The Stairs


Yesterday began like any other.  Woke up, got out of bed.  But what happened later was a first for me.  For over a year now, I’ve had a hernia.  It would flare up here and there, but nothing too painful.  That changed a few weeks ago.  The immense pain forced me to my doctor, and it was agreed this needed to be taken care of.

Today was the surgery to get it fixed.  The last thing I remember before waking up in recovery was the anesthesiologist joking with me.  I commented how cool it was in the operating room, and he said “that’s so we can keep our beers cold”.  Next thing I know I’m awaking from a slumber.  The next half hour or so was a blur.  I  heard the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment on the radio as my father, who graciously came down to help out, was getting my prescription.

Today was a bad day to have this surgery.  Not that there’s ever a good day, but there was a lot going on.  Smarter Balanced Assessment results, an award ceremony for the “Four heroes of Education”, and a meeting at the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens office.  The last was a group of folks meeting to discuss the now mandatory parent councils in each school district.  This came out of the IEP Task Force whereby parents form a council to assist new parents who are coming into the IEP process for the first time.  It wasn’t an open meeting to the public, but I joined the Delaware PTA to get in.  Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out.

There will be days like today all the time.  I can’t be everywhere.  But what happened tonight scared me more than anything in my entire life.  Walking has been a challenge today, since the surgery.  I can walk, but I have to take it very slow and sometimes sturdy myself.  Stairs can be especially challenging.  After getting some water, I went to walk up the stairs.  My wife was on a work call and my son was asleep (after his challenging day).  As I got to the third stair, a wave of nausea came over me, and I came very close to passing out.  I started sweating immensely as I just laid myself on the stairs.  For about five minutes, I stayed there, not sure if I would overcome it or sink into oblivion.  I’ve had pain before, but as I laid there with my hernia area throbbing, I felt helpless like I never have before.  I couldn’t even talk or cry out cause I knew if I did it would take up the last remaining amount of energy I had.

As the moment continued, I decided going up the next nine stairs would not be a wise idea.  Getting up was going to be a challenge too.  So I prayed.  I prayed for God to either help me back up or let me pass out.  The  choice needed some help!  I slowly got up, one hand on the wall, the other on the railing, and I pushed my back against the wall.  The trip back to the couch, which would take ten seconds max on a normal day, took about four minutes.  But I made it, and I fell asleep in a blissful slumber.

I woke up an hour and a half ago, and knew I had to get my pain meds, which I left upstairs.  But the trip up was uneventful.  I’ve been up since.  I’ve been thinking about how some folks go through this all the time.  Whether they have cancer, or some physical impairment.  They make it through and fight, so I really shouldn’t be complaining!  But I am getting tired again, so it’s off to slumberland again.