Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The one about the pillow

Every night as I get in bed I'm reminded of the hospital and the two weeks I spent on IV antibiotics after emergency surgery for peritonitis.
One of the things my husband grabbed in a hurry while the nice firemen strapped me to a stretcher was my pillow. Hospital pillows suck. They are plastic (easy to clean between patients) and super uncomfortable. We'd learned this during our first week in the hospital at the Birth Center. I think Jason knew I was pretty sick and would be staying, at least for a few days, in the hospital again. He was right. It was 14 more days.
My "other mom" Alisa, brought clean pillow cases to switch out every day and took home the others to wash/sanitize before bringing them back. This pillow has a hole in it and sometimes the stuffing starts to come out - no worries, I just shove it back in. It'd be an easy fix, but I haven't done it.
After I came home, Jason tried to swap out my favorite comfy pillow with a hole for a different one. He was going to throw it away!! Gasp. I said absolutely not. I went to the hall closet, grabbed my pillow back and have used it ever since. I got him by making the point that I wouldn't throw out HIS pillow without asking him. He let me keep it.
Anyway, I can't explain why and its a little twisted, but that pillow is one of the better memories of the hospital. The cool, soft, beech sheet pillow case, the way it fit perfectly with my head and I could squish it to just the right position when I wanted to. It's sad, but that pillow and the clean pillow cases were one of the highlights. I was comfortable with my own pillow.
I think that because it is one of the few things that brought me some joy (I know, a pillow!), the thought of letting it go or not sleeping with it is a little too much. I think I'm holding onto it because the darn thing was kind of like a friend. It was there during the PICC line, during every dressing change (3 times a day), it was there when I discovered The Office and hello, love that show now. It was there when the drain was pulled and I thought my insides were coming out, it supported my back when my mom washed my hair while I sat in a chair (since I couldn't take a shower) and it even supported my arm and Gregory's head during one of just two or three feedings I fed to him while in the hospital.
It became somewhat of a security blanket, I guess. And all these months later, I can't get rid of it. Even though it reminds me of pain (physical and emotional) it also reminds me of the good stuff. It helped me to be as comfortable as possible during a very painful time. I feel a little silly - like a little girl with a blankie, but that pillow is here to stay, at least for now.

Maybe I'll attempt to sew it back up although I think I like it just the way it is. I'm pretty sure that's because it reminds me of myself. Imperfect, scarred, flawed to anyone else. Kind of like what I see when I look in the mirror. It is still the best pillow I own and it seems, a friend and ally in our wounds (although in all fairness my insides stay in).

1 comment:

  1. I love all of your posts, but this one is one of the most lovely of them!