On the road again

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When I was recovering from crazy surgery times, I wasn’t able to drive. Prior to that, I was too weak to feel up to it, and also my car needed work. While I was in the hospital the first time, Girlfriend offered to spot me the expense to fix it… and I said ‘no’, because my medical prognosis was at least 12 weeks out, and then I ended up back in the hospital.. (Btw, this is not normal, so don’t be scared if you are anticipating surgery! I just had some really messed up insides that are definitely atypical!)

My thought at the time was “why bother?”. But then, I got better, and was finally able to drive… (which was actually not that long ago), and “ohhhh, rightttt… car doesn’t wroom!”… So, I accepted her kindness. It hurt my pride a little, and I hated leaning on her that hard after she’s been so amazingly supportive of me, but she was right, I needed her.

I took it out after it was fixed, and it’s still doing something stupid, but only occasionally, and of course, unpredictably- kind of like how my body was acting prior to surgery. We are tied together, like Pokemon and trainer, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s my “Brad”, if you’ve seen that commercial. My Brad is older now, just like I am, and I’m not sure how much longer we will have together.

So, I decided to take the somewhat questionable step and thoroughly clean it. I used what little pocket money I had to wash it and vacuum it- twice actually, because it sat for so long. I was always good at that sort of thing, but I know zero about mechanics. Like I said, it’s not totally fixed yet, so this could be for nothing.

You can’t imagine how thankful I was to be able to bend in weird ways to do the vacuuming. You have to understand- I was barely mobile for so long- even walking a few feet was a big deal, so to be able to contort brought me great satisfaction. I’m not totally healed yet, either, but we are both looking much better.

 

More This & That

1 You’re gonna do WHAT with that?

I need a colonoscopy… and it’s coming up soon. I am mostly ok with it- not looking forward to it, but it will be nice to have the results.

 

2 MMM cookies!

I got “fat”. Please, let me call it what it is. Everyone irl has been sparing my feelings, which is nice, but a weight gain of about 15 lbs makes me feel fat. After everything I’ve been through, I’ve earned the right to just blurt it out, I think.

And why did I get fat? Well, I can now eat things I couldn’t eat before, and that is awesome. At least, that *may* be part of it. The other part is me trying to figure out the ins and outs of surgical menopause, which isn’t easy.

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One of many exasperating, but not painful, symptoms.

But on the bright side, there’s this:

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Yes, I am referencing actual dairy-based ice cream! I can eat it now! It turns out, the problems I experienced were due to my malfunctioning gallbladder! That’s pretty much all I’ve tried, but I’m looking forward to trying other former problem foods.

 

5

Yay! No more periods!

Boo! Surgical menopause is almost exactly like PMS (for me), but without the pain.

I’ve been cooking and eating, so there will be more of those types of posts on the way. But, I might not get to it until after the exam, for obvious reasons.

 

Take care!🙂

Blueberry Muffins: First Try!

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I’m slowly getting back into my groove. This is the first baking I’ve done in a while, excluding the boxed cake I mentioned a while back.

I’d never actually made blueberry muffins from scratch before. This recipe was quick and easy. I liked that. The muffin tops were flat because I’d tried a commenter’s suggestion to add sugar to the top mid-bake. Um, no. Don’t bother. I much rather would have tall muffins instead of the little bit of extra sugar. Live and learn.

Otherwise, the muffins are moist and chewy, and are now half-gone. So, it was a success. Next time, I’m thinking of trying a different recipe to see how they compare.

Enjoy!🙂

Stuff and Nonsense

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It’s Week 17 since the surgery, and a few weeks out from the surprise stay. I’ve been trying to think of inspirational and/or funny posts, but the truth is, I’m not always all that inspired or funny.

Things are going fine in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been able to eat things I really shouldn’t be eating. I’ve been drinking soda again since about a month after the surgery. I’m not proud of this, but there are far worse habits out there. My plan is to get back on the water train, but I will finish what’s already around first.

I’ve been able to do a little somethin’-somethin’ with my beauty regimen. I no longer have to stick to unscented, un-anything types of products. So, since the incision healed, I’ve been using a lavender body wash/shampoo combo, which has been appropriate for the chill mood I’ve been trying to work.

