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Here’s the “down half-way,” (as opposed to the “down-low,” or the “up-high):  I did not die on the operating table Wednesday afternoon!   😆

Dr. Cutting did his customary “cut-up” job (as opposed to “bang-up” job. Somehow bang-up just didn’t sound right).  The surgery took a bit longer than I expected – about two hours, instead of one and one-half as I had thought.  In any event, when I awoke from the anesthesia, my thumb and hand felt fine.  No pain at all!  That is because before closing the incision, he deadens the sensory nerve in the area he is operating on with a large wallop of procaine.  The injection there blocks pain for about 36 hours or so – at least through what is hoped is the majority of post-operative pain.  Worked like a charm this time!  There was one hitch, however:

My back, from the mid-thoracic area down to the lumbar area was giving me an excruciating, mind-numbing pain.  I don’t remember anything hurting like that in many years.  It was also very scary to me, because, I optimistically thought, is this going to go on forever?  I could barely speak, and did not ask for any medication because my hand felt fine, and I was too confused to ask for anything.

After being returned to the day-surgery waiting room, the nurses offered me some pain-pills, which I normally would take in such a situation, but the pain I was in was upsetting my stomach, so I declined, and just started rocking the bed and clenching my left fist – hard.  (Left some bruise-marks there).  If I had been in my right mind, I would have remembered that the best way to help oneself when in pain is to relax every muscle, from the toes to the head.

The nurse asked me, “On a scale of 1 to 10, with no pain being 1, and the worst imaginable pain a 10, where would you rate the pain you are experiencing now?” I replied, “11.”  Fortunately, Ashley was with me, and knowing that this was not my usual post-operative behavior, asked the nurse to get me some IV pain med. She did, and it managed to drop the pain down to a 9.  I could think a tiny bit more clearly, and foremost in my mind was my intense desire to go home.  I would not be allowed to go until I proved that I could eat and drink without nausea, and had pain under control.

After the injection, I asked Ashley to give me a pack of crackers, and tell the nurse that i was ready to go home.  I wasn’t sure I could even stand up because of the back pain, but by golly! I was going to give it my best effort. So, I ate, got dressed (sort of), stood up briefly, and got into the wheelchair, was rolled down to our car, and went home.

The pain was creeping back over the “10” again by the time we got to our house, and my panic-stricken feeling was returning.  “Screwing (my) courage to the sticking point,” I got out of the car and walked up to our back door. Just as I lifted my right foot up to climb the three steps to our door, I felt and heard a very loud snap and a thunk. I straightened up in surprise, and lo and behold, my back ceased hurting almost entirely!

Since that time, other than being a bit tired, I had been quite well.  Right on cue, however, last night the post-surgical pain in my right hand set in.  I took a narcotic-anesthetic pill for the first time early this morning.  It seems to be working well enough for me to write this post and bore you all once again!

One thing I failed to mention, that Ashley thinks is a part of this whole saga, is that we had a dinner party last night.  Our pastor and his wife – Chuck and Karen – were our guests.  We have been trying to work out a mutually agreeable time for us to have them over for dinner ever since we moved here almost four years ago!  We were finally able to find a date when we were all available.  We made that appointment with them over a month ago, and I was not about to postpone it.

I did the shopping and some prep work before the surgery, and Wednesday night after returning home, I did all the “make-ahead” cooking that I could, and went to bed.  I would get up early on my “Theme-less Thursday” and finish it up.  You will be delighted to know that I scrapped plans to post anything on RFACM.  I felt that would be just plain nutty, and I of course am not anywhere near close to that.

Our guests arrived at 6 p.m.  For starters, over casual conversation, I served us each a mug of hot mulled wine, some spiced nuts, and some cheese puffs.  The cheese puffs were disappointing, but the nuts and wine were wonderful.  I left the room to do the final last-minute cooking, then served our main meal, followed by dessert.  My menu:  Herb-stuffed boneless pork loin, mashed potato casserole, sautéed fresh spinach with pine nuts and cranberries, and cream cheese biscuits.  Other than a “slight hiccup” which did not affect the food, it all turned out beautifully.  Dessert was a deep dish apple pie with whipped cream. After eating we continued on with our very easy conversation, and generally enjoyed one another thoroughly. After Chuck and Karen left, the kitchen clean-up loomed over us.

Just so you will know what an incredibly fabulous husband I have: On seeing the pile of pots and pans in the sink and on the counters, I looked over at Ashley (who was very tired himself) and I said, “Let’s just wait until tomorrow to clean up, OK?”  I helped put away some of the remaining food and then dragged myself upstairs to the bedroom.  When I went downstairs this morning, the kitchen was spotless!  I don’t know how Hubs managed to do it, but God bless him, he did.  Am I not married to the most fabulous man in the universe, or what?  Those are the “Friday’s Fabulous Facts” of my life.

This morning, along with some pain, I am swimming in gratitude for all that I have been given.  I am blessed with the abundance of enough. . .

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