So, after my epic adventure in biology (parts 1 and 2 can be found in earlier posts) was coming to a close, school was starting up. Timing, as they say, was perfect. In a way. Maybe a little too close for comfort, because right when I probably need to be a good doo-bee and head to bed early, I’m up staring at a monitor or book and wishing I was sound asleep.
For a while, I was quite frustrated by my limited range of movement and curtailed functionality. I’m somewhat independent (*ahem*) and I don’t like a.) relying on anyone else, b.) asking for help, or c.) not being able to do something, especially when I’ve done it before. Quite simply, this was an exercise in patience. I had to let people do things for me, and ask for help with silly things like plugging in my laptop at work (since I couldn’t bend over to reach the plug). I got really annoyed not being able to move or fully stretch in yoga class, and I think that not being able to sleep on my stomach was about to put me over the edge. These things have all finally passed, at least for the most part. I was able to hang through the majority of my yoga class, I can spend at least part of the night on my stomach, and the pissed off nerve in my thigh is only bothering me in little pinching reminders instead of a screaming, burning spasm of pain in the middle of the night. More stretching, less favoring of that side, and more sleep-mobility will make this less as time goes on.
Can I glean lessons from this? Without a doubt. Have I? Not sure. I’m not a particularly patient person, though I do a pretty good impression of it outwardly most of the time. Things like wanting to be done with school, or doing a lot more writing than I am right now (curtailed because of school but still there in drips and drabs) really get my impatience fired up. I want to be so much further, but current priorities dictate otherwise. I grit my teeth, remember that I have to keep on plugging, and keep trying to make time in unexpected places to do the things I most want to do (like audiobooks…oh they’ve been a sanity saver!).
Look for some posting soon about what I’ve been reading, doing and thinking. I’ve got a few books I need to tell you about, because you really should pick them up and read them. Or download them in whatever format you prefer. Either way, give your preferred book purveyor of choice your green/plastic/shiny coins and take these in exchange.
Ok, so when I said that as much as it sucked, getting to experience the ER was a good thing that I could use in my writing, what I DIDN’T mean was that I wanted to do it again. However, my rebellious gallbladder decided that I needed further artistic enrichment. So, I spent the very early hours of Tuesday in the ER again, this time getting stronger pain medication because the first dose didn’t really do the trick. Even the second dose didn’t do much to get me through the day and I was whimpering, crying and not sitting still for much of the day because (for those of you who have had the pleasure will know) absolutely no position is comfortable for more than 15-30 seconds.
The benefit of this trip was that my appointment with the chop shop got moved up to the very next day (a three week bump), and my surgery got scheduled for Friday.
Pain is a great way of getting over fear, just so you know. I am normally one who will avoid going to the doctor at all costs, but when I met with the surgeon, whom I will refer to as Dr. Cowboy, I was in too much pain to be afraid. When I was not in pain, I was too high on pain meds or asleep to care. I did pretty well holding it together through getting checked in at the hospital and getting all surgery prepped. I got a special gown that could be used to “do all sorts of neat things” in the OR, as the nurse told me. I was thinking origami, but she said something about heating/cooling certain parts of the body and the little leg warmer things she put on me inflating to avoid blood clots. I even survived yet another IV, and if you could see my epic track marks and bruises from the previous week and understand my utter loathing of needles, you’d understand what an accomplishment THAT was. To her credit, the nurse who stuck me did the best job out of any that I’ve had for any reason for the last two weeks.
Where I started to fall apart a little was just before the anesthesiologist came in. Suddenly, I really didn’t want to do it any more. I wanted to go home, I wanted it all to be over, and I didn’t want to be there, gowned up, plugged up to the monitors, or any of it. When she came in, she was really sweet and apparently used to basket cases. She asked me if I was anxious, I nodded, weeping and she promised me she’d make it all quick. She shot something “to relax” me into the IV, wheeled me over to the ER, and when Dr. Cowboy (who is super nice) asked if I had any questions, Ms. Anesthetist pretty much said that I was anxious, and wanted to get me under before I got more wound up. To her credit, that is the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery to the nurses telling me I needed to breathe deeper. (Just an FYI, when people monkey around with your guts and take stuff out, breathing deep is not exactly an instinctive or even pleasurable thing.) They gave me a…thing…that measured the depth of my breathing and even today, it’s a real bitch to get to full capacity, but I do try. I’ve been up and walking around yesterday and today, even through it’s very, very slow. I’ve been holding back on the pain medication even though the temptation to take a full night’s dose and go to sleep is almost more than I can resist. I’m still not hungry, but I’ve been nibbling on stuff, and drinking plenty of fluids. I can’t carry anything particularly well, so that ought to make lugging my laptop to work interesting. I no longer have my marble-sized gallstones to deal with and I’m pretty sure I’ve also dropped a good 10lbs, but it’s not exactly the kind of weight loss plan I’d recommend to anyone for any reason.
So, I’ve got all kinds of new and interesting things pre- and post-op to include in writing. But that is way more than enough for one lifetime, thank you very much. I don’t want any more of that kind of experience again. Just to be clear, universe, we’re done with this kind of thing. Ok? No more slicing and dicing necessary, no more hospital visits. I got it. We’re good.