So Monday I returned to work after my surgery.
Monday night I came home and fell over.
Tuesday by ten o’clock I’d realized there was no way it was gonna work at eight hour days, and I’m lucky enough to have both leftover sick time and an excellent (and available!) substitute, so I fixed it so I’d work half-days all week.
I’m still pretty dang tired. I come home at 12:30 or so, fall over for a couple hours, then wake up and try to figure out how to get my brain to come back.
Walking happens at about a fourth of my usual speed. I have to remind myself not to jump up and get stuff off the printer, not to twist in my chair, not to do a hundred and one things I’m used to doing, because I have to hoard my energy to get through till twelve o’clock. And I think how lucky I am that it’s not permanent. And then I think how useful it is for story research.
I’ve always tried to be medically accurate in my writing. I know that shoulders aren’t really great places to stop a bullet. I know that major injuries take time to heal. I don’t think I ever quite appreciated the weakening factor, though.
For ten years, I’ve done my job a certain way. Now, if I move at that rate, do everything the way I’d normally do, in an hour I’m tired. In two hours I’ll be sitting at my desk, nothing but decorative, because all I can possibly do is think how I hurt and I want to sleep.
It’s been kind of an eye-opener. I tell myself it’s good for me, as I head back to bed for the third time in twenty-four hours.
And then I’m really grateful that this too shall pass.
On Saturday I had an idiot moment. I had it while my host was taking a backup of my site. I had my own backup, but I borked the site so badly that the backup won’t take.
So. KDSarge.com lives again, but I’m going to have to put EVERYTHING back. And it’s unlikely I have usable copies of at least half of it.
Sigh. You’d think I’d learn. I thought I had learned. I backed my site up weekly. I back up the blog, I back up the computer, I use Dropbox for every document not-Scrivener…†
There will come a day when I have everything everywhere backed up and invulnerable. Probably the day before the meteor hits. Or the zombies come. Whichever.
†In case you didn’t know, Dropbox and Scrivener do not play nicely together. Get around that by saving .zip files into Dropbox, solely as a backup.
So for now, until I can get the backups to work, all traffic to kdsarge.com redirects to my blog. Where I can at least tell you that’s what is going on!
Luckily there’s lots of stuff over here, too. Here’s the link to my books page.
Warning for slight mention of girl-parts (I use the word uterus. Some folks can’t handle these cuss words.)
So these past few days, I feel that my life is changing. It’s pretty soon after the last time I felt like this, but I’ve come to welcome the feeling. It generally leads to awesome.
Really I shouldn’t find it surprising. My gynecologist tells me that my uterus was massive, and extremely scarred from the c-section I had to have when my daughter Refused To Exit. Add to that the fact that I’ll never be slowed by Feminine Hygiene Products again, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me.
Some of that weight is literal. I lost nine pounds over the course of my surgery and recovery. Partly due, no doubt, to the fact that I barely ate for a good three days, and then getting myself out of bed and to the kitchen was major and painful effort for a few days more. Much of it, though, is those bits inside me that have been removed.
For months before the surgery, when I told women what surgery I was having, I heard either “Oh, you’re so lucky!” or “best thing I ever did” in response. So far, I’m agreeing with both. I’m still a bit slowed, a bit sore, but I feel amazing and better every day. I’m eager to see what this new world of not-pain has for me.
So. Yoga. I’ve always wanted to try it, but always told myself I couldn’t afford it, and also I’d look silly. Lose some weight, get a bit better at moving first, and then…
Yeah, I’m not sure how I thought that was gonna work. Anyway. I felt the need for change, thought yoga might be a good place to start that as I’m still in recovery, and did some research. I found a place that offers a Yoga on a Budget program that’s about a mile away, and I went to my first yoga class today.
Have to say, I loved it.
I was welcomed but not overwhelmed.† The teacher kept an eye on me, encouraged me and gave me alternatives when she thought I needed them, but she didn’t call me out to the class or anything. And the fear of how ridiculous I’d look on a yoga mat? Here’s a hint, past-KD: in yoga class no one is looking at you. The teacher is checking in, but she’s watching the whole class the same way and rooting for you besides. Everyone else is in their own practice, not worried about yours.
