Back amongst the living
Never have I felt so introverted and withdrawn from my old life, from day-to-day society even. It’s not a good feeling. When this is allowed to continue for a few weeks, a person can start feeling less than whole. What feels like a month or more to me actually has been, as all the pre-op jitters I had beforehand had really started to get to me. For at least a week and a half before surgery I could barely eat. I skipped breakfast and lunch at work, and the few bites I ate for dinner were forced in a subconscious effort to keep myself going. I go back to work on Monday. What seems to have lasted a month has actually been a record two weeks. I’m eager to get back to work, which in essence is a huge part of my ‘normal life’. So for now I’m back… at least in written form. As of today I have 264 unread emails. I’ve really missed reading everyone’s thoughts and posting every now and then.
Of course me being me, the surgery couldn’t go off without a hitch or two. The night and day afterwards my blood pressure dropped to an alarming rate. Each time a ‘team’ of about 8-10 people rushed in, which can totally make a person forget how bound up their bowels are. In all seriousness, it brought back memories of my late grandmother and uncle, who had that same type of team rush in as their own BP plummeted. There was a concern of fluid on my lungs and/or a heart problem, so various tests were ordered including x-rays, labwork and an EKG (I was actually grateful to get the EKG since it’s been about ten years since my last one). With the exception of a high white cell count, the tests came out fine. Come to find out later, either the buildup of medicines I’m on for high blood pressure, the administration of morphine, or possibly a combination of the two was the culprit for the BP nosedives. For the duration of the next week I was kept off my BP meds. Two days after I was released, the nausea set in – of course this came after I bragged about being one of the women who didn’t get sick. Along with the post-surgery pain, I knew my fluid buildup was becoming a serious issue. My ankles looked like thighs and my feet resembled pillows – it was literally cracking my skin on the top of my feet I was so swelled. I couldn’t breathe well or even take in more than a shallow breath. On my second trip back to the doctor that week, I was told ‘Oh yes! You need to resume taking your BP meds immediately!’. I provided a gentle reminder that on Monday I’d been told to hold off on all BP meds until further instructed – Keith was sitting beside me in the exam room and remembers this very well. Bottom line, I was off the meds I urgently needed for nearly a damn week. Pardon my uber-long, exasperated sigh.
That Saturday, one day after I started back on my normal BP med regimen, almost all of the fluid was gone and I could breathe easily again. I don’t even want to even consider what being off of them for another day or two might’ve done to me (the word stroke does come to mind). If I’d ever doubted before how important those medicines are to me I never will again. They are literally my lifeline, and it’s scary to contemplate any natural disaster or other happening mandating my existence without them. Millions of people with different healthcare scenarios are in the same situation, having to depend on prescription medicines for their very existence. It’s yet another stark reminder of the healthcare crisis we’re dealing with in America, as so many individuals are having to do without or not getting the care or medicines they need in order to survive. Just thinking about it boggles my mind. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones, for now at least.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a complete BS post, so I figure I’m about due. Forgive me in advance for my rambling.
My new boy Mojo has been keeping me busy. When I get home in the afternoon, my time belongs to him – I often don’t start dinner until Keith gets home (sometimes not even then). I’m completely okay with this. There’s always an adjustment period for any new member of your family, as well as for you. The time he mandates is so worth it and he’s such a sweet boy. I’m ever so glad he found me. 🙂
In a little over a week I’ll be having surgery (a word I don’t much care for). Anyway, I made the decision to have a hysterectomy. I’m not one who feels the need to keep female ‘things’ hush, so I’m not embarrassed to talk about the type of surgery it is. What I will say is I’m silently terrified at the concept. I hate that it’s turning into this, and I’m trying real hard to hide it from most people. The closer it gets, the more I’m thinking about it – my stomach is torn up and burning and I’m a nervous wreck. I know everything will be okay and my doctor is great, but this old mind just won’t let it go and it’s just consuming my thought process. Wish I could just fast-forward to recovery and all these pre-op worries would be gone. I have several friends who have gone through it and they tell me it’s nothing. I trust when they tell me this, and can only hope I am as strong as they are. I guess I don’t have any choice – I’ll just have to be.
