The next day I was released. My surgeon told me I should eat a yogurt every hour to help my system recover from the antibiotic carpet bombing the ER had given me in case my appendix exploded before the insurance company gave permission for the surgery. I laughed at him. At that point it was taking me half an hour to eat one cup of yogurt. If I ate one every hour, I wouldn’t be doing much else. My friend did run to the store and get me some yogurt though.
I was told to stay home for 2 weeks. The first week I didn’t leave my apartment. I sent a long letter to my family explaining why I’d vanished from Facebook and watched a lot of television. Once in my boredom, I attempted to vacuum the floor. Something in my incision caught fire and I stopped. Washing my hair was nearly impossible. I considered adopting the Muslim headscarf for the duration.
The weekend after my first week home, my friend asked if I would like to go to the mall. Boy, would I. We went to the local mall and my friend might have regretted offering when she discovered my top speed was still shuffle. We went to the food court where she watched me try to eat Hardy’s chicken fingers for an hour and then we, or I, shuffled out because I was too exhausted to do more than go home and crash on the couch.
My first day back to school we had a catered lunch. Not for me. Just like the Dubai Mall trip, we did this every year too, but they did delay until the day I came back. The meal was wasted on me because my stomach still had about a one-cup capacity, but it was nice to see everyone after being cooped up in my apartment for 2 weeks. In the middle of the lunch, the mother of one of my students rushed in and grabbed me in a hug.
“I have been so worried. Why didn’t you tell me you were in the hospital? I would have come to visit you.” All this before she even acknowledged anyone else in the room. Including the school principal and the cousin of the UAE President.
I apologized for not telling her I was in the hospital but explained that it had been very sudden and I hadn’t even told my mother until after I was released. She accepted that and chatted with me for a few more minutes before going to talk to others. I’m still a little surprised that she was so concerned.
The next week I returned to the US to visit and recover surrounded by family. At least that’s something that will never happen again.