Zapped eyes (LASIK)

As a birthday present to myself, I got LASIK. My eyeglasses prescription had stabilized quite awhile back. The changes had been minor and often just to justify new glasses for insurance purposes. After talking to some friends at work who had done it, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I ended up getting it done at Sharpe Vision in Bellevue. I’ve had quite a few folks ask for details about how it went and what was involved, while other friends (and notably, DH) are particularly squigged by any discussion of something happening to an eye. I’m writing this blog post to describe the procedure in detail for those who want to know.

When I went in for the consult, they spent a ton of time trying to measure my cornea thickness. My eyes were not cooperating with the machine-based measurement, and it took several tries for that to work out. They also numbed my eyes right then and used a manual device to measure the thickness and also to check on my tear production and eye dryness. My eyes had some dryness, not uncommon for computer users. My thickness was pretty normal, though, so normal LASIK was an option for me. (versus PRK which is used for certain circumstances, or some people opt for it based on what they want) The doctor explained what the procedure would be like, showed me what range of results I could expect (target, a little worse, a little better), what the “halos” would look like, etc. I felt very informed by the time I left the consult.

The doctor had recommended I use eye drops a few times a day in the week preceding the appointment as well as several times a day following, so I stocked up on eye drops from Amazon before going in. There’s also a set of prescription eye drops that you get for preventing infection and helping your eyes heal, which Sharpe Vision offers as a combo drop. The combo drop gets used 4 times a day for a week following the exam.

On the evening before the surgery, I was getting nervous. DH reassured me by saying that in the worst case scenario, at least I’d get a puppy. I ended up taking Duffy with me to the surgery so I’d have something to hold onto during. (You can bring a small stuffed animal into the room with you.)

DH drove me over to the office. Seattle was scheduled to get a typhoon during the weekend. It had been raining for 2 days straight, and that morning, the wind had kicked up so Lake Washington was in a tizzy as we crossed. (We were really glad for the new bridge!) We went into the office and hung out in the waiting room. I got a nametag that identified me and noted that I was having LASIK in both eyes (L.O.U.). I arranged my “post-op” supplies: combo drop prescription, other drops, and sunglasses. While we were waiting, we saw one person finish up and leave. Then, they opened the blinds for the procedure room, and I was able to watch someone else going through the procedure. (DH opted to head down the hall and look at other things instead.) I also had some chamomile tea and honey to calm my nerves while I waited. Then, they took me back to the pre-exam room. They went over the post-op care I needed to do and did some quick exams. I signed a few forms for consent to care, and I opted to have the blinds closed during my procedure (mainly to spare DH).

Sharpe Vision also gives you some valium by default (you can opt out) to help relax you before the procedure, so they gave me my dose, and I sat in the exam room hugging Duffy and relaxing with my tea. Dr. Sharpe (the surgeon) came in and talked me through what to expect (which I’ll describe as it happened in this narrative, but just know that I knew what was coming at every point). He also did a quick eye exam on me (the good ol’ “this one or this one? 1 or 2?”) to make sure that the target prescription we were using was correct and accurate. After that was done, they gave me a bunch of numbing drops. The first numbing drops stung (she warned me), but then they kicked in and it didn’t sting. There were two more sets of drops that went in, also for numbing and moisture.

A few minutes later, I went into the surgery room. They had closed the blinds before I went in, so I didn’t get to see or wave to DH (the only thing I regret about deciding to close the blinds). And I laid down on the table, which was very comfy and padded.

What follows are the specific details of the surgery, so only expand if knowing those details won’t bother you.

[spoiler=”LASIK details inside”]

Once I was laying on the table, the first thing was that the doc put more drops in my eyes and covered one eye to work on the other one. This first part was the most painful part, and it was over in less than a minute, probably less than 30 seconds. Basically, they put a big ring tube thing on your face and it both presses on your face around your eye and creates suction to hold your eye in place. This is for the part where the laser (my LASIK was all laser, so no blades were used) cuts the flap in your cornea (which is why they need to measure your corneal thickness in the pre-exam). As the doc had warned me, it was a bit painful and then things kind of went black. (Or, in my case, a dark field of brightly colored tiny stars…really quite beautiful). The doc had warned me about this in particular, because he said it’s the scariest part, that it might feel like I’ve lost my sight, but it’s just temporary. Then, the suction machine was removed, and I could see from that eye again, albeit blurrily. The doctor added a bunch more drops and then the suction machine was placed on the other eye and that eye was covered up. The process was repeated. I did have a little more trouble on that side, mainly because my eye was kind of fighting the suction and trying to look away, so the doctor had to tell me to relax and try to just let myself look at nothing. That finished up just like the other one, with more drops, and then the next step was the shaping.

So for the shaping, there’s a few things. The flap is pushed back, and then the laser starts shaping your cornea based on what your prescription requires. Dr. Sharpe described this as hearing something that sounds like a bug zapper over and over again and possibly smelling something like light smoke. For me, I’d had a laser filling done before (at Lakeside Dental in IL), and the smell was pretty much the same. I mean, it’s a laser, and it’s using heat to remove something, so there’s a little smell. It’s not bad…just like when you just blew out a match or something, or if you’ve ever used a match to burn up a ball of hair from your hairbrush, it’s like that. While it’s happening, there’s a light you look at, and sometimes the light moves. When the light moves, you move your eye to follow the light. The laser is checking on your eye’s position something like 4000 times a minute to make sure that it’s getting the right spot. Technology! Woo! And then once the laser finishes (really fast), the doc adds a ton more eye drops, flips the flap back down, and then you do the next eye…same thing all over again.

And the doc and the optical assistant are right there throughout, and they kind of keep contact with you and talk to you, so it’s very comforting. Honestly, getting a filling is way more unpleasant (okay, maybe not a laser filling, but the normal kind). Even just a normal dental cleaning is way more unpleasant. You don’t feel any pain at any point, *except* that suction part that I mentioned…and then it’s kind of like someone is very slowly pushing your skull back, so it’s a lot of pressure. But, even that is over so fast that it’s not bad.

After the second eye is done, they helped me get up and off the table. I could already see better than I typically could without my glasses (better than I saw things when I walked into the room). They guided me over to the typical optometrist looks as your eyes machine, and the doctor checked to make sure things looked good in terms of the flap being placed correctly.

[/spoiler]

The whole thing takes about 15 minutes, maybe a little less. I was back out in the lobby and ready to go, and DH was startled by how quickly I was done. And, aside from everything seeming overly bright, I was already seeing pretty well at that point. The light sensitivity feels to me a bit like when you get your pupils dilated and everything just feels overly bright and a little out of focus, but you can still see.

heading home after LASIK
heading home after LASIK

I put on my rockstar sunglasses, and we headed home, by way of the Chick-Fil-A for my reward lunch. (Nuggets!)

