Saturday, April 05, 2008

And the secret is...

...NOT taking narcotics?

As of this morning, I've started weaning myself from narcotic pain relievers. Sure, they help with pain (which is obviously good) but they make me feel woozy, shaky, lightheaded, and systemically awful. I finally decided that I'd rather deal with some straightforward pain than the systemic awfulness.

And I'm feeling a lot more myself as a result.

I'm taking Extra Strength Tylenol, and that's it. And I hope that as the other drugs leave my system, I'll feel well enough to go to church tomorrow.

My chest feels like hell. But that's better than my whole body feeling like hell!

Shower & New PJs

In breaking news, I finally took a shower and changed my pajamas. Wahoooo. How exciting. This may be the highlight of the day.

I really thought things would go easier. Maybe tomorrow they'll be easier? Tomorrow I really ohpe to go to church. Because it involves just sitting it can't be too hard, but it is more activity than I have done in days.

A Bad Attitude is starting to take over. The pain thing is wearing. It will be okay, but it's wearing.

This is getting really old

I'm okay. The world is not ending.

Still, this stinks.

My hands are shaky. My vision is funky. I can't sleep well. The pain meds wear off about an hour before I'm allowed to take a new one.

My sleep is troubled - I fall asleep, then startle awake, look at the clock, and realize I only fell asleep for 7 minutes or something like that.

I still haven't had a shower because it seems like a lot of effort.

Boy am I ready to turn the corner! This can't last forever, right?

(The Dilaudid works better than Oxycodone, and I'm not itchy, so that's good....but still....)

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Meds on the Way

Thank you to my brother Mike for being so accomodating.

I called the doc, and he wrote a prescription, but apparently it's a narcotic/controlled substance so he couldn't just fax it over, it needed to be an original prescription. So my brother is swinging by the PolyClinic on his way over to pick up the prescription and drop it off at Rite Aid on his way to get Tessa and spend the day with her. Heather will pick it up and deliver it to my house.

What would I do without these lovely people?

Kerri took care of Tessa on Wednesday; Katie on Thursday; Mike today. Ginger (from church) and Michele have delivered meals, and Heather's delivering one today. Ryan is juggling work, Tessa, and me.

I am fortunate.

The doc also said to take Extra Strength Tylenol in addition ot the Oxycodone, and it's helping. My hands have stopped shaking, which is a major relief.

Despite my good fortune at all this help, quite frankly, this sucks. "Uncomfortable" isn't the right word - "painful" gets a little closer. Ugh.


I'm trying to figure out why this is so hard.

I think that they stitched the expanders directly into my muscles to prevent the problem of them migrating all over my chest (again). Translation? The tiniest movements are very painful.

My hands are shaky.

My head feels wobbly and confused - no doubt from pain meds.

I'm itchy all over from the Oxycodone.

I am going to call the doc this morning and see if I can get some different meds. Maybe if I could sleep more than 2 hours at once, or maybe if my hands would stop shaking, I could make some progress.

It is very hard to type - it requires a level of concentration that is kind of scary.

Still, it's my body that is a mess. Emotionally, I'm doing okay. If I had to choose a breakdown or physical pain, I'd choose physical I've got that going for me. But what a choice!

Rough night

This is challenging.

My body is itchy (side effeet fromthe oxycodone) and everything is just so achy.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

And so it goes

I officially feel crummy.

The horse won't get off me.

I have a low-grade fever (100.0) - not enough to call the doctor (that's at 101, and I have his number handy).

It's hard to feel spunky when I feel so crummy. But I feel crummy. The slightest movements hurt. Typing isn't bad because I rest my hands on the laptop but I wouldn't even want to write with a pen because the movement would jar too much.


Friends are calling, sweet as can be. Dinners (2!) are being delivered - one from 'Chele, one from church. I am very fortunate.

Except that I feel so yucky.

Ryan and Tessa are home and I had to shoo them out of my room - Tessa's slight bumps into the bed made me grit my teeth.

Today and tomorrow are "supposed" to be hard. Today did not let me down in that regard. I'm glad that my mental state of mind is so much better....but that, unfortunately, doesn't make it hurt less.

On a totally different note -

A YSC friend who has gone to hell and back (her version of hell involves Hurricane Katrina, loss of her house, chemo, and failed reconstruction) got her tatooed nipples today. I'm pleased as punch for her - I've grown to love her, and she deserves to put the punctuation marks on. For her, as for me, the recon is a necesary part of the healing, and it gives me strength to see her reach her goal. Love you, TL.

Now it's a Clydesdale


Just took another little pill. I hope it helps!

A horse is sitting on me

Obviously not literally. And Shep has nothing to do with this. But it does feel like a horse is sitting on the bottom half of my rib cage. No danger of me forgetting my pain meds.

(No danger of ODing, either, as I'm writing down when I take them.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Still well

My brain is decidedly "high" from drugs but I'm not complaining. I feel vits of aches from my chest, but bearable.

The guest room is comfortable. Ryan brought me a lovely meal. I've got what I need.

Here I am for a few days.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Still pray for my patience - the new foobs are in the right place, and I suspect that they're doing better....but they're a mess. It's a two step process, etc. Sigh. "Pretty" isn't in the vocabularly yet.

Good night, all.

Home from surgery

Best as I can tell things went well.

Im high as a kite, bumping into walls, etc. No pain yet. Just took meds.

Settled in ot ht guets room. Ready to hunker down...

Today is the day

I'm almost ready. The guest room is ready, the bathroom is ready, the laundry is folded, the fridge is stocked. The dishwasher is running. The beds are made.

I'm wearing clothes that I can put on without lifting my arms.

I have the packet of doctor-info.

Tessa just joyfully left with Kerri & Sari, off for a day of adventure.

