Wednesday, December 24, 2008

[Hospital Blues]

While I've got a break between mind-bending painkillers and such, I thought I'd send you an update about how the surgery went and where I am at as far as recovery.

The surgery went perfectly. No complications--even the breathing tube went right in with no trouble!--and no need for a follow-up surgery. It was a straight, four-hour success. Not many of my surgeries can claim that, especially such an unusual procedure as this.

Recovery's been good, but definitely among my most painful. For the first few days, if I didn't get certain medicine at a certain time and a certain strength, I ended up getting some very crippling spinal headaches. Eventually, we got all that regulated, and in the past 36 hours I've gone from flat on my back to walking laps in the hall. The therapists are at a loss as to what they can help me with. Ha! If my back didn't burn, I'd just leave 'em in the dust.

I am having some trouble getting the nerve use back in one area of the body which is affecting when I can go home. If I can't find a way to work around the temporary numbness, I'll probably be sent home on Friday or over the weekend with special instructions. I think I can deal.

I have no problem hanging here at the hospital over Christmas (in spite of everyone's apparent horror at the concept) as my family will be here anyway and I'll have immediate care if I need it. Win-Win.

Anyway, that's the worldview from 822 West in Cox South. :) I've had at least one visitor every day, so it's been definitely tolerable.

I hope you're having a great break!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

[Tossin' and Turnin'/Turnin' and Tossin'/Tossin' and Turnin' All Night!]

The, um, surgery anxiety set in last night.  I had my pre-admission appointment, where they ran a plethora of heart, lung, and blood tests and gave me my instructions and warnings.  I think up to now, the whole concept of another surgery has been pretty abstract.  I haven't had one in 8 years, which is my all-time record (surpassing the next longest stretch by four years), so I guess I'd conveniently blocked out or muffled the memories.  Then, at home in bed, reading the booklet, the memories came flooding back.

Cue hyperventilation.

Okay, not yet, but I did get a little panicky, but I'm expecting to need to be given some kind of medicine to help me relax on Thursday.  It's official--the surgery is concrete now.  The day after tomorrow.  Yipe.

It doesn't help that I slept badly last night, either.  I dozed off around 8:15, meaning to sleep until 3 a.m., since I was too tired to work.  Unfortunately, I woke instead at midnight (thank you, crushed bladder) and couldn't get back to sleep.  I lay there for three hours.  Nothing.  Just panic.  Finally, I got up, did some work until I couldn't hold my eyes open, and I finally fell asleep...

...at 5:30 a.m.  I had to get up at 6:30 to be out the door by 7:15.

My name is Niki, and I'm one tired chica. 

Five more conferences to go, and I can go home and get some sleep.  I have to try to do what I did last night, though, since I still have to grade eleven more portfolios and study for tomorrow's Old English final exam.  Here's hoping my bladder and brain cooperate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

[Be Brave]

Well, I'm back under the knife in three days.  I also have a delightfully long list of assignments to finish and papers to grade in the next two days.  Right now, I'm sitting in the Coffee Ethic, between conferences, inhaling caffeine and sweet treats.  I have to stay alert somehow.  I'm really just looking forward to waking up afterward and being on the road to recovery--and possibly be rid of a lot of the head and equilibrium issues I've been dealing with for the past few years (increasingly so in the past few months).  I'm tired.  Pure and simple. 

I've learned a lesson for next semester, too.  When I decide to have conferences off campus, especially when it's an easy ride on the campus shuttle, I shouldn't offer the "if it's alright with you" statement.  It's no harder to get here than it is to get to the student union, and it's much more pleasant.  I can't believe how many of my students lack even a miniscule sense of adventure.  My second class's reason for not wanting to come here?  They don't want to have to find someplace new.  Seriously... the shuttle drops them off next door.

I'm tired.  And grouchy. 

One more conference left today... then, homework!  Whoo-hoo!

Peace to you.