The worst part of recovery that day was that I wasn’t supposed to look at screens (no phone, no TV, no tablet) and I wasn’t supposed to read. That left very little to entertain me. The doctor had given me one cold compress patch and I had prepared another, and they had told me that the cold compress as soon as you get home does wonders for making things feel better.

cold compresses
cold compresses

So, I covered up my eyes with cold compresses and a sleepy mask and curled up in bed. DH hung out with me. We listened to Michelle Obama’s amazing speech (that I’d saved for this time period), and then I had saved up a bunch of podcasts to listen to, so we set up one of those while I rested. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep, and DH went upstairs. A couple of hours later, I woke up feeling bleary-eyed. My eyes also felt swollen and sore. The doctor’s office had given me drops called “comfort drops” (basically numbing drops) to put in, so I added some of those (with DH’s help, because I kept missing), and a few seconds later, the soreness went away.

[spoiler=”More details about what my eyes felt like inside”]

Aside from the swelling and soreness (which is normal…in fact, some people can’t even open their eyes because of the swelling), the feeling that you have is best described as feeling like you have a giant eyelash stuck in your eye. That’s basically the cut and where it’s healing. And, it’s worse if your eyes get dry, so you end up wanting to put drops in your eyes all the time (which is good for them). The cut is also why you get halos and some light sensitivity for awhile afterward. That eyelash feeling is still bugging me but less and less every day and mostly just if my eyes get dry.

[/spoiler]

rocking my sunglasses the evening after LASIK
rocking my sunglasses the evening after LASIK

I got up, put my sunglasses on, and wandered upstairs. I put my compresses in the freezer to get cool and grabbed an ice pack to wrap in a washcloth and lay on my eyes. I relaxed on the couch for a bit, and then I went back downstairs and set up my phone with a headset so I could voice call people and chat on the phone for awhile. And by around 8pm, I was actually feeling fine. The optical assistant who had prepped me had said that was normal, that around 7-8 hours after surgery, you’ll suddenly feel fine, like magic, and that’s exactly what happened. It was like my eyes just waited for a timer to go off before deciding they were fine.

We invited some friends over for board games, since that was something I could do. The next day, I went to a checkup in the morning. They tested my vision, and I was 20/20 in one eye and almost 20/20 in the other eye, and they said I was at 95% of target. I was cleared to drive, and I’ll have another follow-up in 30 days to see how things have settled and if I need any adjustments. We decided to go play Bridge in the afternoon. I wore sunglasses a lot for most of the weekend, and I’m still putting them on around the office or elsewhere if things are bright or I just want some extra protection. Dust and other things are still a particular hazard for the first week, so I’m not using any moisturizers or soaps around my eyes right now.

morning after LASIK, first glasses-free selfie
morning after LASIK, first glasses-free selfie

And, of course, I’m putting drops in all the time. That’s pretty much it. I can see most things pretty well. Things that are backlit (computer screens, phone, etc.) are a bit tougher and fuzzier, but that’s getting better already and will probably clear up entirely in a week or so. From my office window, I can see tiny houses across the sound, and I can see the antennas on top of Queen Anne clearly.

To help me remember to take breaks and use my drops at work, I installed this app on my work laptop called Eyeleo, which has a cute lion tell me to take a break and do an eye exercise or look away from my monitor for awhile. It also forces me to periodically take a long break to stretch and look at other things. That wasn’t recommended by the doc or anything…I just wanted an app to help me remember to take breaks.

work selfie
work selfie

I’ll update this post again at the 30 day exam with any details or news, but generally, at this point, I’m mainly wishing I’d done this sooner. I never had a pressing need to get LASIK. I don’t do sports or anything that makes glasses annoying. But there’s just a thousand tiny conveniences that you have when you’re not wearing glasses. At the same time, I feel a bit unprotected without something on my face right now (sunglasses help), and I still find myself panicking because I can’t find my glasses.

Ironic Pain

DH was discharged from the hospital on Thursday evening. With him came a big basket of flowers with a balloon (from my parents), a basket with green plants and an African Violet (from my work), about fifteen cards from LFH’s cards site (from all of y’all), three cards from friends that visited, and a bag of his essentials (books, toiletries, etc.) that were still in the room when we left.

They removed the chest tube on Wednesday evening, and within an hour, DH was looking great. His color came back, and his breathing improved. When we took a walk around the hospital on Thursday, his pace was near normal. By mid-day on Thursday, the nurses had disconnected him from the IV tower, as he hadn’t used morphine at all since they took the chest tube out. That allowed him to have freedom of motion. He put on undies for the first time in several days, and he was pretty much able to do anything he wanted to do, albeit slowly. So, when the doctors came to check him out on Thursday, we agreed with the assessment that he was ready to go home.

Of course, Thursday was the day that a rabbi came by. The hospital’s chaplain had visited DH in the ICU, and it was kind of awkward because if he’s anything, he’s Jewish, so DH had mentioned that. Accordingly, the hospital had notified the rabbi to stop by, but the rabbi was Orthodox. The fact that DH looked perky along with the obviousness of him not being Orthodox, nor really strict at all (evidenced by his redheaded bride standing nearby), made it a bit awkward, though the rabbi himself didn’t do anything to make it that way. The rabbi gave DH a little gift pack with some grape juice and two Challah rolls, along with a summary of the day’s Torah reading. He also offered to say a prayer with DH, but DH politely declined.

On Friday, I had to go into work briefly in the morning. I set DH up with a homemade coffee drink (regular coffee mixed with milk and Cinnamon Spice flavored Splenda, with whipped cream on top and cinnamon sprinkled on the cream), a banana, some Jell-o, and the TV remotes. He was moving okay, but getting up and down was slow and painful. While I was fixing him coffee, I spilled some water on the floor. Then, I forgot that I spilled water on the floor, slipped on it, and did an almost-split in the middle of the kitchen. One leg went out straight, and the other bent so that I banged my knee and thigh on the floor. I was fine, aside from hurting, but it scared DH. He was afraid we’d both be injured, with no one to care for us! 🙂 Fortunately, it was just some bruising.

Still, today, I’m in more pain than he is! I strained my thigh muscles, and I have 3 big bruises on my leg. My lower left back is hurting a bit, too. So, it’s funny. I’m on ibuprofen just to be able to climb the stairs without yowling, and DH isn’t taking anything! 🙂

Good Spirits

DH is doing well. He’s in good spirits. I had to share a gift that his cousin S* sent with his parents for him to have after surgery. They’re a bunch of multicolored signs mounted on popsicle sticks for him to hold up instead of talking:

  • I’m [DH] and I’m fine.
  • I’m [DH] and I feel lousy.
  • Where is the nearest casino?
  • I need to go to the bathroom.
  • Do you know how to play poker?
  • Do you call this food?
  • Please don’t poke me again.
  • Ask me about my wonderful cousin [S].

