I love to ask questions. Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? have been stalwart friends for years. But since my surgery, I’ve realized that it’s hard to ask the right questions when you don’t know what you don’t know.
I asked the doctor, “Can you remove the tumor?” What I should have asked was, “What’s involved in removing the tumor?” He answered the first question with a nod of his head, but gave no indication of the second.
I asked, “How long will it take?” It was all in an afternoon’s work on an outpatient basis. What I should have asked was: “What kind of restrictions will I have when I get home?” I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to raise my right hand more than 90 degrees, that I couldn’t wash my hair because I couldn’t raise my right hand, or that dressing oneself would become an exercise in contortionism.
What I asked was: “How long will the drain be in?” And what I should have asked is, “What is the longest possible time the drain could be in?” The answer to the first question was couched in wishful thinking (“Oh, maybe the doctor will remove it at your next office visit.” ) while the answer to the second appears to be the reality. (“Up to a month.”)
I am still in the beginning stages of this health situation, but I’ve learned that nobody volunteers information – particularly unpleasant information – unless you ask for it directly.
Today was a 1 until the home care nurse came and fixed my bandages. Then it was a 4 until I got my hair washed at a salon. After my nap, it turned into an 8.