Truth be told, I’ve been getting some flack for not getting my act together faster, and it’s affected my mood. Some people get motivated by that sort of criticism. I don’t. Especially when I was just starting to get back on my feet and feel good again. This isn’t a rant blog, but this has been a part of my life since I wrote last, and if you want the facts, I feel like I must include it. I’m sure everyone has their own versions of this on the road to surgery recovery- that well-meaning friend or relative who thinks you can leap large buildings in a single bound, while you would just be happy to walk to one.

I kayaked with Girlfriend, which confused everyone but her. I should say: “She helped me into the boat, pushed me off, then pulled me back in when I was finished”, but that takes too long. She also found delightful little spots for us to take breaks and sat there and played floaty with her boat so I’d stop and rest. So, um, technically, I kayaked, but mostly I took pictures of nature and put my feet and hands in the water.

I actually did walk around with a sports bra and shorts while we were at the cabin. She’d gotten me these scar patch things that I used to protect my scars from the sun. But, while we were out boating, I felt a little too shy and a little too worried about exposing them like that. It just felt better to have a bathing suit on over them.

The scar itself is still huge, long, and purple. I don’t think I have average feelings about it, compared to what I see elsewhere. Mostly, I feel proud that I survived. I never had the courage to get a tattoo, and this is kind of like one. Though, at the same time, I also hope it fades. It will take at least a year before I will know for sure. I am lucky that Girlfriend is not squeamish- she has seen the scar since I started taking pictures of it, and heard me talking about it since Day 1. So, I don’t feel like I have to hide it from her, which is very nice. I can’t imagine what those feelings must be like, on top of actually experiencing surgery.

…Just a little of this and that.

“Shake, clean, work it like a washing machine!”

I feel like cleaning. Whether it’s a result of hormone fluctuation or simply feeling better, I don’t know, but I’m happy it’s here. When you become/are ill for long periods of time, there are things that fall by the wayside. My normal state of order, both inside and outside, fell apart. If you can’t move, you most certainly cannot do much of anything, never mind cleaning.

I cleaned before having surgery. But, even then, I was still feeling pretty awful. So while I’d made sure I was coming back to clean sheets and eating surfaces, anything beyond that was not happening. I put away my perfectionism not by choice, but because I had to.

So, I’m finding all sorts of reminders of just how bad it was: a brochure from last Xmas, bits of paper with reminders on them, things I’d set aside in the midst of the craziness. Naturally, to do this right, I am setting myself up for a big job, and I just hope I am up to the challenge. I am sore, and I am in pain, but I know where I went wrong, and I stopped as soon as I felt pain. I will take things more slowly as I continue, but I am thrilled to both want to, and be able to. You don’t know how much you miss simple tasks of everyday living until they are taken away from you. I might not be perfect, but I feel good, and that’s something to be thankful for.

 

Everything is Different the Second Time Around…

Let me be super-duper mega clear: Being in the hospital is not the same as being in prison. But, when you’re upset and feeling poorly and can’t leave until they say you can, there is comfort in a theme song from a television show.

 

This time was different. This time, I didn’t expect it. I’d come back from having a minor procedure, and already had started to feel unwell. But, I pushed, because it seemed sensible at the time that procedure= pain= stop whining, you wimp.

But, it wasn’t that…

I’d developed some sort of random problem that very few people get, but is one of the possibilities you sign on for. It took me a few days to realize it though. By that time, I barely could move. It wasn’t pretty. It doesn’t make for good blogging. But, there it is.

This time is not so much a story about triumph, as it is about survival.

When you are in extreme pain, and you can’t even get out of bed, let alone do things, do you find a way to get yourself treatment that’s an hour away? Or do you lay there, waiting for it to get worse?

The ER is in a nationally-recognized “bad neighborhood”, but that’s where your Dr. works. You probably should see that Dr. because this is probably related to the other day. You can’t get pushed through quickly, in spite of this, and end up waiting in the ER for hours, while random people are ranting to themselves in a kind of frightening way, and you didn’t eat breakfast, but there are candy machines, but there is a sign saying not to eat until a Dr. sees you, but you have no idea when that will be.