He loved them. By the way, for those who know us well enough to do so, you can send him a card for free at the hospital’s cards site. 🙂

Update on the boys

First things first: to receive the latest updates on my DH’s surgery (for family and friends), please watch either my facebook or the twitter feed in the right-side sidebar…or follow me on twitter if you’re so inclined. My sn on twitter is “myTsuKata”. Tweets will be duped to Facebook, so either way will work. However, I’ll only write longer blog posts like this as I have time.

We’re at the hospital, me and MIL and FIL. They’ve taken my DH back to get started. I met all his doctors. One of his poker buddies has a wife that works here as a surgical nurse, and she stopped by to reassure all of us and explain anything we had questions about, as well as to wish DH well. DH was in good spirits, and I know he really appreciated having all of the good wishes from everyone. He was way braver than I was. 🙂 Aside from his bravery, the process was pretty much the same. Oh, and they put stockings on him. I didn’t get stockings. We won’t have news for another couple of hours. He’s getting both surgeries done today, for the bronchogenic (sp?) cyst and for the hernia, with two different surgeons. For the hernia, it’s the same surgeon as did my gall bladder…it was good seeing Dr. Ganshirt again…just as cheery and nice as I remember him.

As for an update on Pancake, he is doing very well. He’s beginning to forgive me. 😉 He’s eating well. The medicine he had seems to have given him a little diarrhea, but otherwise, he’s good. But, his appetite is fine, and he is playful and friendly as usual.

We had a good weekend this past weekend, with friends staying at the house most of the time. We saw No Doubt in concert at Summerfest on Thursday, which was awesome.

My boys are sickly :(

Those who follow my tweeting may have seen that the two most important males in my life, DH and Pancake, are both in need of surgery. 🙁

For DH, he is getting a bullectomy. I’d love to link you to a site explaining it, but much googling (and binging) has led me to few if any results. I mean, there’s one site that talks about it in reference to emphysema (which is apparently the most common way to end up with a giant bullae in your lung) or to COPD (other common way), but neither of those apply to DH. DH has a congenital bullae. It is possible that he’s had it for 2 years or 20 years. It’s caused by a weakness in one area of the lung that causes a pocket to form where there shouldn’t be one, hence being common in patients with emphysema (b/c that weakens the lung tissue). It isn’t causing him any immediate breathing problems or stress, but it could burst or become infected (the latter being more likely) at any point and cause him lots of pain and potential lung collapse. The thoracic specialist/surgeon said that if DH were in his 70s, they might not bother with it, but with him being in his 30s, the chances of it becoming bad are higher. So, to remove the large bullae, what they do is go in kind of like they did for my gall bladder (although they won’t blow him up the same way…they’ll collapse his lung and get room to work that way, from what I’ve read…I watched a video of it being done), with camera and instruments. First, before they cut in, they’ll send a camera down his throat and into his lung to verify that it’s where and what they think it is from the cat scan. Then, assuming it is, they’ll do the bullectomy using 3 small incisions for camera and instruments, triangulated to allow them to work without tripping over each other. They’ll basically remove the air from the bullae, and there’s some other bits, too, but the point being, they’ll make it so his lung can inflate fully again. He’ll be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the surgery, and during that time, he’ll have a chest tube. The surgeon said he’d be able to work again in about a week but that it’ll take 3-4 weeks for him to be at 100%. DH and I still need to talk more about the plan for this. He came home for awhile, but he was restless and wanted to go to work. 🙂 So, he’s at the casino now, and he and I will figure out the details later…but surgery is scheduled for 7/6. It’s very likely that I will work remotely from the hospital during that week, though I need to check in with work on that…I may also just take the week off so I don’t have to worry with it, but problem is we have a project milestone that I need to be there for during that week, so…well, point being, it’s a TBD situation.

While DH was finding this out, I was at the vet with Pancake. I’d been neglectful and not taken him in for a checkup for ~18 months. (I’d taken him in because he had a bump on his head during the summer last year, but I hadn’t scheduled a check-up b/c Banfield ticked me off during that visit…and then my work project (now cancelled) kicked in and I lost track of time until now. Point being, I was a bad cat parent. 🙁 ) So, I was taking him a new vet that is a cat-only practice. And around the same time I made the appointment, coincidentally, his breath got really nasty smelling. I’d changed his cat food, so I changed it back, but the really nasty breath persisted, so I asked them to take a good look at his teeth, figuring he probably needed a cleaning and he’s at the age where I might need to start brushing his teeth. But, it was worse than that. He has advanced periodontal disease. His gums are all pus-filled and nasty. He’s already lost two of his small grooming teeth in the front. 🙁 And I feel terrible because if we’d caught this earlier, it’d be better. Plus, he’s probably been in pain, although, as cats do, he’s hiding it. He’s been eating dry food and such, and his appetite is strong and healthy. But, anyways, this is why yearly check-ups are important, because this sort of thing can sneak up on you. He probably had some plaque build-up that just got worse without care and I didn’t realize it. 🙁 Anyways, so he’s getting a full cleaning on Monday and they may have to take his teeth out if any of them have more than 50% decay. The vet said his gums are receding badly, that there’s a bump on his canine teeth that is visible that shouldn’t be visible, so she suspects that he will have some teeth that have to be removed. The good news is that this doesn’t really affect his lifestyle. Even with no teeth, he can still eat both soft and hard food. It may change his face structure a little, but generally, the most important thing is that he won’t be in pain. And I feel like a total jerk, because I let it get to this point, unknowingly, but still. I should have known better, and he should have been seen 6-8 months ago, and maybe we wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Granted, Maggie never needed a cleaning in her life…she had all her teeth when she died, and she never had more than a tiny bit of build-up that the vet cleaned with a little scraper and a regular cat toothbrush…but all cats are different. The vet pointed out that some cats are more susceptible than others. These are excuses, though. I was a bad owner, and Pancake is suffering for it. 🙁 Pancake goes in for dental cleaning and potential (likely) surgery on Monday. He’ll be on antibiotics until then, and he’ll be on painkillers and antibiotics for a week or so afterward. And tonight, he’s having Alaskan salmon.

