Category Archives: surgery

still here

I have been quiet lately, but all is well.  I have been pretty tired exhausted lately due to recovering from the gallbladder surgery in December.  I have been going to bed as early as possible and napping when I can.  This doesn’t leave much time for blogging, or commenting (though I’m trying on the commenting).

This was pretty much how I felt last summer after my appendectomy, so I’m not worried.  I think it’s pretty likely that in a couple more weeks my energy level will be back to normal.  In the meantime, I’m dragging through the day and feeling jealous of Miss Famous and her decadent napping schedule.

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thank you g-d for creating yoga pants

Today is my first day back at work after the big gallbladder surgery.  It just happens to be the first day after winter break, also, so there’s a lot of “How was your break?”  I’ve gotten to tell the story of the middle of the night trip to the ER quite a few times.

Speaking of recovery, can I just tell you how amazing yoga pants are?  Particularly these brand new ones I just bought myself that can pass as work pants as long as I have the band on top hidden.  I tried wearing “real” pants once last week, and was regretting it after two hours.  Because all my pants hit me right at my most painful surgical site, real pants + gallbladder surgery recovery = pain.  So I am so very pleased with the black yoga pants I found yesterday that allow me to look halfway professional, and at least don’t require that I unfasten the button and zipper while sitting for extended periods of time.

I was actually considering getting one of those pregnancy band things, but yoga pants have saved the day!  (Or the week, rather, as I’ll be wearing them everyday until I heal.)

It’s taking a little bit of effort to get my brain back into work mode, which is a big part of why I’m blogging right now and not calling clients.  Heh.  I’m sure I’ll get there, though, and with these fantastic pants I can at least think about something other than my belly button being in pain.

deja vu

I went to the emergency room Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, really) for severe abdominal pain.  The cure?  Emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder.  This appears to be my year for ridding myself of unnecessary organs. The surgery appears to have gone well, I have some pain but am managing.  I am currently camped out at my parents’ house where people are available to walk Miss Famous and make sure I eat.

I’m thinking of a couple of people going through painful situations right now (and I know there are many, many more out there).  Giving a blanket Merry Christmas!!!! seems somewhat inappropriate in light of that.  I hope for all of you, Christmas celebrators or not, to have some peace in your life and hope for the year to come.

anything and everything

The few hours before my appendectomy were very surreal.  I went to my doctor’s office that evening with half of me thinking of all the terrible things that could be going wrong, and the other half thinking that I would just be wasting everyone’s time and causing a fuss over nothing.  “There’s nothing wrong with you,” one half whispered.  “You could die on the operating table,” whispered the other half, which is well-known for it’s speed in jumping to the worst possible conclusion in any scenario, and this well before anything was even diagnosed.

There was actually another voice somewhere in there (and pay no attention to my math skills—sometimes one-half plus one-half still leaves room for some other thoughts to creep in).  This was the quietest voice, the voice that remembered Lavender Luz’s amazing post about abiding in the unknown space, the place where we are painfully aware of our powerlessness.

I will not pretend that I was peaceful in all of the time leading up to my surgery, or even most of the time.  I can say, though, that part of the time I was able to take a step back and notice how I was responding.  There were some brief moments of awareness that the back and forth game that was going on in my mind was simply the way my mind usually works.  There was nothing unusual about my responses to this situation; my responses were as familiar to me as the back of my hand.  The only “different” in this situation were the circumstances, my insides kept up their usual dialogue.

A phrase came to me during those hours, and I remembered it over and over during the next couple of weeks.*

How you do anything is how you do everything.

How I “did” the few hours before my appendectomy followed the same pattern of how I do most things:  part of me jumps to the worst-case-scenario and starts brainstorming about how I will handle it, and part of me berates myself for not doing the right thing, or causing a fuss, or not doing things perfectly, whatever “perfect” means.  How I function at work follows the same basic pattern of how I function at the grocery store (if you don’t believe me, check out my desk drawers and my pantry; both are full of way too many “just in case” items, be they canned goods or post-its).  How I relate to my family follows the same pattern of how I relate to people I just met.  How I drive my car looks a lot like how I walk my dog.  And on and on.

My pattern, of course, would be to take all of this information and start berating myself for not doing it “right,” whatever “right” is.  At this moment I’m just working on noticing when I’m in those patterns, when I jump to that place in my mind that causes my heart to pound and my hands to shake.  Right now I’m working on noticing when I’ve slipped into scolding myself.  For now, noticing is enough.  For now, opening my eyes is enough.  For now, it’s enough.

