Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Art of Mending

So I've been trying a new diet this week, it's called 96 hours without food or drink. I haven't had a chance to see the results, but I don't really recommend it. Although if you can work in a major surgery during the diet, it will take your mind off the hunger. 

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. 


  1. Looking good! Glad to hear you're mending, and that you're getting at least a few good nurses. I'll try to get a blog post up today just for you!

  2. So, the patting the knee thing and dirty underwear wasn't in a good way, eh? Damn. And it can be so much fun sometimes!

  3. Darling, I send a kiss for the bobo to make it all better. Be strong, get well. And, may I say, that's a lovely picture of you, too, even if you are a girl.

  4. For not being washed, you look pretty good lady! I really hope you recover quickly and feel better soon. It's no fun to be in the hospital but particularly crappy when it's the holidays.

  5. aww. you poor, poor baby. i wish i was there to ply you with whisky shots, foot rubs and naked men.

    and maybe some baby wipes.

    i'm glad you're on the mend at least.

  6. I've ordered some Aveda girls to come give you a special makeover while you're there. And some guy named Raul to do the leg massages.

    Feel better, LSL!

  7. Um, lying horizontally for days on end isn't a normal position? Seriously? 'Cuz that's how I've rolled for years.

    You can ask santa for your pressure boots for Christmas. They actually sell those suckers! Or just steal them when you leave. Say you thought it was like shampoo bottles at a hotel.

    But srsly, health and healing to you! Does not sound like a good time at all. Oy.

  8. Get well soon! But selfishly, is it *totally* evil to say, I'm glad you have more time to post? :)

    Also -- did you say that it was in fact kidney stones? What prompted the laproscopic incisions?

  9. Yeah, that's confusing. I had tons of gallstones, so they took out the gallbladder. They also suspected that I passed a kidney stone during my stay due to the location of some of the pain. Double the pleasure, double the fun!

    Thanks for the nice notes, guys. I really appreciate your comments.

  10. Gallstones AND kidneystones? You take your stones seriously!

    Doctors, like people, can actually be a bit insecure talking to virtual strangers, but these days they should be better trained to mask it.

    At least he tries. Just this week I was remembering my old family doctor and ear, nose & throat specialist. Neither of which had such problems. They were old school and talked down at you and expected you to be comforted by the fact that they knew best.

    I liked the joke.

  11. Aww honey. I'm still trying to get my head around you being in hospital. I don't read blogs for a week and the first post of yours I read is about your stay in hospital. Well looking at the photo you seem like you're doing okay. Sounds painful though. Thinking of you from this side of the world. Audrey Hepburn once called it (Aus) the "arse end of the world". :)

  12. OMG, just read your blog for the first time! I love it. Must dig in. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  13. Finally finish reading your post. Every time I open it up someone here ask me to do something for them. What do I guy has to do to read some blog here at work!

    Anyway, glad to hear you're recovering and making me laugh with your sense of humor even at the hospital.

    PS: Blog updated, just for you :D

    PPS: Please legalize gay marriage when you're the president.

  14. OK I am a really bad friend :( . Sorry for not checking my Google reader, if I had I would have heard all about this until now. But I must say for being in otherworldly pain and being in te Hospital you you mighty good. Speedy recovery to you and I will be sending good thoughts and prayers wishes Etc Etc you way !!!

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  16. I'm glad to hear everything went well. I'm having a bit of a health problem too - no fun to do it in a foreign language. However, I hear ya on how hard it can be to sleep in a hospital.

  17. Oh wow, that's no good!! I hope you're feeling better soon. (And you should go get yourself a nice facial when you do feel better, because you totally deserve it!!)

  18. I missed the pic. :( Would you be so kind as to email it to me...? Thank you for the text yesterday; did you get my voicemail?? So glad you were with your sis on Christmas, and I hope you're feeling much better! Love you!