Speaking of Alaska, some of y’all may know that we were tentatively planning to take a cruise to Alaska in July. We held off on booking to see what happened with DH’s lung thingie. Given things as they are, we’re going to skip the cruise this year. DH will probably be recovered in time, but we don’t want to tempt Finagle’s Law by booking a non-refundable cruise. 🙂

In other news, I’m doing fine! 🙂 Also, it’s too damn hot outside. You may have seen my tweet that my credit cards melted into one congealed mass in my wallet, that I’d left in my car all day while at work. My Dad quipped, “That’s one way to consolidate your credit cards.” 😛 He’s too funny for his own good.

Husband Health

(Just a quick update for folks who might not have gotten word though other channels.)

Issue #1: Black toe. As expected, DH has runner’s toe. Our podiatrist trimmed it down, got rid of the scabby parts, and basically told him to be nice to it for awhile.

Issue #2: Hernia. DH has a mild umbilical hernia behind his bellybutton. (In a strange coincidence, my father had this same problem a month or two ago!) Our surgeon took a look at it and told him that it will gradually get more pronounced, but that it isn’t causing any issues and as such, DH can get it fixed surgically whenever he’s ready.

Issue #3: Strange thingie seen on ER X-Ray. DH had a cat scan done. He had to drink barium milkshakes. He says they were not as bad as he expected, but that the cat scan was not fun. He had to lay really still, and they had put another IV in his arm so they could put dye in his veins, too. DH’s doctor said it looks like he has an air pocket on/in his lung, and he doesn’t know much more beyond that. After that, we spread the word and found out that DH’s brother has sarcoidosis. So, we started thinking it was probably that, since DH does tend to have a niggling cough that lingers every time he gets a cold. However, our surgeon took a look (during the hernia appointment) and thinks it’s not sarcoidosis because it’s filled with air, not pus or fluid. DH is seeing a thoracic surgeon/specialist next Thursday to try to suss out what it actually is. (My googling has led me to suspect a spontaneous pneumothorax, but that’s only because it’s the only similar thing I can find.)

Everybody gets a hospital visit!

Originally, DH and I were going to be doing the LP zoo run this morning. He was going to do the 5K, and I was going to do the 10K. I sprained my ankle earlier this week, so I planned to downgrade to the 5K “fun run/walk” instead of the actual run (which, considering I’ve been sick 3 of the past 4 weeks, made sense all the way around). We went to bed early (for us) last night, at around 11pm.

At midnight, DH woke me up because he was having really bad abdominal pain that was keeping him from being able to sleep. I had him take some Gas-X because he’d had half a low-carb pizza that day, plus sugar-free candy, plus sugar-free cough drops.* But, 30 minutes later, he was still in ridiculous pain and couldn’t lay down without it hurting worse, so we got dressed and got in my car. After one false start at what I thought was a hospital and was actually just an acute care center (and DH wanted a hospital in case he needed surgery), we ended up at the Condell emergency room in Libertyville. It was a really stressful drive. DH was moaning, and I was doing my best to go quickly but not so fast through the speed traps that I’d get pulled over and further slow us down. It was scary. I mean, I wasn’t so scared that I was like, fuck the speed limit…but I was scared that I was making a mistake by not going faster. DH was doing lamaze-ish breathing and stuff. I was worried.

The emergency room admitted him right away. We were in the back within 20 minutes. A doctor came in soon thereafter and poked him much as I had done, and asked him whether he was having a fever or nausea (he wasn’t). Then, she left, and the nurses started checking in. The triage nurse had noted that his blood pressure was high, so they put him on a blood pressure monitor. They put in an IV, which freaked DH out, because he’d never had one before, and he’s not exactly great with the needle stuff in general. (He couldn’t look at my IV when I was in the hospital.) They also took about four vials of blood for testing. Later, we discussed the IV, and we realized he was thinking it was much worse than it is. It’s not like you have a tube the size of the tube you see going into your vein. It’s just a tiny tube, no wider than a needle, in your vein that then has a valve and becomes a bigger tube.

While we were waiting for the tech to come get him for X-rays, he went to the bathroom, and he admitted that he was feeling better after that. Since he was also freaking out about the IV and the associated ouchiness of it, though, he wasn’t sure if that was just negating his tummy trouble. After the X-rays, a nurse came and gave him a bit of morphine. Ten minutes later, he was rambly, not unlike when he’s drunk. 🙂

Then came the long wait. All the testing was in progress, and while a nurse came by periodically just to check in, it was basically just an hour of waiting for news. I had my Kindle to read (Temeraire’s friends are in trouble!), and DH had his iPhone. We alternated between entertaining ourselves and chatting while I held his hand. At around 3:30, the doctor came back and told him that the tests had all come up good. His bloodwork was excellent. She was pretty sure it was just gas, and she prescribed him some stuff to help get it out of his system and warned him to come back if he started having any of a list of symptoms (that were written on a piece of paper).

And, that was it. The nurse went over the instructions with us after taking out the IV. DH got dressed again (he’d only been disrobed from the waist up…well, and he took his shoes off). We headed home, and we sent a message to Ms. Jetson, who was doing the walk with me the next day, to see if she would pick up our race gear for us. Even if DH was feeling better at 6am, neither of us would be in any shape to drive an hour plus to Lincoln Park zoo.

Around 5:30am, the phone rang. It was the hospital. They’d seen something on the X-rays, upon further inspection, that might just be gas or might be a mass of some kind. They want him to get a CAT scan but said it could wait until he’s had a chance to meet with his regular doctor since DH was feeling much better by then. They got his regular doctor’s info from him so they could send the X-rays and concerns over.

So, there still may be something, but considering that, as of now, not only does DH feel fine but he’s arguing with me as to whether he should be allowed to eat his leftover pizza for lunch, it seems that it was just bad gas. 🙂

* Not to be all “I told you so”, but I poked and prodded him in certain key spots, and I told him it was just gas. But, hell, the first time I had really bad gas like that, I thought I was dying, too. And, I only knew about where to check for sensitivity because of my gall bladder incident…they’d poked me trying to figure out appendicitis vs. gall bladder. Anyways, sometimes peace of mind is worth trouble and expense, and in this case, I think it was.

It left me in stitches!

I woke up late today. It was nice to sleep so long, but I had a busy day planned. I put on a sports bra and one of my running skorts, and I grabbed some socks. When I got downstairs, I fed Pancake and settled into the couch to have breakfast before going for a run (more walking than running, but that’s what I call it at any rate). After a much too long time had passed, the doorbell rang. It was the postman dropping off a large package, from my aunt. I read the letter, and she was sending our holiday presents along with some things that had been my grandfather’s that she thought I might like. I grabbed one of my knives and cut open the package. The box was full of plastic bags (for cushioning) and items wrapped in some of the bags.

