Not one to disappoint, I had to come up with a second milestone.

This has been a bad day. I am in a filthy mood. It has rained all day. It is windy and blustery and I do not feel like doing anything. I slept really badly last night.

I drive Janet to work so we can have a car. At least Dev can have the car as he goes about his business. I come home and wait for the nurse to call. This is the first milestone of the day. The nurse and I have arranged for me to take a shower just before she gets here. The deal is that I will remove all my bandages, and I mean ALL of them and take a shower naked. I know this sounds like a regular occurrence for most of you, but you have to remember that I have had bandages of one kind or another stuck to me since the operation. To say nothing of the colostomy bag.

Barb calls. I rip off all the bandages including the bag and the few remaining hairs on my stomach and take my shower. Warm water washing over the wounds is a good thing. It apparently speeds the healing process. So there I stand reveling.

Shower ends, I dry myself making sure the towel does not come in contact with the stoma which contains you know what. I lie in bed and air the stomach. I get up on a whim and decide to look at myself in the mirror. Everybody keeps joking about my six-pack. Losing 20lbs is no joke.

I look and look and look. No six-pack there. All I see are lumps and swellings. I have been told enough times by doctors and nurses, all wagging their finger at me: Don’t kid yourself, this was a major operation. But even that did not prepare me for the look of my stomach. They sure did a number on me.

I remember in biology class when we had to dissect the dead frog. You cut into the animal and a some point start removing the bowels. I remember thinking that there is no way for me to return everything into the poor frog.

And so I stood in front of the mirror. They had put everything back inside me, more or less, but not quite where everything belonged. Here I stand waiting for the parts to return to their proper locations. It looks a bit like those movies in which an alien body comes roaring out of your stomach.

Barb comes and I tell her about all the swelling. Nothing to worry about, she says, big operation, and more importantly, short recovery period. Give it time.

I stay in bed all day. Don’t want to see anyone, or talk to anyone. Make myself lunch at some point. Leslie is cleaning the house, and I cannot bear to watch. I am so powerless.

The second milestone of the day is going out for dinner. We frequent a restaurant on Bayview Avenue called Riz. Very friendly, with great food. There are six of us. They order with the understanding that I will probably not eat much. The food tends to be slightly spicy and I still smart from the memories of the Indian food. I cannot resist.

I eat my calamari, followed by some pork, szechuan shredded beef, spicy beans, rice and just about everything else. I eat well and not too slowly. I am fully prepared to pay the price overnight.

But the stomach did not rebel. I had a great night’s sleep. Bodes well for the future. We decide to go to the St Lawrence Market on Saturday morning, depending on how I feel when I wake up. We are returning, albeit slowly, to some semblance of our regular schedule.

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