*I’m not sure where it comes from, so if you know, please let me know.

boring

I know that things have been pretty boring around here since my appendectomy.  I’ve thought several times about blogging about how I don’t have the energy to blog, but I figured you would get the point if I just didn’t blog, which was what I felt like doing anyway.  Heh.

I feel ok.  Every once in a while I have a twinge in the former-appendix area.  Mostly I’m just sleepy.  My new theory is that my body is just taking a while after being on anesthesia.  I have reason to believe that my body processes pain meds, etc. pretty slowly, so I’m assuming it may be the same for the anesthesia.

Anyway.  This post is boring even me.  Just wanted you to know I’m alive.  I do think about things that would be really good posts, but my foggy brain can’t get much past a thesis sentence.  Alas.

Am trying to keep up on my reading/commenting for my regular bloggy peeps.  I’m having better luck with the reading, frankly.  ICLW was a bit of a joke for me.

OK, I think that’s enough whining for one post.

about the dogs…

I went to work today and didn’t have to crawl home after less than two hours because I was exhausted.  In fact, I lasted almost the whole day.

This is progress.

In other news, having appendicitis got me out of dog-sitting Gertie.  She and Miss Famous met (again) on Friday, however, and I think that it was a successful meeting, all in all.  My friends (Gertie’s owners) and I decided that part of their previous issues might have been that they are both so much alike.  The main triggers for conflict we noticed this time were 1) Miss Famous is opposed to an overly enthusiastic “background check” and Gerts is a bit slow on the uptake and 2) Gertie is very protective of “her” baby.  It is fine with my friends if Miss Famous licks that baby all over her face, as she did the first time they came to visit (without the Gertster).  It is not, however, fine with Gertie, and she let this be known.  It was awfully nice to throw them in the backyard when they first arrived and see Miss Famous go nuts running laps around the yard (she’s been a bit under-exercised since I’ve been recovering).

I had a more active day today than I’ve had in almost two weeks, so I am going to sign off now, and go to bed.

Wild times around here, let me tell you.

the voices in my head

So, I tried to go to work on Tuesday.  That didn’t really work out.  I think I left after an hour an a half, exhausted.  Like, exhausted to the point I could barely think straight.  That evening my amazing friends, who just got back from a couple of years abroad, came over.  It was very chill, just sitting on the couch for an hour or two, chatting.  Apparently, however, that put me over the edge on the tiredness scale.  I woke up Wednesday morning and felt just awful.

The thing is, I generally don’t really feel bad, just tired.  And, usually when I’m tired, I can convince myself to power on through.  Not this time, though.

I’ve been fighting a lot with my mind, or with the voices in my mind, rather.  They tell me I should be up, doing something.  They tell me I’m going to get in trouble if I don’t get back to work.  They tell me I’m weak, that I’m a wuss, that I need to just suck it up and stop sitting around the house like a lazy bum.

They’re lying, but it’s not always easy to see that.

For someone who struggles with self-care even in the good times, this has been a challenge for me.  What I need to do is just chill out, let my body continue to heal, and not stress.  This does not come naturally to me.

And really, there’s not much to worry about, work-wise.  Nothing is burning, as my crazy supervisor says (who, btw, has her faults, but is 100% supportive of time off when we’re ill).  July is typically the slowest month anyway, and many people in the agency have the whole month off (not me, unfortunately, though I can’t really complain about the amount of time off I get).  I had about 7 sick days going into this thing, plus 2 weeks of vacation time I have to take by the middle of August, so…I’m just taking part of it earlier than I expected.

It all sounds very rational, doesn’t it?  Sounds a lot better than telling myself I’m a lazy, weak wuss, huh?  The thing is, when I feel bad, or tired, it can be hard to tell the difference between the crazy voices, and the truth.  The truth is, I’m not in trouble, if anything crazy happens with my clients, my co-workers or supervisor can help with it, as they already have.  The best thing I can do for myself is to take care of myself and rest right now, which is what I would tell anybody else.  The problem is believing that, remembering that.

And today I felt like blogging and had the energy to actually do it, which is an improvement, huh?  Now on to the task of not guilting myself out over blogging but not working.  Sigh.  It’s an endless merry-go-round, this crazy brain of mine.