As I was digging through and pulling things out, I reached into the box and grabbed something that felt really sharp, like grabbing a porcupine or knife. I yelled an expletive and dashed over to the sink. I had blood streaming down my hand and arm, dripping on me and the floor. I rinsed off in the sink in cold water, and it looked like it was just a small cut on my finger, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and started cleaning up the mess. I knelt down on the floor and started wiping up blood drips and washing off the drips on me…and it just seemed like there were so many spots! I kept cleaning and cleaning…and then I realized…I was still bleeding. The blood had soaked through the wrapped up paper towel and had drizzled down my hand to form all those drops on the floor.

Eek! So, I rinsed the cut again and realized it was still bleeding profusely. I wrapped it tightly and applied pressure, raising it over my head. I consulted the in-house doctor (aka the internet), and I couldn’t find anything that definitely told me whether I should be really worried. Finally, I found one site that said that if your skin wasn’t staying together on its own, you should go to the emergency room. I looked (which made it bleed profusely again, as soon as I removed the pressure) and the skin was definitely gaping a little.

Right, then. I ran upstairs to get some medical gauze pads. I wrapped one of those around the finger in place of the purple party napkin that I was using at that point. I tried to get a rubber band to hold it in place, but that didn’t work, so I held it tight with my thumb. Then, I tossed on a shirt, and I grabbed my purse and a coat. I’d left my keys in B*’s car last night, so I had to retrieve the spare set. (My DH was at work, so I was home alone.) I awkwardly drove over to the nearby urgent care center.

The attendant at the window gave me a form to fill out, but I had hurt my right hand, so I couldn’t write. She ended up filling out the forms for me, but I still had to sign the waivers. I signed with my left hand, so it was illegible. I might as well have just made an X. She told me that there were 4 people ahead of me and to go wait unless I started feeling faint. At this point, the bleeding had slowed, so I wasn’t too worried. I sat down in the waiting area. A call had come in on my cellphone while we were doing the forms, and it was Ms. Moo. She was in Third Lake (not far from Gurnee) performing in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is how the conversation went when I called her back:

Ms Moo: Hey sweetie!
Me: Hello. (pause) What’s up?
Ms. Moo: What’s wrong? Are you okay?

Seriously…three words, and she knew something must be wrong…and I was relatively calm, I thought. I explained what had happened, and she said she was coming to where I was right then, and no protesting on my part could stop her. 🙂 She rocks. 🙂

Granted, I wasn’t spewing blood any more, so I was beginning to feel silly for going in. But, then I soaked through my gauze and had to get more gauze from the desk attendant. (One thing I learned from the internet: don’t remove the gauze or paper towel or whatever if you can help it…just add layers…because every time you remove it, the clotting stuff gets removed along with it. That’s one thing I screwed up at first.) Around an hour and a half later, I finally was taken back to the back. In the interim, Ms. Moo entertained me. We laughed and chatted so much that, aside from me having ten layers of gauze on my finger, you might think nothing was wrong with me.

When I got back, the nurse tutted over the fact that I’d been waiting so long, given that I was actively bleeding. Then, she cleaned up my finger with saline and asked me to rate my pain (1 to 2…it wasn’t hurting too much, just bleeding). I gave a brief medical history, and she put a wet compress on my finger and made me comfy in the little bed.

It was the same bed that my toenail was removed in,back in November, 2003. 🙂 But, this time, instead of my DH holding my hand, Ms. Moo was holding my hand and keeping me sane. The doctor came in to take a look, and she initially said it was no big deal, no sutures needed…but then she looked a bit closer and got concerned. She said I could get sutured or I could just get glued, but she thought the sutures would do a better job given that the cut was on the fleshy part of my finger and it was fairly deep. I opted for sutures.

They refreshed my tetanus shot, just in case. (My tetanus was 9 years old.) They also positioned my arm in like twenty layers of fabric with a special finger-isolating hole in it. Then, the doctor got me numb. It hurt like bloody hell when the needle went in, but it didn’t take long for it to numb up and stop hurting. I looked at it, and it looked bright white and swollen. It was really freakish looking, but I couldn’t feel anything. Then, she started sewing. I didn’t watch that part. I intentionally looked at Ms. Moo and she talked to me about other, unrelated things to keep me distracted.

I ended up with three stitches. They’re black and look like little bugs. They coated it with neosporin and wrapped my finger in a band-aid. I have to keep it dry for the next two days, then do a checkup, then get the stitches removed in ten days.

Ms. Moo came home with me. She brought me a chicken sandwich and a McDonald’s toy. (It’s a bobble-headed frog!) We watched TV together all afternoon. I should be doing homework right now, but I need to get this story out of my system first. Typing is a bitch. I’m using my other two fingers for what that finger usually does. It’s my birdie-finger, by the way.

It hurts to press on the finger, but aside from that, it’s doing fine. The tetanus shot arm will probably hurt tomorrow, though, and that’s my other arm.

Time Travel

As many of you have noticed, the blog has gone back in time to catch up on posts from our (very awesome, wanna go back NOW) Disney trip. As such, I skipped over quite a few events that would normally warrant a blog post. I don’t want to spend another month re-capping, so below is a one paragraph, catch-all summary of the things that were, January 2009. As is fitting for anything dealing with time travel, I shall start with Lost

Lost is back on! Desmond’s baby named Charlie, the others speak Latin, woohoo! B* made me a cake with a Dharma logo. It was delicious…disappeared very quickly, did Ben turn the wheel, shift cake through time? Obama officially president, yay! Didn’t care about inauguration until the day it was on, then was sad I couldn’t watch live and had to work instead. Re-org’d at work into new group but otherwise similar. Got one estimate for the pipe burst repairs from the guy(s) who did our basement, liked their work, but the painting estimate alone was higher than was to paint whole basement. Something smells funny in Denmark, yo. Business name is of the form, [name] the [job]er…which led to Joe-the-plumber, bob-the-builder joking between DH and I. DH has been working odd hours at his second job. Very stressful. Ran Survivor at Mensa AGOG. Had to scramble to get to the minimum ten to play, but once we got there, it was AWESOME. Everyone had bonzer good time. Yay. Knee has been hurting alot lately. Also, period has been irregular. (Not related.) WTF is up with me? Wish knee would stop hurting. But yet, I will be going skiing on Saturday, yay! And knee can just suck on that, thank you very much. Pancake continues to be adorable kitteh. Races me up the stairs. I almost won last night, but only because he let me have a 5 step head start. Thought L4D was an evil time suck, but then Mr. Moo introduced me to Braid, which now is on my bedroom xbox (not mytsukata gamertag). Damn you, Mr. Moo! Got special L4D achievement last night for blowing the witch’s head off, Cr0wnd! Sweet. So cold outside. But weather Saturday promises to be ski-awesome. Found giant and strange fruit at the store, called Pomelo, is huge and we could kill a small child with it, but we won’t. Instead, will eat. Also got some honey tangerines. Enjoying finding and trying out new fruits. Finished second term of class, am 12.5% done with MBA. Group project ended much better than it started. Next term, taking two classes: Effective Leadership *coughbullshitcough* and Negotiations & Conflict Management (win win win). Hoping negotiations will make me awesome at negotiation such that I can help Mensa with hotel negotiation stuff. Will speak quietly so they have to lean in, then will change meeting location suddenly without notice…then will threaten to kill their daughter. 🙂 Oh and how did Frogurt’s shirt fit Sawyer? Nonsense.

