Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greetings From Recovery Land!

Hello, internet! Just checking in with an update. I've actually been meaning to do that since Saturday, but it's hard to get around to it with my full, busy days. For new, much slower definitions of "full" and "busy," of course. Mostly what happens is that I think about updating, but, well, Mom is making lunch, and then after that I need to walk around for a bit (because walking is important in my recovery and also makes me feel better), and then when I'm done that, I'm exhausted and need to lie down for a while. And then the entire process repeats with dinner. Along the same lines, my decision to let my online life mostly go hang while I'm recovering has turned out to be a good one. Right now considerations like proper pillow configuration or the detailed state of my bowels are infinitely more important and relevant than whether I'm keeping up with website X or owe a response to person Y, which would merely serve as distractions if I let myself care too much about them. Life has taken on a slow, timeless quality, with a focus on primitive essentials.

Which includes books, of course. While plan Read Like It's My Job has not gotten into full swing yet, I have already finished six books since my surgery. Mostly quick and easy ones, I admit. Number seven is more ambitious and is going to take me longer, I think, but it's actually really nice to dive slowly into a book knowing, as I lie in bed resting and reading, that I very literally have nothing better to do.

Anyway. For the record, everything seems to be going very well, post-surgery. I may have made myself sound pitiful above, with my tiredness and slowness, but that's just what a period of healing is like, and it's abut the pace I want to go at right now. I am not a complete invalid. Just taking it very, very easy. So far, there seem to be no problems, and while the pain was pretty awful the first couple of days, it's not too bad now. I stopped taking the narcotic pills a day or two ago, and that worked just fine.

Sitting here at the computer is a bit uncomfortable, though, and I am not even going to contemplate the logistics of using the laptop -- seriously, figuring out the pillows was hard enough. And posting to this blog from my phone is seriously annoying. (If my last post sounded less like me than usual, it's that, and my lack of energy to deal with it, that's the reason, not drugs or pain or anything else.) So, that's it from me for the moment, I'm afraid. Back to my important slow walking and essential lying-around activities!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Hello! Am still mostly incommunicado, but hi and thanks and will get back to you later to those who emailed. Am out of hospital, and all is well, or as well as expected. Abdominal surgery sucks, and I do not recommend it as a recreational activity. But the surgery went very well, and I am more or less up and around. Still don't expect to hear from me regularly for some time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'm Still Alive (But Not Doing Science For A While)

This is just a note to say that I'm out of surgery and am still breathing. Well, I probably am. I'm writing this post ahead of time, and have asked my mother to hit "post" on it when she gets back from the hospital on Tuesday -- assuming that I am, in fact, still breathing -- so that I don't have to worry about it while I'm high on painkillers. Hopefully she'll manage it OK. My mother is, um, not exactly tech-savvy, but it should not prove too challenging. (Love you, Mom! Thanks!)

Anyway, since this is a pre-recorded message, I'm afraid I have no details for you, but I trust that everything went swimmingly.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oh, Just Yank This Stupid Thing Out Of Me, Already.

We're getting very close to my surgery date now. It's scheduled for Tuesday. And the fact that that is still true is something of a miracle. I had yet more awfulness yesterday with last-minute schedule changes from my doctor's office, and the doctor whom I was assured would be around to take care of me if I had problems afterward backing out on me. For a little while there, it looked like they were going to insist on rescheduling for weeks later or that I was going to have to insist on going to another hospital, and I swear, I felt the purest sense of despair I have ever felt in my life. But in the end, things were worked out (and I had a nice, long chat with the practice's manager about their many, many fuck-ups), and we're still going ahead. If I had it to do over again, I would not have this done here in Socorro, but hopefully they will manage not to kill me. (Note: That is a joke. If I really thought the doctors were as prone to screw-ups as the admin staff, I wouldn't be doing it, no matter how many people's schedules or how much of my own life it would screw up. And as surgeries go, this one is very low-risk.)

The real bad news is that the stupid drugs I took to try to shrink the fibroid didn't work at all, so they are going to have to do an abdominal surgery, which means more pain and longer recovery times. Not to mention a three-day hospital stay. Sigh.

Well, hopefully I am ready for it, or will be by Tuesday. I'm working on getting the house cleaned, getting various things set up so I won't have to bend or stretch too much (e.g. to scoop out the cat food), and stocking up on supplies. My mother will be here late Saturday evening, and incredibly grateful I am for her help (and her willingness to stay an extra week if necessary, since I'm having the more invasive surgery). I'm also terribly grateful for everyone who's offered to help out if I need anything once she's gone. Much as I hate to ask for help and am trying to arrange things so I need as little as possible, I may well have to take some of you up on it.

Hard as it is after all the additional stress I've had around this, I'm trying to maintain a good attitude and do things right. I really am incredibly happy every time I think about the long-term results. And as for the recovery period... Well, I'm planning on reading books like it's my full-time job. Which is actually something of a fantasy of mine: just being put in a room with absolutely no distractions, and told to read what I like for eight hours a day. My only worry is that my brain will be too fuzzy from tiredness and pain medication to manage it, and I'll find myself in the shoes of Burgess Meredith in that classic Twilight Zone ep: time enough at last to do all the reading I want, and no ability to actually do it. But worst-case scenario, even that should only last a couple of weeks at most. And I have taken the pain medicine the doctor's prescribing for me before, and it didn't make me groggy. And if I am really out of it for a while, well, I've also got a Netflix subscription, and thus access to all kinds of mindless television.

