Saturday, October 20, 2007

living will

Yesterday (or by the time I post this the day before yesterday) was bad almost entirely for the most unexpected reasons. I've been avoiding writing this post but I noticed a surge of visitors which I will (vainly?) guess are people trying to deduce if I am dead or not. So very not dead!

carotid © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

It is rather uncomfortable to sit at this computer. I decided to go without pain meds. Not because I think that makes me tough. I am a wuss. I just have a sneaking suspicion that when I go back to the doc in 10 days to adjust the device he put in me, the pain will be much worse. And I kind of want to know about it. I've always been drawn to things that scare me a little bit. I'm not the kind of girl to jump out of moving vehicles or engage in extreme sports, but more practical, non-life threatening challenges are interesting, and for the most part, those type of forays in the medical world are still mostly new to me. So far, the first time I was cut open was the worst and they have gotten easier to handle. This time, I didn't get cut directly, instead the device is going to deliver a slow cut over weeks, one that heals as it cuts. Crazy. Yes.

The worst part of pain, so far, is the dread preceding the pain.

I had My Mom, LPN, come along with me yesterday for the procedure. As it has been in past, the bulk of the time was waiting and answering the same questions over and over. Name, date of birth, allergies, why are you here today.... endlessly. Being hungry and feeling sort of neutered running around tagged, without shoes, makeup or a bra, flapping around like some sort of frail old lady, being wheeled horizontally from one room to the next. Miraculously, my doctor remember who I was. Unfortunately he said he saw something in my cecum (I will have to figure out where that is first) he didn't like so I will be having a colonoscopy soon. Not relieved. The really nice anesthesiologist who went to great pains to insure my comfort, along with revealing the great secret of the name of my strange condition that causes my chest to burst into red blotches when I am nervous/excited/embarrassed/anything more than baseline/etc. (it is a mild dermatographia), also ended up making me the most miserable of all. Whatever he knocked me out with, and gave me to help with the nausea I get from anesthesia has left me a complete wreck since. They intubated me, which was a first and a rather horrifying surprise. They rolled me into the operating room and gave me oxygen, and the last thing I remember was breathing into the mask.

frost © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The next thing I remember was not being able to open my eyes and the tube coming violently out of my throat. Coughing, gagging, unable to speak above a whisper, then my eyes opening a little and being totally unable to focus properly for almost an hour. Then being too tired to keep them open much laying there in recovery room one. There was a man in the next bed, who was apparently called Hiawatha. Who was having trouble breathing. I felt like I imagined the frantic group of nurses and doctors who kept chanting, Deep breaths Hiawatha, Keep breathing Hiawatha!

They wheeled me down to the next recovery room where everyone was with their family/visitors. As soon as I got out of the gurney I was certain I was going to lose the very little I had in my stomach, which really at that point was nothing. I sat down and wept form the drugs and my mom tried to calm me down, but the drugs were making me do their dance. The nurse came over and hooked up some anti-nausea drug to my IV line. She walked off and my mom took one look at the line and bolted off.

When they returned together, the nurse immediately pulled out my IV tube, giving me a mini-saline bath. Apparently there were four big air bubbles heading for my bloodstream and My Mom, LPN, happened to know that if we let that happen I might have perished from an air embolism. I was busy trying to not throw up, not speak and forcing myself to drink.

The drugs half kicked in after another hour. And the recovery room seemed to be kicking us out, so we decided to head home. Somewhere under the 69th Street sign in West Philly... the drugs decided they weren't going to help so my two sips of ginger ale and a saltine left the safety of my stomach.

Everything since then has been an improvement. Mom, Mr. D and the Maggs have been taking turns watching me sleep for the past two days. Today I took a photowalk in Ambler. I'm hoping while Mr. D is on assignment tomorrow that I will whip up another wall. By the time the muscles strains from the pretzel knots they twisted me into in the OR are starting to loosen up, I might be able to get a hold of my life again. Quiet the worries and really make something again. It feels closer now.

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Blogger addie said...

that's terrifying. thank goodness for your mom! i hope all this stuff they're putting you through does the trick.

11:37 AM, October 21, 2007  
Anonymous Rob Weychert said...

Hang in there, kiddo. Let me know if anyone needs punching, or if you just want some company.

11:29 PM, October 21, 2007  
Blogger Michael K. said...

Hiawatha? That's a fuckin' hoot. It's not every day you get parked next to a suffocating Native American princess in the recovery room. Drug hallucinations are SO much fun. I don't know why I don't take Vicodin recreationally; grad school would be so much better with the edges taken off.

I'm glad to hear you're doing well.

1:33 AM, October 22, 2007  
Anonymous cj said...

Heya, darlin. We've been out your way a few times now and every time I have to fight the urge to bring you some chicken soup, like a fussing (and probably annoying) little mother hen.

*lots of luvs*

7:37 PM, October 22, 2007  
Anonymous Dominic said...

Hey, Laura. I hope you're feeling better. I told Dustin to take good care of you, and it sounds like he and your mom are up to the task. My best for a speedy recovery.

3:17 PM, October 23, 2007  

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