First Lostie to catch the embedded (very subtle) clue in the style of Lost gets something nifty, though I’m not sure what. Adoration? That’s nifty, right?

Of fillings and fun

Yesterday, I had to go to the dentist for a filling. I had a cavity between two teeth. It was a very tiny cavity that showed up on my last set of X-rays (taken earlier this month). Fillings are theoretically not much fun, but my dentist is awesome as a dentist and she’s a friend to boot, so there’s actually some fun to going to her office no matter the reason.

I’d scheduled the appointment to be next to my DH’s regular cleaning, so we could both go out to lunch with dentist-friend and her husband (who is also her office manager) afterward. So, DH and I arrived around the same time (albeit in separate cars as we had separate destinations afterward). I got called in first so they could start getting me numb.

Those who have been following my tweets know that I’m sick. I’d warned my dentist that I was sick, and she said so long as I felt like I could lay back on the chair and still be able to breathe, I was okay to come in. I was able to do that, but it also meant I gagged easier than normal, so they couldn’t use the little shieldy thing on my mouth and instead had to use a suction.

Oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself. My dentist has a cool new (well, new to me because she didn’t have it for my last cavity…which admittedly was at least a couple years ago) thingy for delivering anesthesia. It’s a wand that has a computer sending the anesthetic instead of an injection. It was AWESOME. You know how normally, even with topical put on first, you get this pinch and then it feels like your capillaries are exploding or something? None of that. If she hadn’t told me she was numbing me and that I might feel a pinch, I wouldn’t have felt anything. Well, my dentist also knows that redheads need more anesthesia, so she gave me an extra dose, which is standard procedure for a filling for me with her. (And honestly, it explains in part why I hated my fillings as a kid so much and went into a bit of emotional shock afterward, usually remedied by an hour of Wolfenstein 3D…I was in pain, but I thought it was normal. I didn’t know to ask for more anesthetic, and I bet I needed it then, too.) Then they left me alone for a bit before coming back to start the process. Buzz buzz buzz…drill drill drill…OUCH! I made an ouch noise, and my dentist immediately pulled out and stopped and dosed me up again. A few minutes go by and then she comes back…drill drill drill, buzz buzz buzz…switch to different drilly thing…buzz buzz OUCH! That time it was a worse ouch, too…I almost cried. Well, my dentist (being awesome) stopped again, dosed me again, and said that if it didn’t work this time, they’d just put in a temporary filling for what had happened already and have me come back in a couple of weeks, as her guess was that my cold was causing the anesthetic to wear off and/or not work even more than normal. But, sure enough, not long after that, I was right as rain, couldn’t feel a thing, and we were done before I knew it.

She took pictures of the cavity, and it was really cool to look at. So, the cavity looked really small on the outside, but inside, it was a bigger hole (another possible reason that it hurt more than anticipated). It was on a tooth that isn’t that big to begin with, and it had formed a little burrow inside my tooth. I can’t get over how awesome it was to see my tooth’s insides on the big screen. I could have watched on the TV while she was doing it, but I’m not that brave, and I do know that I have excellent pain imagination. That is, if you tell me I’m going to hurt, I will hurt, whether you actually hurt me or not. So, if I’m watching stuff happen, it will hurt me more than it would if I don’t watch.

Anyways, I’m wondering if the build-up of cold meds in my system for the past couple of days (I hadn’t taken any for 12 hours before my appointment just in case) had caused me to be running faster than normal, so my system processed the anesthetic faster or something. I honestly think it was wearing off faster than normal. My appointment was done at noon, and I was completely un-numb by 3pm. Even when I’ve had the normal-for-me dose, I remember being numb for several hours after, and I had twice the normal-for-me dose (4x the normal dose) before I was done. I had a lopsided smile at lunch, and had to eat and drink with the other side of my mouth. 🙂

After our appointments, we got to pick prizes from the prize cabinet. I got a little thingie for my dear Moo, and my DH got a pocket tape measure (which will come in handy, I think!). We had a really fun lunch, too, as always. 🙂 Today, I have a nifty filling that I can feel with my tongue.

Colposcopy

So, in a little more than an hour, the evil doctor people will potentially be snipping away a piece of my dear cervix for testing and such.

DO. NOT. WANT. 🙁

Edited to add at 5:21pmCT: Well, I’m a big ol’ wuss is what I am. I was afraid over nothing. Granted, I took two happy pills before I went, but even so, I felt pressure and discomfort…but no actual pain. They didn’t snip anything though. Doc said my cervix looked spiffy, so there was no need to biopsy. They did a repeat swabbing to test again just to be sure, but most likely, it was an anomaly of having had mega-sex the night before my last pap. Told doc about that, btw, and that I’d never known…and she said, “Yeah, most people don’t.” and she seemed to be in a hurry, so I didn’t pester her with my question, “WHY DON’T YOU TELL THEM???” 😛 Besides, she seemed cool and was very nice to me with my terror and whinging.

Good news from the world of medicine

  • Visited doctor today. He says it looks like I’m healing up fine and to basically just use the Prilosec OTC as needed, if needed, going forward, but to know that it takes around 3 days for it to start working. He said if I just need immediate relief, something like Pepcid might be a better solution.
  • Today’s experimental food was pizza for lunch. It was not the best pizza in the world, but it was a good test, with lots of cheese and a greasy crust. All seems to be well with the tummy (and all the subsequent parts).
  • Got call back from my NP at the gyn office. My test results from the pap and repeat HPV test came back. The HPV is all gone (as expected), but the pap did come back abnormal, so they’re going to biopsy my cervix as well as look at it under a microscope. Ouch! That won’t be fun, but better safe than sorry, right? Also, she said that quite often, the abnormal cells tend to get absorbed or re-built by the body anyways, and even if not initially, the biopsy process can help trigger the body to do it. Nonetheless, it’s important to get it checked out, because if it is something nasty, the early knowledge is better.

