A Return to the Land of the Living

Well, my surgery was a great success! No complications. The surgeon and his assistant did a great job and were very attentive to my care. Since OHSU is a teaching/research hospital, I had a constant stream of visitors taking my pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, blood sugar, temperature, checking my wounds, checking for bed sores, etc. I have never felt so cared for in my life, EXCEPT 😮 It was a bit difficult to get the nurses to listen to me. You would have thought they believed I was on drugs or something! 😉 I noticed right away, when I was put into my room (don’t let them put you in bed 52 (2) on the 14th floor — no window, dismal, dark, cell-like), that there was something very odd indeed about my bed. It seemed to be breathing. I couldn’t make the nurse understand — she’d just look cross and say, “yes, I know, hospital beds are odd.” Well, by Wednesday morning, I had removed myself from the bed to the chair and refused to get back in the bed until they took the f&%#ing thing out of there (my language had gotten a bit colorful, as no one would listen). Finally, my CNA, Lupita (God bless her!) noticed what I was talking about. The bed kept inflating and deflating. They had to get a mechanical engineer to come over. He determined that they had put me in an ICU bed for people who are comatose — the constant movement of the bed is designed to prevent bed sores. Well, if you happen to have a ruptured disc, along with a couple of herniated ones, it can cause quite a bit of agony. I sighed and eased into my new regular hospital bed. Then they brought my breakfast. Chicken broth, grape juice, sugar free jello. I managed a couple of spoonfuls of broth, about half the grape juice, and maybe a teaspoon of jello (well-chewed). As the morning wore on, I developed a mother of a headache, which I was sure I could blame on my roommate’s daughter-in-law who insisted on bringing her baby to visit my roommate. Good golly Missy Molly, that kid had a set of lungs. Isn’t there a rule about bawling babies in hospital rooms? At least I was now free to motor the halls by myself, so I took off with my IV pole as often as possible to avoid the noise. However, the headache kept getting worse. Lunch came, more of the same delightful stuff. I thought my head would explode. My eyes developed huge red bloodshot stripes from the top of my iris way back into my head. I begged for eyedrops, but they had none. Someone on my roommate’s side of the curtain bumped my tray, and lunch ended up in my lap. They brought me a clean gown to change into, but it had no ties. Boy, this is getting good, no? I keep walking. Dinner comes and this time it’s beef broth, apple juice, and jello. The broth is just awful. My head is splitting. My eyeballs are like sandpaper. A light dawns in my head. Ring for nurse. “Ahem, does this broth by any chance contain soy protein?” She says, looking down at the band on her arm that says “Allergies – Morphine, Demerol, Versed, Soy” The nurse goes and gets the box — yep! Soy protein. Well, that would explain the headache, the sandpaper eyes, and the hives now springing up all over my body. Oh — by the way. I looks like this IV is coming out. Oh no, it will be fine. She comes back with the IV Benadryl to relieve my allergy agony. Two minutes after she leaves the room, my IV springs a leak of blood and lactated ringers. On it’s way out, it leaves enough fluid in my hand to insure that I can catch a fastball without the worry of breaking bones. I now have a paw! Thursday morning dawns and I get skim milk (thank God I can read the carton), custard (are we sure there is no soy in this?), and juice. All goes down well, and they declare I am fit to go home. Thank God! I was beginning to believe they were out to kill me. 😉

So, I arrived home on Thursday afternoon. I feel very well, just tired. I’m managing to get my protein drinks and water in. Who knew I would fill up on one childrens’ chewable vitamin? I managed to walk enough of the gas they pump you full of out of me so I can actually sleep in my own bed instead of the recliner. My kitty Vince is so happy to have his mom home. He spends the night making biscuits of the blankies while he lies next to me and I scratch his ears. Does life get any better than this? 😀

The nerves are setting in

As many of you know, I will be having weight loss surgery next Tuesday.  I’m not nervous about the surgery — I think I’m well-prepared for what to expect, and I’ve been operated on before.  I am, however, getting a bit nervous about getting everything done before I leave for Portland.  I have my support team lined up to go with me, my house/pet sitters all set to go, and I’m slowly getting all the work stuff taken care of.  I have, however, made a disaster of my house, acquiring all the things I need for after surgery and just sort of stock piling them as I come in the house.  Tonight I need to straighten out the kitchen, put away all my organic soups and broths, organize things that I will need, and wash all my tiny containers that I bought for carting around my tiny meals.  I’m also waiting for my Apple software to update so I can load some tunes onto my Ipod Nano so I don’t have to listen to too may hospital sounds.  I’d rather have some nice music.  I think I may also go and buy one of those relaxation mood sound CDs in case I have trouble sleeping there with nurses poking and proding me all the time.  I have a great cassette tape (ancient technology, no?) that is called by canoe to loon lake.  It is so restful, but I’m thinking that at this time of my life it will have me jumping up to visit the bathroom every five minutes.  Something about the trickle of the stream and the dipping of the oar in the water! 

I will need to drink a lot of water after the surgery and, being allergic to everything as I am, I’ve had difficulty finding things to flavor water with no calories and no aspartame (too much of that stuff will give me the worst headache).  Tonight I found some very tasty stuff called Celestial Seasonings Zingers.  Right now I am drinking the Blueberry Flavor, which is supposed to be all natural, has green tea and antioxidants (mustn’t rust those innards!) and is sweetened with Stevia.  So far so good.  The flavor is excellent.  I’m just hoping I’m not allergic to Stevia.  I already had to take one of my organic soups back because it contained soy milk and would have killed me quickly.  Ack.

 I am hoping to clean off my cutting table in my studio before I go and pin down the pattern I have drawn for my next whole cloth.  I will then lay out the batiste and secure that over it.  I figure that when I’m recovering, it might be fun to just sit and trace the design on with the blue pen.  By the time I finish all that work, I should be fairly well healed and all set to get it on the machine and start the process.  I hope that it will come out as beautifully as I envision it in my mind.  I always seem to be surprised.  Either the end result is so awful or so much better than I expected.  I’m hoping for the latter. 

Well, enough babble for this evening.  It’s time to sort this mess out!

Another new blog

Okay, I’m pretty new at this.  I’ve had a private (sort of — actually, that’s a joke, isn’t it?) blog on another site for some time.  While I usually have a lot to say, you all may find it rather boring.  Occasionally, I do have something fun or interesting to say, and sometimes I can spin a fair yarn.  I’m not sure I’m jazzed with my background settings here, but give me some time to get the lay of the land and I’ll make it more my own.  In the meanwhile, pull up a chair, make yourselves at home, and welcome!