touch my head, but he really was super gentle.
After that, I had my lunch then just waited for my transport.
Transport to Mary Free Bed
I had the option of letting Dan or my family take me to MFB, but since I still could not stand or walk on my own, they deemed it too big a risk. I agreed. A wheelchair transport was arranged as it was significantly cheaper than an ambulance.
The transport arrived late so I had a little bit of time to nap which was a relief. This was the most activity I had done in a long time, and it wore me out. It didn’t help that I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before.
The transport arrived, packed me into the wheelchair, and loaded me into the van.
I was discharged from Spectrum and on my way to Mary Free Bed.
Now the real work begins…
Next: My AVM Story – Part 31