Edited to add: Did you know that having sex 24 hours prior to a pap can cause the pap to be abnormal? DH and I had gone at it like bunnies the night before. That’s probably all this is. I can’t believe that in 14+ years of seeing a gynecologist/NP and getting annual paps, NONE of them ever told me that I should avoid sex 24 hours beforehand. When you get a blood test that requires fasting, they warn you not to eat. Why in the world would they not warn you about this? So, I’m saying it here, as a PSA.

Happy Night

OMG, what a difference a good bout of sleep makes!

I have not been sleeping very well, despite my wedge pillow and despite being exhausted. I went upstairs last night at 11:30pm. My DH was at the casino; as I’m now thoroughly mobile and mostly off of the vicoprofen, I gave him the night off. (He brought me groceries on his lunch break so that I could eat. Of all the things I thought to do before I went in for surgery, grocery shopping was not one of them.) I started arranging the pillows and experimenting to find a good position that might let me sleep better. You see, the problem is that I’m a side and stomach sleeper, and I can’t sleep on my side or stomach right now because it hurts. I end up sleeping on my back restlessly and unhappily. Well, I pulled off all the pillows and just put myself on the wedge pillow, and that seemed good…but then my arms were not comfortable (as they hang off of the wedge pillow), so I bolstered them with pillows, and that seemed good. Keep in mind that each of these experiments required me getting up out of bed, re-arranging, getting back in bed…so every time I got it wrong, I had to move around and it hurt…mostly because I’m impatient and not willing to go as slow as would be needed to avoid hurting. While I’ve figured out a good fast way to get up from the couch (with the assistance of the TV tray rack), I have not found a good way to get out of our elevated bed, short of the slither method previously discussed.

After making my good pillow arrangement, I curled up in bed and eventually dozed off. For some reason, Sarah Palin was haunting me while I tried to sleep. Bitch. 🙂 But I did eventually sleep…until about 3am. I woke up at 3am and my back and neck were drenched in sweat. I guess the wedge pillow by itself is either overinsulating or is not absorbent or something, as the room was very cool. That felt gross, so I had to get up. I didn’t want to go back to sleep on the wet wedge pillow, so I started trying to find other ways to sleep. I tried just laying flat on my back, but that hurt. I tried both sides (again), but that hurt. Finally, I decided to give up and go downstairs, as I know that I can sleep somewhat comfortably on my back on the couch (with my head propped on a pillow on the couch arm). I’d be sleeping on the couch all the time, but the separation between the chair parts makes my back hurt after awhile.

I took some vicoprofen, deciding being painfree was needed at this point more than being off of it. I got two blankets, one to put under me and the comfy blanket to put over me. I closed up all the window shades and set up two bed pillows on the couch in the right position. Somewhere around there, I realized that there were lights on that I had not left on, which meant Scott was probably home. Sure enough, I called down into the basement, and he answered. I guess one bonus of a restless night is that I get to see my dear husband. 🙂 He came upstairs, as he was restless, and we briefly discussed the possibility of sex (something we often do to try to get to sleep, solo or duet), but there’s no way I could manage it without hurting right now. Instead, I laid down on the couch, and he sat at the other end and rubbed my feet and legs while he talked to me about political craziness (to get it off his mind). Eventually, he was settled down enough to go upstairs, and I was beginning to doze.

But, that’s not the best part. The best part is that just after he went upstairs, I was still having trouble getting comfortable, and I decided to try laying on my non-punctured side, facing the couch back. And voila! A comfortable sleeping position! The couch has a poofy pillowed part that I kind of embraced and leaned against, which put the requisite pressure on my belly to keep it from stretching and thus hurting. I put a couch pillow between my legs to help straighten my back out, and I was out like a light. I slept and drooled happily until about a half hour ago, albeit with a brief waking break when DH left for work, to kiss him goodbye and tell him about my dreams.

Dreaming was another thing I’d missed. I’d been so restless that I wasn’t dreaming, at least not that I could remember. These dreams were particularly interesting, too, but I’ll save that for a separate post. 🙂 For now, just know that I’m feeling MUCH better this morning thanks to an almost full night of sleep. 🙂

Flowers and more!

I got packages yesterday! Specifically, I got a box of a dozen mini-cheesecakes from my MIL and FIL. I also got a flower arrangement with teddy and balloon from my parents. 🙂 Thank you, moms, dads, and toms! 🙂

(On the left are the flowers that my DH got for me upon arrival. In the center is a card from Cousin S. (DH’s side of the family). On the right are the flowers from my parents.)

And if you click the link just below this, you can see a small picture of my punctured belly. It’s not gross; I’m including it mainly because it’s amazing how tiny the cuts are when you think about it. 🙂 As for status, I’m doing fine. I spent most of today without internet access. It just came back about ten minutes ago, so I’m catching up on e-mail and world happenings. 🙂

Continue reading “Flowers and more!”

Poop of Joy

I pooped! 🙂 Yeah, I know…potential TMI and whatnot, but when pooping is your main way to know that your digestive system is intact and happy with the changes that have occurred, it’s a joyous thing. First post-surgery poop happened just a little while ago, and I’m thus excited.

I had trouble sleeping through the night. I’m not drugged enough to be exhausted anymore, and I’m not sleeping in my preferred position. DH was kind enough to go fetch me a wedge pillow so that I could sleep sitting up a little (which is the most comfortable position for me right now). So, that part was good and helped…but I kept having to fight the urge to roll over on my belly (as I normally sleep). I made an attempt to sleep on the non-punctured side this morning, but it wasn’t comfortable.

I also was waking up at roughly the intervals that they woke me up at the hospital, so I’m sure there’s some kind of habit there. Slithering out of bed is an adventure in itself. I found the best way is to get as close to the edge of the bed as possible, then slide my legs over to the floor, and slip out of bed such that I basically slide out into a squat. Then, I use the wall to help myself into a standing position and go from there. That seems to minimize the amount of ab work. It does stretch me at one point that is ouchy, but I just try to make that part go by quickly.

DH is back at work today. I’ve created a nest here on the sofa on the first floor. I have computer, Kindle, blanket, Wii controller (and Super Mario Galaxy as well as Lost Winds available to me), water, and my phone. I’ll probably alternate between dozing and other things.

Oh, and getting up from the couch is also an adventure. The procedure is to scoot over to the non-reclined area, then perform a similar sliding maneuver to the bed-exit strategy. 🙂

I’m holey!

Specifically, I have four holes that are roughly in this formation:

-
- -
-

They’re like dashes. My surgeon today said that the stitches are all on the inside. All I see on the outside is tape over a cut. I’m to leave the tape alone until it falls off naturally. I can shower today and basically go about my normal eating and doing business, as much as I can manage.

