Dispatch from the Valley of the Dolls…sort of

So I’m 1 week post surgery. It took me this long to be cognizant enough to be secure that I won’t fall asleep mid sentence while writing this. The narcotics, while wonderful, have turned me into a narcoleptic. I would fall asleep in the middle of texting someone and wake up three hours later still holding my phone with no idea why.

But…let’s start at the beginning. This is my first post-surgical photo:

photo 1 Super attractive, no? It was supposed to be a day surgery (meaning I would go home the same day) but alas they couldn’t do a nerve block (because they disturbingly told me later that they didn’t have a anesthesiologist on duty who had been trained in the procedure!!!) so when I woke up in the recovery room my pain level skyrocketed to a 40 on a scale of 1-10. It was explained to me that foot surgery is more painful than hip surgery (REALLY!?!?! Cause that was helpful at that moment) and as I proceeded to lie there with tears streaming down my face (and the nurse begging me to stop crying because people would think she was “torturing me”) they decided to hook me up to a morphine drip and then admitted me.

The best gift I received that first night was being hooked up to a PCA (Patient Controlled Anesthetic) which meant I could push a button every 10 minutes if I wanted to in order to self-medicate myself with dilaudid (aka – morphine). Mind you, this was regulated so that I couldn’t put myself into a coma but even so, the psychological benefit of feeling in control of my pain meds brought me a measure of relief.

The nice young resident came the next day to tell me he was taking the machine away and I almost thwapped him in the head with the bed pan (more on that in a minute). But alas…they switched me to pills and got me out of bed and into a chair in order to be able for me to progress home.

So my roommate was an older woman (80’s) who screamed the first night but turned out to be a real pip who loves “Scandal” and then proceeded to talk to me about how much sex there is on TV nowadays. heh.

I have been in the hospital before and these folks were very nice and the hospital was clean, etc. I got sprung after 2.5 days.

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I think the most difficult part of this entire experience has been coming to terms with how much I CAN’T do. I have fallen twice (once using the walker – garbage pail won; the second was just today, crutch slipped and I fell (HARD) on my hip), have to wear a back pack to carry stuff from room to room, and in general just going from the living room couch to my bed wipes me out. I will however, have great left leg muscles as well as nicely shaped upper arms once this is all said and done. I can’t use my super swanky knee scooter until I get my stitches out and a full cast on (June 2nd).

I was most humbled by the whole bedpan experience the first day and a half in the hospital. I mean really – you don’t have a choice if you’re not allowed to get out of bed for a day and a half. It sucks. And you have to be comfortable with an array of folks well…seeing your “business.” Lordy. I got up and out of that bed as fast as possible and dragged myself ( I had the bed next to the window but far from the bathroom) there as soon as they gave me the walker.

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My cats have been enjoying me being here and now just see me as another piece of furniture:

photo 2They crack me up but it has taken a lot of effort to keep them from rubbing their chins on the edge of my toes and half cast because well…it hurts.

 

I have been able to work from home and this is generally what my time on the couch looks like:

photo 3

 

Got a care package from one of my former bosses from State DOT. I have not worked with him for five years yet he and his wife kindly sent me something to cheer me up. They included a very sweet note, a great book and this toy (see below). It starts off as a square, turns into a wooden robot, and allegedly turns back into a square. I have failed miserably at getting it back to square. May murder it soon.

photo 4  Thanks for reading. I swear once I get this full cast on I’ll be on the scooter and this will be far more entertaining. I hope…

Yours from the Couch,

J

Feet on the Ground

This is my last weekend having the use of both my feet for a while. It’s kind of surreal. I’ve been handicap-proofing my apartment, doing some computer stuff for work, and other general housekeeping. I feel like I should be out on the open road taking advantage of my ability to drive while I still can! But practical concerns are the order of the day!!

I might be losing my car for a while – however I did pick up some new wheels!

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Check out my knee scooter! Screams dork but I really don’t care. Heck – I may even get a bell! Look out granny-set!

The Title Came First…Getting Ready

unnamed-1 The title for this blog came to me as I was sitting on an MTA express bus while blotting a gash I had just acquired after tripping UP the stairs while trying to board wearing a brace on my right leg. I dragged myself into the free set of seats in the second row and began my mini-pity-party. Then I thought about how stupid I was being because after all, my condition is temporary (this, too, shall pass – as they say). I will be in some form of cast for nearly the entire summer. But then, I get my foot back. There are many who aren’t that lucky.

So because I have a benevolent boss, I will be allowed to work from home which will keep my mind focused and make me feel less disconnected from my professional life. That aside, I have been brainstorming ways to keep myself sane while trapped for 8-10 weeks in a non-weight-bearing state while waiting for my bones to fuse. So – I thought I might take you all along with me on this little detour to my normal life.

This blog will not be whiney (ok, realistically, I’ll probably whine. Occasionally). It will not be an endless recap of complicated medical jargon fraught with the potential to leave you all comatose. It will not be maudlin. Rather, I will inject my usual observations on life (those of you who have followed my Ferry Diaries posts know what I mean) with both honesty and humor. I also hope to bring a little more attention to some of the struggles that the less-able-bodied among us face on a regular basis.

Now, to the picture that accompanies this post…

Last summer, at the age of 43, I had my first pedicure. SERIOUSLY. I have no idea why I didn’t indulge before. I will miss my feet – rather, miss seeing BOTH of them. The photo is of one of my favorites. *sigh*. However, as God as my witness, I shall pedicure again!!