So, dear readers, if you’re thinking yoga class is too much like PE in high school, don’t. It was really amazing, welcoming, and gentle, and I enjoyed nearly every second of it. The seconds I didn’t enjoy were when my body said “don’t do that!” As soon as I got back to somewhere safe for me and my body, we were good.
And? At the beginning of the class as we moved through stretches, the teacher said to “hug your knees.” I couldn’t get to mine. By the end of the class, though, I could. I was blown away–that much change in an hour? Awesome!
As I write, it occurs to me that I think I’m working in the opposite-to-normal direction. I’ve heard people talk about becoming grounded in their bodies, but since before the surgery when I had a little “chat” with my body telling it what we were having done and why (and don’t let me down, body, we’ve got to get through this!), I’ve been more treating my body like a good friend who’s taken care of me a long time, but now needs my attention.
Hey, if leads to KD-mind and KD-body both being healthier and more harmonized, it’s a good thing, right?
So tomorrow I’m checking out chair yoga, and then Saturday I’ll try gentle yoga. One of the on-a-budget plans gives new students two weeks of unlimited classes, and I mean to try it ALL out.
†Ever gone somewhere and EVERYONE was so delighted to see you that you vowed you’d never go back?
Warning: not-graphic discussion of women’s parts and problems below. If you can’t handle that, I’m gonna suggest you go somewhere else till you mature a little bit. If you don’t want to read, well, I said it wasn’t graphic, but whatever. It’s a big internet–take care and have a good day!
So. I’m seriously getting to not like my surgeon. As far as I know he did a great job, and he’s known for that. When I was scared before the surgery I spent some time on the internet and found he really knows what he’s doing. I was in excellent hands.
His ears, however, and most especially his mouth…
Last week I had my follow-up appointment, nine days after my surgery. I waited nearly an hour in the exam room, then he was in and out in about four minutes and that time included a quick pelvic exam. As he left the room I asked him the situation with my ovaries. The plan for the surgery had been to probably leave them in place, or take one or both if he saw a need.
Realize that I’d already seen the man once since my surgery, in the hospital. That was about a ten-second visit, but I had seen him.
He said, “Oh, yes, I did take one let me see which one you still have…” then he looked in my file and said, “no, actually I did take both, because the way the blood supply was, you were at risk for serious bleeding if I left one in place.”
…this was more than a week after my surgery, and I nearly had to tackle him to get time to ask that question. Before I could think of another question to ask, he was out the door. No instructions of “wait for the nurse for other stuffs” or “we’re all set, have a great life!” Nothing. He just left me there. After ten minutes I decided to go up front and see if I was actually waiting for anything. A mystified lady in scrubs checked my “patient summary” and said it looked like I was all done, thanks, have a great life!
She helpfully printed it out for me. Listed among my problems are “menorrhagia,” “stress” and “female.”
…okay, then, Doc.
I was in a lot of pain that day, so it wasn’t until I got home that I started wondering if he shouldn’t have given me a return-to-work date. I put it on my to-do list to call my gynecologist, who actually talks to me, and see what I needed to do. Yesterday I made that call, and yes–my surgeon should have already done it. The lady I spoke to explained that since the surgeon had done the post-op appointment, she needed to research how to bring me in so my insurance would still pay for it, and she’d call me back.
Hurray, cross that off the list. Onwards.
Down towards the bottom of my list was “research menopause.” Last night when I felt too brain-gone to do anything else on my list but I wasn’t ready for bed, I went and had a look at what to expect.
Wow. Some fun facts out there! Women who go through surgical menopause get it all at once, unlike natural menopause where the ovaries taper off hormone production slowly. So a girl can expect a bumpy ride. Also, women who go through surgical menopause and don’t take Hormone Replacement Therapy until about age 50 have increased risks of heart disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease… There are risks and side effects to HRT too, of course, but these are things that should be discussed.
You’d think someone would have mentioned it.
So it’s been two weeks now since the surgery. I’ve had hot flashes that have me flinging the blankets off at three in the morning in my 60° house (which scares the heck out of the cats, used to me being a lump of warmth to sleep on at three a.m.) I went to bed last night determined I would talk to my gynecologist TODAY and get some things straightened out. And I’d let her know my opinion of my surgeon’s communication skills.