My night in the hospital was interesting. As a few folks warned me, I didn’t really get to sleep through the night. They came in about every 2 hours to check my vitals and see if I needed anything. (Most often, I needed to pee , which required help to get to and from the bathroom with the IV tower…and since I had to pee into a tray on the toilet so they could make sure I was putting out what I was taking in, it was a bit of an art form to get centered on the tray.) They had massage thingies wrapped around my legs to make sure my blood didn’t clot since wouldn’t be moving as much. My magic button was clipped to the front of my gown, and I slept with my sleepy mask on, when I slept.

For dinner last night, I had a “clear fluid” meal, which was a fruity ice popsicle, warm chicken broth, decaf tea with sugar and lemon, orange jello, and water. This morning, my nurse told me to make sure to order breakfast early because they wanted me to have some solid food in my system before they switched me over to vicodin instead of the morphine drip. When I called the room service line, though, they said my meal had already been ordered. I shrugged it off as my befuddled head misunderstanding the nurse, but it turns out that the night nurse was supposed to cancel the clear fluid meal order and never did…so I got a clear fluid breakfast of almost the same stuff except a lemon italian ice instead of the popsicle. It was still tasty, and my throat is still really sore from the breathing tube, so I didn’t really mind. But, the nurse was upset and got it taken care of ASAP…so that about an hour later, I had a bacon and tomato omelet and a banana on my tray. In that hour wait, my surgeon and anesthesiologist stopped by to check on me. I thanked both of them, and my surgeon said I was all clear to leave, so he started the checkout process. The process took another hour or so.

As of right now, I can walk around, slowly. It hurts to sit down or get up from sitting down, but once I’m in any position, it doesn’t hurt much to stay in that position. There’s two types of pain, too…I have the abdominal soreness that most closely equates to how you feel if you do way too many sit-ups…and I have a stinging/burning that comes from the incisions if they get jiggled or stretched.

Trying to keep Pancake from jumping on my belly without offending him terribly is proving to be a challenge. He really wants to be near me right now, but I’m very nervous about him hurting me without meaning to do so.

My DH just went out to get us some lunch and pick up my prescriptions. 🙂

That’s all the news I have.

Live from Room 2010, it’s Tsukata!

I’m awake! My DH is here with me. He is feeding me ice chips on demand. I am very demanding. I was really freaked out before the surgery. I cried a lot. But I told the nurses, or rather, I bawled in front of them, and they gave me a valium. Then, we watched “Weeds” until it was time. I had to go to the bathroom one last time and then they took me into the hall. I saw DH in the room packing up the computer and I told the nurse and the anastesiologist that we had to wait for him. They said “Of course”, and that’s the last thing I remember. We had asked the doctor and the anastesiologist to give me an amnesiac so I wouldn’t remember going into the O.R. It worked as promised and I’m very glad they did it.

Then, I woke up in the recovery area and they told me that it was over. I did not believe them, but then I felt some pain and then I believed them. It feels like really bad stinging. They gave me some pain meds to make it stop stinging and about an hour later, they wheeled me to my room. I had to very carefully move myself by scooting from one bed to the other. I have a button to push when it hurts. Only I get to push the button. I push da button. Not you push da button. I push da button. My nurse has a cool duck (the wing is used both for day surgery and pediatrics). I’m going to be OK. I have a view of fall leaves from my window. I have my frog, Henri, and my dear husband is here, and that is awesome.

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes. I love that I have such good friends and family that love me.

(transcribed, with love, by DH)

Surgery Complete!

Guest post from DH: The owner of this blog would like you to know that she is in recovery from gallbladder surgery and doing fine. I won’t be able to see her for another hour or so, but I’m very glad everything went ok. More soon, as I will have DW transcribe an offline post for me to put up later. It turns out that the surgery waiting rooms have wi-fi here, but not the hospital rooms. Off to call individuals…

Gall be gone

I will be checking into the hospital at roughly 1pm on Monday. There’s some pre-op stuff, and then I’ll be under and getting air poofed into my belly like a blowfish. My DH will get to see me for a little bit that evening once I’m awake from anesthesia, and then I’ll be sleeping at the hospital for observation that night. I’ll be on an IV of pain meds throughout the evening. I will also get the fun task of rating my pain on the 1-10 scale. To steal from a comedian whose name I don’t recall, I hear that breaking your femur is the worst pain you can experience, so I don’t want to say 10…and then there’s giving birth, so you don’t want to say 9…maybe an 8? We’ll see. 😉

A nurse from Lake Forest called to go over everything and take down my relevant medical info (e.g., special dietary needs, do I snore). She said that I’ll be sore, but that there’s a special pain that I might get. Because they poof me up like a blowfish, they have to aspirate out all that air. (Aspirate is a fancy word for suck, by the way, and “aspirate out” may be a redundancy…I’m not sure. At any rate, I plan to start saying that things aspirate mightily, as needed.) It is possible that some air will get left behind and will migrate for awhile around my organs before escaping. This can lead to (as she put it) frightening pain in the chest region. So, if I feel that, I’m supposed to call a nurse immediately and have them dope me up so that I don’t feel it anymore. Apparently, it doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, patients can panic and hurt themselves because they don’t know what it is.

I’m scared, by the way, but I’m suppressing it. I know that Monday morning, I may be a bit of a wreck. I cried the night before I went to get my teeth out for braces, but not before I got my wisdom teeth out. The braces teeth were more scary because I wasn’t going under for that, and I was afraid I’d feel it or be traumatized. Also, the braces teeth were right up front where everyone could see, so if something went wrong, it was going to be very obvious.

Aside: Grilled chicken breast with mesquite seasoning on cinnamon raisin bread is yummy.

My DH is taking Monday afternoon and Tuesday all day off to hang out with me. I’ve heard from quite a few folks who have had this surgery, and they’ve all said that by the day after going home, I’ll be close to normal, except feeling like I did too many sit-ups. I hope it is that simple and that I heal well.

I got my work project in a good place, so that’s happy. There’s also folks set up to fill in for me while I’m out. I shouldn’t end up having to think about work until I’m ready, which is a good thing. It seems a bit like making a mountain out of a molehill with all the prep I’ve done.

Things to do in the house this weekend:

  • Do and put away ALL laundry: I mean it. All of it. Sheets, everything.
  • Bring my “travel kit” downstairs (toothbrush, hairbrush, etc.) in case I can’t manage the stairs on Tuesday
  • Clean litter.
  • Return key to catsitter: long story, but one worth telling.
  • Make pudding (I have milk I need to use up)
  • Put out sheets on Monday for the cleaning service, which kindly rescheduled from Tuesday to Monday for me so that, if I can make it to bed, the bed is clean and nice. Put check out, too.