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dr's Hospital Adventure

So, I broke my neck. Fractured my C5 vertebrae. I'm not sure what the PC way to say it is.

Anyway, the staff in the ER were all excited for me for the doctor assigned to me was 'really good' they said. That's all good. He decided that for best success the way to do the surgury was from the front. And, hey, who am I to argue? Even now, after the surgery is done, I still don't disagree, even though I'll have a little scar on my neck. But the one thing I didn't count on was losing my ability to swallow. I'm not talking permanantly, but for the first three days I was pretty much slobbering all over myself. Sure they have a suction thing like the dentist has but you ever tried to control one of those things yourself? ... How about when you're drugged up with morphine? It's not as easy as it sounds.

Once I stopped majorly slobberly on myself after the first three days I was still using suction a fair bit, and starting to master it too. But I was also starting to swallow, but not very successfully. Pretty much nine out of ten swallows were still trying to go straight into my lungs, which is no good at all. Finally, a week after surgery, a barium swallow test revealed that only a trickle of my swallow was going into my lungs so I was given the next two days over the weekend to fully recover, and then hopefully I would be allowed to start eating.

In the meantime, I had to be content with my IV of 5% dextrose, of which I was going through 100 ml an hour of since pretty much arriving at the hospital. Now, the IV pretty much gives your body enough to keep going. I never felt hungry and I lost over ten pounds over the course of my two week stay at the hospital. But as my time to start eating approached, my brain began to take over and tell me that it was hungry. And this, of course, was brought on by the delivery of food to my hospital roommate (who is a story all on his own) three times a day.

It's funny, though, how the brain works. Everything everyone has ever told me about hospital food is that it's all bad. This, other than being born, was my first extended stay in a hospital; my first stay, period, actually. But, it's weird, don't you think, how even hospital food smells as good as Mum's home cooking when you're not allowed to eat anything?

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