I'm finally home again after surgery number 2 so I thought I'd take advantage of a moment of consciousness and give you all an update. Please excuse the typos, right now the couch is rocking back and forth like a boat.
"It's 6am…do you know where your thyroid is?"
Monday we were supposed to be at the hospital at 7am, we showed up at 7:01. Which already stressed me out because I'm the type of person who shows up 10 minutes early to everything. So we get to the hospital, check-in, get my bracelet, and prepare for the first stage of waiting. Before we even sat down, the receptionist said we could go up. What? No waiting? I thought we must have figured out some secret code. Like if you say "The blue dog barks at midnight" you get to skip the waiting room and go straight to the privacy of your own holding cell.
When we got upstairs the nurses all chimed, "You're late!" I looked at my watch, 7:05, ummm..sorry…I guess? WOW they REALLY stress punctuality here. You don't even want to KNOW what happens when you show up 10 minutes late (it involves a catheter and reruns of "Charles in Charge"). It turned out there was a mix up and I was supposed to be there at 6am. So they whisked me off so I could get into my gown, pee in a cup, get blood drawn and my IV started all while standing on one leg , answering 20 questions (when is the last time YOUR bowels moved?), and balancing a syringe on my nose. Once I was ready they carted me off to the OR.
I was in more pain this time after my surgery. No amount of painkiller seemed to be enough. When a room was ready they hauled me upstairs and I just started crying. Partly because of the pain and partly because Danny wasn't there. I hate to sound like a baby, but I felt like a kindergartner who just wanted her mommy (Follicular Cancer Lady in a weak moment--enter violins). I just laid there, whimpering like a baby. When Danny finally came 40 minutes later he said he was waiting anxiously the whole time for them to tell him when I was put in a room and even though he kept asking, no one had let him know. So I felt better, I had Danny there, I finally got enough painkiller to knock me out, and so my half-conscious attention turned to my roomates.
"Love Thy Neighbor"
Once again I shared a room. The curtain was drawn so I couldn't see who was next to me, but I sure could hear them. I think there were about 50 of them and they were filming an episode of "This Old House". I kept listening for Bob Villa to explain how you could use hospital gravy to putty up holes in the wall. Later on, one of the visitors hacked and coughed for a record 7 minutes straight! I half expected a lung to slide across the floor onto my side of the room. Danny and I put all our energy into wishing that woman got discharged so that we could have peace and quiet (and also the TV and window that were on her side of the curtain). It worked--soon the construction crew left. But only AFTER the grand finale of the "Noisy-Loud Show". During which they opened all their Christmas presents, dragged coat hangers across a chalkboard, and played "Come on Eileen" on the tuba. As soon as they were gone we moved to the good side of the room and had it to ourselves the rest of the night.
"It's Fun with morphine time!"
Being on painkillers is a funny existence. One press of a button and you're on your way to happy-rainbow-fun-land. Danny took some notes of things I said out of the blue while visiting happy-fun-land, here are some highlights:
"Why does my grandmother insist on you playing badmitten?"
"Everybody knows ants LOVE coffee…because of the grounds that fall on the floor"
"It's like rainbows or something"
"Oh my god, that sandwich is totally shaped like a chicken!"
"Didn't make Parole"
So I had to stay one day longer than I thought I would. My doctor (aka the Flash) came in and said my calcium was too low. He really could have said anything at that point because all I heard was: "YOU'RE NOT GOING HOME TODAY". He could have told me he didn't want to miss Oprah to fill out the dischrage papers and I wouldn't have known the difference, but I'll go with the low calcium story. The second night was fun actually. My friends set me up with movies, coloring books, chocolate and a backscratcher. Hallelujah! For some reason the medication makes me itch ALL over like a woman in a pile of fire ants. I heard the angels chorus when I saw my friend Alex trot in with the backscratcher like it was the Olympic torch.
Now I'm home and parked on my couch. I'm writing this in one of my moments of consciousness. The hardest thing now is remembering that I can't get up and walk at my normal pace because I'll get dizzy. Or that the energy it takes to sit up and eat requires a nap. So with that, I think I'll lay down for awhile…..
**I'd like to take a moment here to give a shout out to the 4th floor nurses at AGH! Thanks Ladies!**