The Annoying Truth

Day 1: Cataract surgery – Right Eye.  Everyone told me it would be a “piece of cake”.  They were correct. When I thought they were rolling me into the surgery, I was actually being rolled out.  I missed the entire thing!  This was a blessing.  I was so nervous about having to watch them cutting into my eyeball.

Day 2: I was able to take off the bandage today and put drops in my eye.  The eye (the right one) was blurry and full of goop. I could not open it all the way. I was expecting to see a miraculous difference – not a worsening of vision.  But I was forewarned that it may take days to see normally.

Day 3: My right eye was still blurry and I could not see a dramatic difference in my sight.  This worried me.  My left eye had the worse vision, so maybe after that surgery, I would be able to focus well.

Day 4: In the morning, I removed the eyepatch and put my AM drops into my eye. I could not believe my face in the mirror. Yes, I had a black eye of course.  It was my skin that freaked me out.  The creases in my forehead were deeper and more predominate.  I was pale and pasty looking with a dry and cracking aura about me. A few days without moisturizer and foundation takes its toll.

Day 5:  The past three days I had a headache.  I decided that a hot shower would help.  It would have helped more if I was not distracted by the filthy grime sticking to the tile grout.  Then there was the tile on the walls – their grout was a pinkish color in spots.  Mildew was growing all around me.

Day 6:  I figured out something.  There is nothing wrong with my right eye.  Every day, I look older & my house is dirtier.

With all the warnings and cautions, my Doc neglected to tell me about those side effects.

♥  TTFN  ♥

35 Years Ago Today…

Birthday Cake

I know it’s Thursday and I’m supposed to be writing giggles & bits, not major life changing events. However, now that it has been 35 years, I can actually see some humor in the events that transpired the day before my daughter was born.

At the time I was 22 years old, very naïve and nervous as Hell. My mother-in-law (a former OB-GYN nurse) suspected my water would break any second and whisked me to the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA. They did a test that determined I had a “slow leak” (what am I, an old tire?), so they admitted me to Labor and Delivery.

I felt like an idiot. I wasn’t even in labor yet, and here I am in a busy labor room, eavesdropping on the other women as they’re going through labor. A few hours dragged by and no action.

Because the doctor was afraid of infection because my amniotic fluid was exposed to the elements, he induced my labor using a drug called Oxytocin. The drug brought on contractions right away. If the drug had helped the dilation process, baby and I would have gotten to skip all the drama following and get some sleep.

I dilated 2 cm then stopped. Not the contractions – they were increasing in strength and my poor baby was being slammed into the brick wall that was my cervix. Next they put an electrode on her scalp so they could watch her vitals. It would fall off after a contraction and they had to re-attach the thing several times.

I was given a pain medication into my IV. “To take the edge off the pain” I was told. It was a really, really small edge. I, of course, begged for more, like some junkie in the street. I suppose the nearly useless S$%#@!  kept me from killing someone, or screaming too loud. I was so exhausted after a contraction that I zoned out and tried to close my eyes and breathe slow to calm myself down.

One time when I opened my eyes, I saw five doctor’s staring down at my hoo-hah like it was new to this planet. My assigned doctor was getting more opinions, for what? I knew that something was going wrong when I looked at my parents – both had turned white as a sheet.

Then they took me for a ride. First they turned me over and put me on my hands and knees “because it’s better for the baby”. It would have been a lot easier to hang on to the gurney right-side up. They began running, full-out, down the long hallway. Each brass carpet strip we went over bumped me a foot above the gurney. No one seemed to care about that except me.

Next, I found myself inside a large elevator headed up for surgery. The people who were already in the elevator were crowded against the paneled walls. I’m pretty sure I mooned them because the back of my gown was drafty. I would have been embarrassed, but terror and pain will shift a person’s priorities.

The surgical nurses put warm soft towels over my bursting belly “to calm the baby”. It worked on me too, until the next contraction. All I knew was that someone had given me their hand to squeeze. I heard a faint scream, then swearing. Apparently, my nails ripped open the anestheologist’s glove and he had to re-scrub. He did not mess around when he came back – I was out before the next contraction.

When I woke up I was in a dark empty room. Two people in surgical scrubs were looking down at me, smiling like idiots.   “You have a beautiful baby girl!”

“Girl?!?”  They made a mistake. I was having a boy – everyone said so. I had already named the baby Jeffery. This confused the Hell out of me, anesthesia, of course, did not help.  Remember, this is 1981 and they did not use ultrasound equipment to tell you the sex in advance – not in the military hospitals.

I was wheeled (gently this time) up to my room. They put me right across the hall from the nurse’s station. After listening to the happy grandparents describe my baby to me, I feigned exhaustion and they went home.  Now, I was really depressed. Tears were falling from my cheeks when a large-boned, no-nonsense, nurse walked purposely into the room, carrying a white football.

“Now, you girls always want to see your baby to check the fingers & toes, so here she is -”

I was handed my unwrapped baby girl to hold for the first time. She had gorgeous golden curls that peeked out from under her little knitted cap! Once cradled in my arms, she opened her eyes and gave me this look that said – Where the Hell have YOU been?

♥  TTFN  ♥


Warning: No Longer Medicated For Your Protection

toothacheI was medicated for your protection (and my pain). For 3 days. Like bone graft surgery on your jaw is all done and happy after a mere three days. The instructions tell you to only eat soft foods for 7-10 days. That should have given me a clue that my oral surgeon was skimping on me. Big Time.

With only 3-days worth of pain killers you do not want to eat anything on day 4 – except a whole bottle of Advil. The swelling alone took ice-packs, Advil, and 7-days to subside. I can barely open my mouth to get a spoonful of yogurt or jello down my throat. Chewing is a fond memory. Oh sure, ‘just chew on the opposite side’ you say. Unfortunately, you can put food in the opposite side, but chewing involves the entire jaw. Which, by the way, HURTS LIKE AN SOB.

[Sorry for yelling. If it makes you feel any better, it was painful to do so.]

I have bummed narcotics from family and friends, like a junkie. I am not proud of this, but it is what it is.

When it comes to pain, I’m not a weenie. Yet hour upon hour, turning day after day of throbbing pain, wears my patience and bravado down to a wispy, thin thread that stretches between insanity and homicide.

And life in general is not taking it easy on me during my time of need, either. Today in the mail I got another ‘delinquent bill’ for hubby’s lab tests done in July. JULY! I believed that my calling, emailing, and finally going to the hospital, had straightened out the error, because an entire month went by without a bill, statement, or phone call.

I can really be naïve. The scary thing is that hubby has had other lab tests ordered and done in August and October. I have not gotten any statements for these, but I know they will be coming along, pissing me off all over again, because our insurance has not been billed. This same hospital lab has no problem billing my lab work. It is only hubby’s account that is in some way screwed up.

I almost feel sorry for whoever works in the billing department of a certain hospital. The chances of me waking up pain-free tomorrow are not good… 😦
photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou via photopin cc