The Day After Appointment
I didn’t sleep very well that night. I had to take painkillers, which I avoided waking Jed up for, but around 5 am, I had to wake him up to help me go to the bathroom.
Around 7 am I woke up for good as the Prados got ready for work and school. Jed slept through it for a while, so I tried to relax until he woke up. My chest itched more than it hurt, but it made it hard to relax.
Jed finally woke up when Jonah and Jamey yelled at each other about how they were going to be late. He rolled over and looked up at me. “How long have you been up?”
“I’m not sure,” I said.
“Do you need anything?”
“We can go get food whenever you’re ready.”
Jed rubbed his eyes and sat up. He smoothed his hair as he stood up. I had seen him do the exact same thing many times and I felt something pang in my heart.
I stood up and we went to the kitchen. My drains pinched as I walked. “I think I’m going to need an ice pack.”
“I can get one.”
I sat down at the kitchen table, hunching, and Jed brought me an ice pack. I held it in place, which took more effort than I thought it would, while he pulled an apple out of the fridge. “This with some peanut butter?” he asked.
“Sounds good,” I said. Jed got out some cereal for himself. When he was finished preparing both of our breakfasts, he sat down at the table with me and put the apple and peanut butter in front of me.
“Can you maybe put it on my lap?” I asked. Jed did as I asked, and I carefully fed myself. It felt good to do something for myself.
“What’s going to happen at the appointment?” Jed asked.
“I think they mostly just make sure my chest isn’t infected and we talk about the amount of fluid in my drains and stuff.”
“We should empty them before we leave, I think.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “And make sure I go to the bathroom.”
“It’s okay, Cam,” he said, smiling at me. “It really is. I know this isn’t easy for you, especially because it’s, well--?”
“It’s you,” I said.
“I’m sorry. It probably would’ve been easier if your dad could have stayed.”
“I’m not sure which is worse, you helping me go to the bathroom or my own dad.”
“I’d take you over my dad any day, just saying.”
When we were done eating, I drank some water and took a stool softening pill so that I would hopefully be able to poop in the next day or so. Jed got together some pillows for me to have in the car while I watched TV. When he was done with that, he got himself ready and helped me get ready. We emptied my drains, which still grossed me out.
“You need to wear a shirt, Cam,” Jed reminded me after we brushed my teeth and I went to the bathroom.
“Right,” I said, looking down at my compression vest. “I think my suitcase is upstairs.”
Jed ran upstairs and came back down with a button-down shirt. He helped me put it on, then he buttoned it up for me. I watched him as he did it, wishing I could tell him how much I loved him for doing everything for me.
“You’re all set, sir,” Jed said, straightening my collar.
“Thank you, kind sir,” I said.
We went out to the car. He helped me get in, and then we were off to the hospital. I put on music for us, and we sang together for most of the drive.
My appointment went by quickly. The doctor said that everything seemed to be totally normal, and unless I started feeling or seeing a change in my incisions, I didn’t have to come back for a few days, when they would remove my bandages and take out my drains.
“Are you excited for them to remove the bandages?’ Jed asked on our way back to the house.
“Of course,” I said. “These things are itchy as heck.”
“But you’re excited to see yourself too?”
“Of course,” I said. “I mostly just hope that my nipples look okay.”
Jed laughed. “Are there lots of nipple complications?”
“There can be,” I said, smiling. “I have faith in mine, though.”
“Me too. I think they’ll be great.”
We both laughed.