Thursday, August 26, 2010

Greetings from the stir-crazy

Three weeks post-surgery today, and I'm really ready to get out for a while...I haven't been any further than the mailbox since I got home from church on Sunday. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that, even though I feel well, I'm not physically ready for any big outings just yet. Since I was feeling so well last Saturday, I decided to try a shopping trip. It was a lot of fun (and I found good stuff), but it took me about three days to recover. On the upside, I've actually been able to wear shorts today! I'm sure Mr. Nerd will be delighted to see me in something other than a robe.

I've learned something else, too: even though I haven't blogged in over a month, it's really hard to come up with posts when all I do is sit around the house all day. So, here's a little glimpse at what I've been doing for the past three weeks.

hanging out with the world's laziest dogs
Seriously. They do this ALL day. Except when they're going nutball, barking at nothing.

online shopping
My custom Chuck Taylors! I learned about custom Chucks on Cardiogirl's site. Thanks, CG. (And yes, those are my legs. They really are that white.)

One of my "grownup" coloring books. I never outgrew coloring, and it really helps to pass the time. I can spend most of a day working on one of these pictures.

My wonderful co-workers sent me a sweet gift basket with lots of stuff to read, and other goodies, and a bunch of folks have been saving magazines and catalogs for me. This Old House, Glamour, Biscuit Magic...clearly, I have a wide variety of interests.

eating rainbow sherbet
I don't really have much of an appetite since the surgery (yay!), but when I am hungry, all I want to eat is sweets. So, meals have basically become a dessert-delivery system. I'm currently finishing up my second half-gallon of rainbow sherbet.

My post-surgery followup is tomorrow, and I should find out then when I can go back to work. Since I have been staying up until midnight, not doing my hair or makeup, and taking a nap whenever I feel like it, being back at work is going to be a MAJOR adjustment. Hope there's room in the communal office freezer for my sherbet fix. Oh, and I guess I'm going to have to, you know, get dressed every day. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm back, y'all!

Well. It's been kind of an interesting summer.

On the first weekend in July, Mr. Nerd and I were looking forward to our upcoming week of vacation. That Friday night, dinner out at a Mexican restaurant for my aunt's birthday left me with a terrible stomachache. By Saturday afternoon, the stomach pain sent me to the local walk-in clinic, which sent me to the ER for a CT scan. I had suspected appendicitis, and the walk-in clinic folks agreed; when the ER doctor walked into my room looking really freaked out, however, I knew something else was up. He told me that my CT scan showed several masses in my abdomen...and then he wasn't the only who looked freaked out. After that, Mr. Nerd and I spent our week of vacation going to various doctor's and testing appointments, and trying to have a bit of fun when we could. One of the blood tests checked for cancer markers in my blood, and it came back elevated. I saw a gynecologic oncologist, who reassured me that it might not actually be cancer, and scheduled me for surgery.

So, two weeks ago today, I had major surgery to remove a whole mess o' lady parts. It turned out that everything was okay--no cancer whatsoever! Obviously, I am incredibly thankful that everything is going to be fine. I am currently sitting at home, trying to combat boredom, and doing the required four- to six-week recuperation period.

This whole thing is so new to me--I've never had surgery, spent the night in the hospital, or really had any medical problems, except for a bout of scarlet fever when I was little. I was pretty nervous going into the surgery, but, for the most part, being in the hospital wasn't too bad. With the following exceptions.

Your modesty suffers
I am modest. Nearly to the point of prudishness. I've heard many mothers claim that, once you've gone through the process of labor and birth, you lose all modesty. Well, I've never had kids, I hate discussing my (ahem) personal business with anyone, and being in the hospital was just mortifying because of it. It was not at all unusual to have a perky patient care tech bop into my room and ask several embarrassingly personal questions (in front of various family members, deacons from my church, whomever): "Ms. Absepa? Are you peeing? Have you passed gas yet? Would you like a stool softener?" Cripes, people. Couldn't you write me a note? Or at least whisper? And that doesn't even begin to cover the mortification I felt anytime someone wanted to take a look at my incision, which is on my lower, lower, LOWER abdomen. Mortified, I tell you.

They might kill you trying to take blood
I did not sleep the first night in the hospital. At all. Any time I started to doze off, someone popped in to check my vitals, IV, incision (gah!), etc., etc. So naturally, after my sleepless night, a girl showed up to take 4am. I am not kidding. She made two tries on my right arm, but came up with less than a thimbleful of blood, probably because I was so dehydrated. (No food or liquids after midnight before the surgery; ice chips only until late afternoon; and clear liquids for supper. I truly thought I was going to turn into a human-shaped tumbleweed and just blow away.) At 5am, she came back, and took a stab (well, two) at my right hand. She was getting mad by this time, sweating and growling at my uncooperative veins. She finally gave up, threw me a disgusted look, and left. ANOTHER girl showed up at 5:45, and went to work on my left hand. Apparently the additional thimbleful that she was able to extract was enough, because they left me alone after that. I came home looking like I had gone a couple of rounds in fight club.

Some medical procedures are just evil
While I was in the operating room (but, thank God, after I was asleep), the doctors set me up with a Foley catheter. If anyone ever tries to do that to you, RUN as far and as fast as you can. This was, by far, the worst part of my surgery experience. As the nurses explained to me, your bladder can kind of "forget" how to do its thing after you've had a catheter. Well, mine forgot for a while, and it was no picnic. Things went on for so long that the nurse was on the phone with my doctor (talking about putting the evil thing back IN), when my bladder suddenly came to its senses and did what it was supposed to do. A huge relief, in every sense of the word.

Honestly, although I'm making fun, everyone at the hospital was really nice. I have been blessed with a smooth recovery and not too much pain. And Mr. Nerd is totally jealous that I get to sit at home, waste time on the Internet, and nap whenever I want. All things considered, I'm feeling pretty grateful lately. And glad to be back to my blog.