Ryan brought me tulips.

Now I'm waiting. This is why I prefer early check-in.....waiting around all morning, feeling thirsty and unable to drink and unable to have my morning coffee, is not the greatest. Too much anxiety.

I will probably take another pill this morning. But yesterday it totally knocked me out! I slept on the couch, fully clothed, last night. Whoaaaa. Ryan couldn't stir me.

Here we go.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Whoa that stuff is good

Ativan, that is.

I won't be driving anywhere anytime soon.

But I no longer feel like climbing the walls and throwing up (simultaneously), at least.

That sick feeling

Uh oh, here I go again.

I feel gross. Sick to my stomach.

It's the pre-surgery jitters. Time to take a some kind of anti-anxiety meds and sink onto the couch. Ryan will be home soon.

Today was a good day. I saw friends, did therapy, got some stuff done.

But now I feel sick.

Thank you for your love and prayers. This time tomorrow, with any luck, I'll be home again, recovering. I think (hope) that the anticipation is worse than the pain.

Please include Tessa and Ryan in your prayers. Tessa needs to remember that she is a child, and should be free from adult worries. I need her to feel at peace, loved and cared for, unconcerned as to outcomes or "what ifs." Ryan needs to feel loved and supported, too, as he has extra burdens in caring for our household as I hibernate.

Ugh my head hurts. I think I'd better go take that pill before it's too late. Here we go......


24 hours from now I will be getting ready to go to the hospital.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat....repeat....repeat....

Today will be busy. This morning is PEPS at Heather's (which Tessa and I will both love), then while Tessa is at preschool I will go visit my beloved brilliant shrink, who will (hopefully) help me to whip my brain into shape for this surgery. (Or is it my heart she puts into shape? Hard to tell the difference, really.) I also need to dust, vacuum, grocery shop, and fold the last load of laundry. And one more coat of paint on the bathroom stuff.

I wasn't kidding when I said I'm nesting. It helps me so much to have things in place - it gives me the sense of order in a disorderly world. And I desperately want that sense of order.

The other thing we'll do today is celebrate Shep's 2nd birthday. We don't know exactly when his birthday is, but it's sometime around now, and he does seem a perfect April Fool. He is getting two new squeaky toys that he loves (the others will be retired to the trash - he chews them to bits), and as our tradition, he'll get a meat-cake. We make him a big hamburger, stick candles in it and Tessa will sing to him and blow out his candles before he gobbles the whole thing up as fast as he can.

And on another note....

I just got a call from someone at WSUU, promising hot meals, offering thoughts and prayers, and giving kindness. I am grateful to be a member of this community. More and more, it is becoming community to me, and not just a place I attend once a week. I have made a good decision in this regard, and I am grateful to have it in my life.

By next Sunday, I hope I'm well enough to go to services. Something to look forward to.

And on that note - off to PEPS.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hanging in there

Today went relatively well.

As is becoming typical for me, I took on a little house project today. I think this is like nesting prior to having a baby - I know that I'll be out of it for a while and it's better for me to have the house in shape for that. I've been trying to get laundry caught up, do little projects, organize things.

And today I painted the downstairs bathroom cabinet - it was a gross wood that had seen better days and looked very dark and dingy, and now it's a nice crisp white with new hardware. A major improvement. I'll be using that bathroom when I'm staying in the guestroom, and it will make me smile each time I see the crisp white. I haven't been able to paint the entire bathroom yet, but I will do that after surgery.

And tonight, thanks to Heather's kindness in caring for Tessa, Ryan and I went on a date.

Now I'm home, tired, and ready for bed.

Really, today could have been worse. It helped to keep busy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joys and Sorrows

Today at church, during the brief sharing which preceeds the service, I shared my sorrows.

It felt good to say Cathy O'Brien's name out loud in a sacred space. Today one of the musical interludes was an Irish sounding soung on a guitar and a harmonica, and it somehow reminded me of her and felt fitting, like I'd been able to attend her funeral almost. I held her close to my heart and meditated on some of the words she's written on YSC and her impact upon me.

I shared Cathy's passing, and how sorrowed I am by it, with the congregation. As tears slipped out, I also said, "She was diagnosed two months before me, and though I'm healthy now, I'm so frightened that I might follow in her footsteps."

I also shared that I am dreading my upcoming surgery. Three years (almost) of fighting. I'm so tired of fighting. I want peace.

The congregation was kind. I was hugged, approached, smiled at. I was told that I would be held in thoughts, that I would be prayed for, that they would meditate on my healing. Different people spoke to me in different ways, all kind. This is a fellowship at its best.

It helps me to share. That's why I share so much here, too. It makes me feel less alone in my fight. Maybe my pain will lessen someone else's by making them feel less alone in their struggles, whatever they may be.

But then I came home and took an anti-anxiety pill, which is still not taking effect. I have an acid-reflux feeling in my belly that I'm certain is a fit of nerves. It took a lot out of me to speak today, to admit my fear out loud (harder than in writing, for me at least), to cry pubicly.


A new day

The traditional day of rest.

This morning Tessa is snuffly with allergies and Ryan awoke with a migraine. Tessa's slow to get up but will be fine; Ryan took Immitrex and hopefully he'll be fine in an hour or two. I'm still reeling from the news of Cathy but I am prepared to make it a new day.

We also got excellent news yesterday. Tessa will be attending Alki Elementary School next year - our first choice! The letters went out early, as I didn't expect to hear for a week or two. She's delighted by this, as she had it in her head that it was where she wanted to go, because "big kids" Emma and Liam go there, and because her friends Jessie & Zoe will go there (when Zoe returns from Panama, anyway).

Now, off to rouse Tessa. I really, really want to attend church this morning - my soul needs a little rest.