I did have a good nights sleep two nights ago, but that's been the only one, so adding to all the other things I'm feeling - dehydrated, disoriented, bummed out, in pain from the incisions - is the constant shakes of sleep deprivation. I should have tried harder to sleep overnight; the difference in noise level at the hospital between 3:00 AM and 3:00 is crazy. But I've just tried to go with the flow and not force anything. My roomie goes for her procedure in a few hours, and although I've been blessed with a good roomie, I suspect I'll have 1/2 the number of normal interruptions while she's away. I'm going to try to sleep then.
My doctor came in for my three-minute speed round post-surgical consult a few minutes ago. He talked as fast as an auctioneer (though not with the same cadence) and told me about twenty do's and don'ts. I kept trying to repeat them back to him to make sure I didn't get them mixed up, but he speaks without taking breaths, so I was just talking while he was talking and missing more do's and don'ts. When he walked away I immediately flipped open my MacBook and started writing down things he said. I got this one first: the yellow stuff won't come off with steel wool, so don't try it. Nice. I remembered a like joke he made. That will help me.
When he was spewing information, he started patting my knee, which I had mixed feelings about. I knew he was doing it to counteract the cold manner and speed in which he was speaking, and while I hate to be a party to my own manipulation, it was quite comforting.
I feel a sick compulsion to mention that I haven't washed my hair or changed my underwear since Monday. I've probably brushed my teeth, poorly, twice in that time. I have scabs, I guess from being a mouth-breather during the procedure - on my lips, and my nose is getting kind of gross with the oxygen nosepiece. All of that to say, come a little closer and give me a big kiss.
It would be nice if Aides had the time to help with anything personal at all. A good face-scrubbing could do wonders for my spirits. I understand that they don't. I've had four great Nurses and Aides and scores of mediocre or terrible ones. My first night here I waited over two hours to use a bed pan because no one responded to my call button. It seems like a really hard job. But being a patient isn't that easy, either.
When I came out of surgery last night the night Nurse told me I should wrap my arms around a pillow or something to apply pressure to my stomach, where the five incisions are, every time I had to move around. Then she said, "Just a minute" and left the room to return a few minutes later with a blanket wrapped up into a rectangle, taped with wide surgical tape, and written on it in thick black marker, HUG ME. There are smiley faces on either side of the message. I love it. I've been hugging it all night. (She's one of the good nurses, and I wrote her name down to thank her later. Yes, you heard me, I'm keeping a list of who's been naughty and who's been nice.)
I need to mention my space booties. Since the op I've worn these great knee-high wraps that massage my legs, and, I assume, work to get the blood circulating back up to my heart since lying horizontally for days on end isn't a natural position. They're wonderful. It starts at the ankle and they slowly work their way up my leg applying pressure, kind of like a massage. I probably woke up ten times at least last night wondering who was grabbing my ankle before the pressure continued up the leg, but I love them. I need to think of a way to trick someone into doing this manually when I'm released.
I think all this means I'm on the mend. Thanks for your well-wishes, friends. I still don't know that many people in NY, and it was very nice to receive your little messages. I have a friend who shouldn't be called a friend, he should be called Superman, flying up to stay with me for a couple of nights to make sure I'm ok. He arrives at 3:00 tomorrow. I'm so anxious for him to arrive.
Last night before going under, I was e-mailing my mom and remembered that my MacBook has a Photo Booth application. I asked a random person in the room to tie my hair back, opened PB and snapped a picture that I thought a far-away mom with a daughter in the hospital would want to see - one where I look as cheery as possible. If you've been reading this far, you deserve a look. I'll take it down later, as I don't want an Internet picture scandal to interfere with my 2024 Presidential bid. Thanks, guys. Please keep up the blog postings this week. I have a lot of reading time on my hands.