The good news in all this? She called me at eight this morning, I’ve got an appointment at eleven, and the insurance will pay for it because she needs to discuss HRT with me. That was her suggestion, before I could ask.
I’m still gonna tell her about that other doctor.
So! Surgery! Fun stuff, yeah?
Bleh. But hopefully worth it.
It’s behind me now, though, yay! I’m finally getting to where I don’t spend a good portion of my day in bed. I couldn’t be happier. My cats are also ecstatic.
And I’ll tell you, I’ll be happy for some peace. It’s been quite a struggle, getting sleeping space on my own bed during the day. You see, it’s positioned perfectly to catch the morning sunlight from one window (helping me, in normal times, to drag my butt out of bed) and the afternoon light from another. For years my cats have shown their appreciation of this placement by sleeping on it all day long. They did not appreciate my infringing on this beloved habit.
In the past two weeks we’ve had power struggles. We’ve had lots of meowed complaints. We’ve had cats attempting to walk across the human’s tummy and wondering why they are suddenly launched through the air.
So, yeah. Happy for a multitude of reasons that I can now (mostly) leave the bed to the cats while the sun is hitting it.
Not least of those reasons is that my new book is coming out April 1st! Since I have spent the last two weeks mostly flat on my back, I’ve still got tons to do to get ready for it. That’s what I’m going to be doing while the cats re-acquaint themselves with their adored sunbeams.
Oh, and be aware–I’m plotting some giveaways to get the word out about the new book, so be sure to drop by often!
I have, from the moment I watched my first episode, loved Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It’s about making a lasting, positive change in someone’s life, helping the “victim” explore himself, expand his horizons, get moving to the next level of being the best he can be, carefully matched to the person he is now.
Blame the lack of coherent thought for weeks if I’m not getting it across. But much of reality TV is people competing against each other, with all the nasty stuff that comes with it (Survivor, anyone?) Or holding people up for mocking, like Hoarders (note: I’ve never seen it) and…well, the list could go on and on.
There are lots of shows out there (or there were, when I was watching a lot of reality TV) about helping people. What Not to Wear is one I remember. And then there’s Clean Sweep, Trading Spaces, In a Fix (I loved In a Fix! Does it even still exist?) and a boatload of others. For me, though, Queer Eye rises above the rest.
It’s funny, without ever being mean. It focuses on the total person, and on making every single change suit the personality of the person they are changing. (Kevin Downey Jr’s Boom-Boom Room, anyone?) In one episode I watched, they went back a few months later to check up on four of the guys they’d helped and every single one was maintaining because the changes weren’t some huge jump of “this is who I think the perfect man is.” The focus was always “let’s make you the best you we can, and show you how to keep it going.”
Well, anyway. The reason I’m talking about Queer Eye is I took a small portion of my tax refund out yesterday, and I came back with about none of it because I needed to help my kitchen.
Ted (Allen, the food guy) would be pleased that I bought good knives at last. My last set’o'knives (which was the best I’d ever owned) was falling apart, and instead of hitting the thrift store for a piece here and there to replace as they broke, I went out and carefully, thoughtfully, bought new knives.
I bought a red microwave. The impetus of the whole shopping trip was the breaking of the old, dull white microwave, so a microwave was GOING to happen, but daring to jump on the red–I think Thom would be proud. I also needed to replace my teflon-coated pans†, but I have some amazing All-Clad (because I’m THAT DAMN LUCKY) so I didn’t need a set. I bought a set of red-bottomed teflon skillets, and a set of ceramic-lined saucepans so I won’t have to replace THEM when I next replace the teflon. And I bought with the future in mind, so I went for quality.
All in all, I got some good stuff, some fun stuff, and a nice mix of things to help get me into the kitchen. And I think that the influence of the Fab Five is going to shine through, because I thought about what I wanted my kitchen to be as I looked for what I needed and wanted.
†In case you didn’t know, the bonding process with teflon means you must replace your teflon every few years no matter how high-quality the pan. Otherwise you’re eating the teflon, and it’s not good for you.