My big beef is having to be out of work for a couple of weeks – and I would never have agreed to it if it were the formerly mandated six weeks. Now it’s actually four, but in my line of work I’m told I should be able to return in two. Apart from family, my job is everything to me. It’s the reason I eat, drive, and have a warm bed to sleep in. Additionally, it’s something I respect and will never take for granted. If you’ve ever been screwed over by an employer of long tenure and are lucky enough to find something a hundredfold better, a place that actually appreciates you back – you won’t wish to be out. To me it’s about surrendering this huge part of my life, of my familiarity. Might sound corny, but that’s just how it is. Even contemplating being out of work gets me emotional and I’m not a big fan of emotional. Maybe I need to try some yoga.
As of last night, Dad’s surgery is supposed to take place some time today. He’s been hospitalized again ever since last Thursday after a brief night of hell at home. I’m hoping they can go ahead and get this thing taken care of so he can get back home, recover, and go back to living his life. He told me last night that he knows this whole thing has been a mess – to which I replied it certainly isn’t his fault. That’s the kind of man he is though, always worried about inconveniencing others.
My aunt (Dad’s sister) is on her way up to Durham this morning to be with him post-surgery and get him back home, as he could be released as soon as tomorrow. I always feel like they release you too soon. Now I know I’m no doctor, but I’ve seen this happen far too many times to even count. People being released that can’t even walk, change their dressing, etc. – sometimes resulting in even more emergency care. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it’s all about insurance and the money part. In any case, my thoughts and prayers will be with him today and I’ll be sure to give an update as soon as I know something!
Everyone here has been so kind with your thoughts and prayers, and I want you to know it means the world to me – and to Dad. 🙂
Dad was supposed to have surgery this morning at 10:30. A lot happened yesterday that changed that.
It started with a phone call from the cardiovascular VA hospital in Durham. Now, I’m not gonna call out any names of hospitals that have most currently been involved with his care, but the cardiovascular team that is familiar with him in Durham were livid about a few things. For one, a more risky (to say the least) procedure was scheduled for this morning – one that could’ve ended up in open-heart surgery. Secondly, Durham could not believe that his defibrillator had been deactivated since Monday, and he was not fitted with a life vest (I wasn’t aware of what one was until yesterday). A life vest in medical terminology is basically a defibrillator within a vest. The question was asked, ‘but he’s in a hospital and being monitored – if anything happened, they’d be right there anyway’. Durham’s response was, ‘by the time a team got into his room with the proper equipment, a minimum of 2.5-3 minutes would have passed – would you really want to chance that time lapse?’ Guess I never thought about it like that…
Needless to say, Dad made the decision to go to Durham instead. The two teams (Durham and Charlotte) disagreed on his options, and in the end Durham was able to offer him more options as to the types of procedures for this most delicate position he’s in. They were going to transport him by ambulance the 3+ hour trip – but the surgery couldn’t be scheduled immediately so that wasn’t needed. The Charlotte hospital released him to go home (with life vest in tow) to await the surgery scheduling in Durham. Until then, I’m sure he’s glad to be home for a brief time – and I’m willing to bet his little dog Pedro most certainly agrees.
More wet stuff
We certainly need the rain, and have gotten plenty of it the past few days. We had a break yesterday, it was sunny all day. Today though, back to the wet stuff – and it’s forecasted for tomorrow as well.
My coworker was in an accident this morning and totaled his car on the interstate. We don’t know much about it yet, other than another coworker saying he said he was okay but the ambulance was in route to him. It made me think of my own hurried state this morning, and I couldn’t help but be thankful for that slower car in front of me the entire way to work. I’m hoping he’s okay.
K and I went to see Dad last night at the hospital, and boy were his spirits good, as always. Any apprehension he has about the operation, of which they’re still unsure of the exact gameplan, goes unnoticed. His surgery is Thursday at 10:30 am and they’ve already prescheduled his release for Friday. Can’t wait until this is behind him and he can go back to life as normal and all the things he enjoys doing.