Finally, a few hours into it, you end up in a wheelchair and wait some more.

Eventually, you end up in a gurney in a hallway for the remainder of the night. Then, blissfully, a kind nurse gets you into a room for a few hours so you can get some sleep. It is the next day. You are eventually transferred to a shared room with a woman and her husband. You walk by them, trying to hold your gown closed whenever you have to pee. There is food trash all over their side, and you are still not allowed to eat. They watch terrible TV all the time. But, you feel so crappy, and you know you just have to deal with it.

But, how do I tell this story… when I wasn’t able to even do this much for so many years? Because this sort of thing is a very fraught issue in the States and I know how very, very fortunate and lucky, and you could even say, blessed, I am to even have this. How dare I say that it was hard for me?

I cried, I chewed my lips, I moped, and sometimes I smiled. But it wasn’t the same.

 

 

Be it ever so humble…

I am back from the unexpected hospital visit. I have things to say- many of them, but I am currently too wiped out to do so. So please enjoy this picture of a “hobbit house” instead.🙂

Warrior Princess/Laundress/Cook

I’ve been trying to re-acclimate as best I can. I’m not fully cleared yet, but at least, I can do a few things now.

Laundry: happened this week mostly unassisted. It’s comical at this stage- it is taking me at least 5x as long, but whatever, it’s good exercise. I cannot carry the basket. I also cannot carry anything that weighs more than a milk jug. This means I’m doing it in relatively small armfuls, and I’m only doing about a load a day at this point. Small steps…

Vanity: All along, I’ve told both myself and others that I really didn’t care too much about what it looked like afterwards, I really just wanted to be healthy. Well, I lied. It turns out I care. I’m cleared for Neosporin, so I’m using that. But, no, a bikini isn’t happening this season for both health and vanity reasons. (Scars sunburn easily- I didn’t know that. It’s too soon to expose it like that, if I’m striving for optimum healing).

Weight/Body Shape:  I don’t know what made me think that my body shape would change. I guess it was the fact that I had extra stuff in there that wasn’t supposed to be there. I also thought I’d lose a substantial amount of weight. I did. Then, I went right back to my original weight once I was able to eat properly.

Walking/Movement: Not great/not awful. I mostly look normal until I start pushing too hard. Then, it’s off to the nearest chair.

Pain: My pain was not so bad this week. I’m mostly off of the pain pills now, but every once in a while, I need them. It’s mostly the abdomen that’s sore, although sneezing and yawning will bring out pain elsewhere, too.

I should probably state the obvious here, just for those reading this and wondering how their surgery will go: Please remember, everyone is different. My doctor basically thinks I’m a Warrior Princess for handling as much pain as I have been. Moral of the story: what is low-level pain to me could be agony to you.

Cooking: I baked a box cake. It kicked my booty. I haven’t cooked a meal yet, but I might try this week.

Eating: I’ve really been very lucky all long, but the coffee I made this morning has been refluxing all day. All in all, I really can’t complain, though.

I guess, in summation, things are looking up, it’s just the invisible stuff that has been getting me. You don’t really know how much makes you tired until the day you overdo it.

 

Alternative Lifestyle

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I can’t even imagine how my life is going to change without me needing gigantic purses.

I am a purse-wearing person. Even if I wasn’t, I really had no choice but to be. It would’ve been either that, or me carrying around a rather large tote bag or something.

When it came time for a real purse, rather than one to play with, I had no choice but to go giant. So, part of my personal style had always been to have a large purse. I admired the 5″x7″ ish styles, with their sleek design and crossbody straps, but I could never manage to fit all of my products, the associated cramp pills, allergy medicine, and whatever else a girl might find handy into them. It just did not work. And now…

I spent today temporarily putting away my “carpet bags”, and pulled out a few smaller options. Occasionally, I would be gifted these adorable little bags, which I had limited use for. Sometimes, I could re-purpose them to hold needed items within my purses. Now that I can see at least the hope of a light beyond the tunnel, I have them out as my reward. Once things calm down, I am looking forward to having a cute purse to hold less stuff. I can’t even imagine what it will be like not to have ~10lbs of weight burdening my shoulders. The freedom is both practical and metaphoric.