One thing I have decided is that this time, in general, is going to be thoroughly and unapologetically "me" time. Because I think that's the only way to do it. It's going to be my time to rest and read with no distractions, no little voice in my head telling me I should get up and do something else, no responsibilities to anybody. The rest of the world can do without me for a while. (Some friends, when I mentioned this, commented that this retreat-from-the-world plan made me sound a bit like Thoreau and promptly dubbed it "Nerd Walden." I like it!)

Just for the record, my intent is also to refuse to worry about whether I owe anybody e-mail, or am keeping up with people's blogs, or whatever. Heck, sitting upright at my PC for long periods will probably not be a good idea. I got a bed tray I could put my laptop on, but it doesn't actually fit well over my big, fat belly, even before it swells up from surgery. And doing much of anything on my tiny, slow phone is just annoying. So, come Tuesday, you won't see as much of me online for six weeks or so, either, although I'll no doubt check in once in a while, especially as I start to feel better. I'll at least try to post some sort of "Hey, I survived the surgery!" message afterward, maybe the next day. But don't panic if you don't see me posting here, or if you're accustomed to getting e-mail from me and don't see any for a while.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Books, Man! Books Everywhere!

I went to the giant Albuquerque library sale today, and got two large grocery bags full of books for $5 per bag. I'm not going to tell you how many books that is. Let's just say I, uh, got my money's worth. And exactly how I filled those two bags, I really can't tell you. It's all kind of a blur. I just... walked in, and then things got sort of hallucinatory, and then at some point I emerged with books.

And then I had to fight my way home, through trials and tribulations, like the mighty, heroic hunter of books that I am. Eighty miles home, through high winds and dust storms! And at one point, I came disturbingly close to hitting a roadrunner. Yay, New Mexico. (Note: roadrunners, in real life, are not nearly as intelligent as the one in the cartoons. This one was trying to be less of a roadrunner and more of a highway sitter, which is really not very smart.)

Anyway. It is very, very clear that I am not going to run out of books while I am recovering from surgery. Whether I am going to run out of bookshelf space (again!) is, of course, another matter.

Friday, May 09, 2014

May The Currentlies Be With You

I may not be blogging every day anymore, but there's still always this!

Current clothes: It's pajama-blogging time! Because, really, this is earlier than I should even be up. I've got a red plaid bathrobe, black pocket t-shirt, and pajama pants that I bought at the Seattle Space Needle gift shop, which have Space Needles and other Seattle-themed images on them. Also fuzzy blue slippers.

Current mood: Tired and generally kinda not great. I've been starting to get a little stressed over my upcoming surgery, and my doctor's office is doing a darned good job of undermining my confidence and generally making things more difficult. Yesterday, I got a call from them that basically boiled down to, "Um, your doctor decided to go on vacation a couple of days after your surgery date and wanted to see if you'd reschedule because she won't be around if you need her, but we kind of forgot to call you about it for three weeks. Oops." Which is upsetting on so many levels. I am still recovering from the mini stress meltdown I had over that. I did not sleep super well last night. Sigh. (And, no, I'm not moving my surgery date. Three weeks ago, it would have been difficult. At this point, it is not really doable.)

Current music: Rick Grimes vs. Walter White Epic Rap Battle. I really needed that laugh this morning! (Warning: contains some Walking Dead and Breaking Bad spoilers.)

Current annoyance: Once again, it's the stupid meat body. Waah, waah, I need surgery, I need sleep, I need new eyeglasses, I hurt my pinky finger, these drugs are giving me hot flashes, I've gotten too fat, I need a haircut, waah, waah, waah. Shut up, meat body.

Current thing: Thinking about the zillion and one things I need to do next week.

Current desktop picture: I said last time that I ought to change it, perhaps to something else book-themed, and lo and behold, I did!

Current book: Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland.

Current song in head: Apparently it is "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons. I had to look that up. It's one of those songs that I only know because it's always on the radio. I mean, I listen to the radio maybe ten minutes a week, and I've probably heard that thing a dozen times.

Current refreshment: Coffee. Wonderful, brain-nourishing coffee!

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 3 of Game of Thrones. I fear I have gotten very attached to Tyrion.

Current worry: I really am getting more nervous about the surgery the closer I get to it. But, despite my doctor's office's worrying signs of administrative incompetence, I'm sure it will be fine. Annoying, but fine.

Current thought: Man, I need more coffee.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Oh, Dear, It's All Gone A Bit Wrong.

OK, so, for the record: Homemade chicken quesadillas? Not nearly as successful a culinary experiment as the French dip. Right now, my kitchen kind of looks like a Mexican restaurant exploded and took out the chicken farm next door.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Everybody's Getting Older!

Happy birthday to my nephew, who is thirteen today!



I just keep looking at that word and boggling. Surely, surely I am not old enough for the next generation down to be hitting its teens! Except that every time I think that, I find myself remembering that when my mother was my age, I was already well into my college years. And this thought is really not helping.