I mentioned in my last post that I had two big things happen to make my end of a summer a busy one.
Post 1: The older sis is no longer a Miss
Post 2: Anesthesia sucks and so does not being able to eat for 10 days
Yea, I know…that’s not nearly as clever and cute as “the older sis is no longer a Miss,” but it’s a statement that is pretty (meaning completely) accurate.
Big thing number 2 was that I had surgery down at UW-Madison at the end of August (yep, I went to the “big guns”). Now, I just want to put it out there that I don’t plan on talking about the specifics of my surgery. In my mind, I don’t feel like a blog is a good place to do that. I will however say that said surgery had absolutely nothing to do with my mobility–meaning I didn’t go “under the knife” to walk again.
You know, I’ve never experienced a surgery before that I actually remember. The only surgery I had prior to this one was to stabilize my spinal cord the day after my injury; a surgery I have zero recollection of until a month-ish later. Well, I remember this surgery perfectly fine and considering how I felt when I woke up after having anesthesia, I’m honestly not convinced walking would be worth it. That probably sounds terribly crass, but I get around pretty well in my chair and the thought of another dose of anesthesia and then goodness knows how much recovery time–I really don’t know if I’d find it worth it (but that’s material for reflection on another day…)
Having a “planned” surgery is quite the event. You prepare yourself mentally (I’m so grateful I can find so much comfort in an awesome God) and then you have to prepare yourself physically. Generally speaking, that’s some less-than-ideal diet meaning “Sam, you can only drink clear liquids for 3 days before surgery. Then you have surgery and can’t drink anything for 4 days afterwards and will be sustained by IV fluids. If all goes well, then we’ll get you back on liquids for a day or two, and maybe then food.”
So the early morning of surgery came and like a good patient, I listened and followed my less-than-ideal diet instructions as well as not drinking anything after midnight. At this point, my veins were nonexistent and the poor anesthesiologist came in and blows two veins trying to start my IV. Thankfully he was super awesome and was talking about how and why anesthesia works the way it does and my nerd self was rather distracted. Needless to say, by the time he was going for a third try, I was feeling a bit on the woozy side and looking a tad green.
“Don’t worry Sam, as soon as I get this in I’ll give you some happy juice and you’ll feel so much better. Ha! It’s in!”
He certainly kept up his end of the bargain and seconds later I felt like this…
Yea, he wasn’t kidding when he called it happy juice. Let’s just say I don’t remember much after that until I woke up on the other side. Poor Mom didn’t get to say much of a “goodbye” because I was too busy feeling good (and man, was I feeling good…).
Surgery went well and a bit over a week later I was eating and on my way home in recovery mode. Recovery mode basically means “Sam, calm down, sit still, and don’t mess anything up so you don’t have to go back through the past 2 weeks.” It’s kind of like a strange flash back to when I first came home from Craig as an inpatient right after my injury. For starters, I’m not driving right now thanks to the fact loading and unloading my chair is a bit more lifting then I should be doing yet. Thank goodness I have a full time chauffeur (cue Mom’s theme music –speaking of, Mom really needs a theme song. Too bad Costco doesn’t have a jingle…)
I guess it’s all kind of a flashback. And at times, it becomes really challenging. It got really challenging in those pre-surgery prep days, in those directly post-surgery in the hospital days, and sometimes even now in the “it-takes-me-so-much-longer-to-do-everything” recovery days.
It becomes challenging when my mind wanders and I start thinking and getting angry…”I never would have needed to have this surgery if it wasn’t for this stupid injury,” “I never would have had to go through all those days of preparation and these days of recovery if it wasn’t for my SCI.”
“This isn’t fair.”
And yet, does that even matter?
You know, I have this uncle that has this saying I can’t help but think of in times like these. It goes something along the lines of “Life is like a bunch of slices of pizza. They’re all good, some are just gooder than others.”
Clearly I learned all my eloquence for him:D
But on the more serious side, I’m feeling like that’s a pretty accurate statement. I can tell you how much I didn’t enjoy the process of surgery preparation, but I can also tell you how thankful I am that my physical self was ready for the surgeons. I can tell you how not fun it was to get poked a bunch during my hospital stay for the doctors to check labs, but I can also tell you how grateful I am my doctors had my best interest in mind every step of the way. I could tell you how less than aromatically friendly I was while in the hospital, but I could also tell you how epic it was washing my hair with this pretty crazy microwaveable shower cap.
I guess we all have days that are less than enjoyable, but I can guarentee there is something good there.
Something that just may make your day a little bit gooder:)