Saturday, January 23, 2010

Go big, then go home

It’s amazing how you can wake up without either a migraine or crippling nausea, and suddenly life is all bright and sunshiny once more. That was me Tuesday morning – still with the cath, and the electric compression things around my legs to make sure I didn’t get blood clots, and all the tubes and drains, but whee, no migraine and no puking! Is life good or what?

And then, the highlight of the day – the Band of Happy Residents come by for a visit. No, really, it’s like it’s a requirement to be a resident at NW, that you have be young, good-looking, and super-nice. This group of about 10 of them troop in, all in their shiny white coats, totally sympathetic about my peeing failure (“Oh, that’s common with anesthesia!”), all chipper and so gosh darn nice I look past them for the tv camera filming them for some reality tv show. Nada. So sad to see them go.

But in the meantime, I get a visit from Bridget, who brings a plethora of boob cookies made by herself and Annette, and a card and bonbons from Deanna. And then Motya comes by with a, yes, a bundt cake! And since I keep trotting out to the nurses’ station with treats, they all pretty much adore me. Which I’m sure they would have anyway, so the treats are just a bonus. But my awesome nurse Jean brings me a latte from the Starbucks downstairs, and they take turns walking with me around the hallways – and, well, basically doing what they can to be near someone of my triathlon goddess stature. Which I guess I should be used to by now, but I still always find it touching, this adulation by the little people.

Anyway, by now I’m pretty sure that my peeing failure has everything to do with my finely honed athleticism - that my body has become SO efficient at all its functions, any slight change in the routine throws everything off kilter. That sounds good, right? Because the cath is out, I’m drinking water like there’s no tomorrow…..and still no peeing. Suddenly peeing is like the Holy Grail, and I think of all the days of my life where I just took peeing for granted, and how that’ll never happen again if somehow my body relearns how to pee, in all its complexity. Cori left the hospital hours ago, awesome nurse Jean’s shift ended so she came by to give me a goodbye hug – “I know you’ll have peed by tomorrow, I’m sure you can do it!” – and yet, here I am.

Finally, at 4PM, a miracle occurs: I pee! Hallalujah! I go bounding into the hallway, and I would be lifting up my arms in my classic V for Victory pose, but that wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do now, so I settle for gleefully informing everyone “I peed! YAY for me! Am I a rock star or what??!” and doing a little happy jig.

Now, lest anyone think this was overkill, I’d just like to note that my announcement prompted a ticker tape parade, a mariachi band, and a celebratory cake being wheeled out, so no, I wasn’t making too much of this. I got hugs from my nurses, many congratulations, and man, wouldn’t life be great if every seemingly small, so-called “achievement” in bodily functions were met with that kind of joy? “How cool, you’re breathing, let’s go celebrate with drinks!” I may need to start a trend here.

Once I had the peeing thing down, I was out of there within the hour and off to my mom’s, with a stop at the Jewel/Osco first to get my prescriptions. Note that I schlump into the store wearing sweats, drains visible at the bottom of my shirt and around my neck, wearing the FC hat, and bandages on my hands from where the tubes were.

Me: I need to get a couple of prescriptions. I usually use the Osco in the city, so I should be in your system?

Pharmacy woman: Okay…we’ll have to put you in new, because of course just because you’re in the system at one of our other Osco stores doesn’t mean that the information carries over anywhere else.

Me: O…kay then.

(I give her the relevant information.)

PW: Who’s your doctor?

Me: Dr. Fine.

PW: There’s some other signature on the prescription.

Me: Well, on this form there’s the name of someone else as well – his assistant maybe?

PW: I wonder who that could be. Who is this other person? Not your doctor?

Me: Umm, NO, my surgeon is Dr. Fine. This other doctor, I have no idea. An assistant?

PW: Hmm, I wonder if it’s another doctor or assistant.

I have the sinking feeling that my pharmacist isn't exactly in the rocket scientist category of health care providers.

PW: Oh, okay, I found the other doctor’s name. What are these medications for?

Me: I just had surgery.

PW: What kind?
Me: Reconstruction.

PW: And what was that for?

Me, tempted to say, “just for the hell of it”: Breast cancer.

PW: Breast cancer. Okay… did you have this surgery recently? How long ago was it?

No, lady, I had it 4 weeks ago, but they like to leave the drains in as long as possible these days, just for yucks. Is it wrong that I’m losing my patience? I finally get my meds, and then go off to scare the kids working the front register, because they at least recognize tired and surly when they see it and are too intimidated to even waste my time with their usual spiel about their “supersaver item of the week” or whatever crap they usually rattle on about. Kids these days are apparently a bit more savvy than their adult counterparts. “When was your surgery” indeed.

As a footnote, I’d like to apologize to those who came here from other blogs looking for advice on a new bike rack. For you I can only offer this: never go with the ones that go on top of your car. Because you WILL eventually drive into something with the bikes still on top. Guaranteed.

And for alert reader T-Odd, who was wondering what “hiking the AppalachianTrail” is a euphemism for – that would mean the same as “flying to Argentina to continue the torrid affair with my Argentinian mistress when I should be governing the state.” Or just “engaging in a torrid affair” for short.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Those cookies are effing hysterical! Welcome home :) Glad to hear you are healing up well!