Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Post Op

last week's loveliness

Ice Storm? Check.
Power outage? Check.
superstorm superhero ICE CUBE

meet: our makeshift fridge
Power/heat restoration? Check.
Surgery?  Check.
Phone/wifi/cable restoration? Check.
Snow day tomorrow? Check.

Basically the only thing not happening around these parts is work.  But who needs money anyway? We are now in day 2 of recovering from the surgery we had been planning for a few weeks.

one fine hairnet
Though it took an extra hour to complete, the procedure was successful and the surgeon reports that my insides are now squeaky clean. Sore, but clean. And though I do have experience with anesthesia in the past (see surgical biopsy), my reaction has not been too dramatic. This week, however, presented some fresh fun post-op.  I woke quite groggy, nauseous, and dizzy. Typically this starts to subside in an hour or so, but not the case for me.  I was unable to get up for a few hours, and even then it was a bit tricky.  They decided to keep me overnight at the hospital (though it was supposed to be outpatient), and got me a bed - lickety split - by 2 am. Then, my blood pressure dropped, everyone came to my room, they ordered me some extra fluids and labs, yadda yadda. Never a dull moment.

Now, I have come a long way from assuming my death was imminent (see cancer diagnosis 2010) and I am usually not feeling terrified on a regular basis. Anymore. But this was like a throwback to 3 years ago and I was worried. Do you ever find it hard to tell the difference between fear and instinct? I frequently cannot differentiate between the two and they dress up as the same feeling. Luckily, I allowed the doctors and my family members to lead the way and I pushed off the fears I was having about this surgery.  I went through with it, as recommended by all parties, and I am now gratefully on the other side.

What did I learn from this week?
#1. That maybe my fear/instinct isn't always 100% in predicting the future.  I was watching Defending Your Life last night (yes we own it - for emergencies like when the cable is out) and caught this super resonant quote:

"Fear is like a giant fog, it sits on your brain and blocks everything: real feelings, true happiness, real joy.  They can't get through that fog. But you lift it, and buddy, you're in for the ride of your life."

#2. I also learned that my body is not made of the same stuff as it was before treatment.  I am not one of those people who goes on to run marathons and become a champion athlete after surviving cancer.  I am alive and that is the marathon I'm running.  As long as I can stay away from anesthesia and hospitals in general, I think I'll be ok.

#3. Finally, I learned that everything that was removed from my insides is now hanging at some pathology lab in New Jersey, percolating in a petri dish and hopefully turning into absolutely nothing remarkable. More waiting for those answers.

I have 4 new scars to add to my permanent collection, but they are small, I think. Still haven't removed the bandages. Shoulder/back/neck pain is intense, but that's why they made prescription drugs. My guys are now at home for the next 24 hours due to yet another much needed snow day. Can you hear the sarcasm dripping from my voice? No lie, I am glad they're both here to keep me company. Plus the cable's back. So as long as we've got power, we're in business.

Winter is Coming

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