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.