Saturday, October 29, 2016

Prep Girl

For some reason I scheduled an appointment with almost every doctor I have for this week and next. Last week I met with a knee surgeon, had my teeth cleaned, had a mammo, and saw my boob doc. Next week I see my cancer prevention doc and have a colonoscopy — hence, the "prep" reference. This picture shows all the colon-friendly foods I bought. Truly, it makes me shudder. Canned fruit? Egad. I cannot have a raw fruit or vegetable, or a cooked version of either that contains seeds, from Friday through Wednesday.

This is not how I eat!

Tonight's dinner will be a turkey and cheese sandwich on white bread, with potato chips and a cup of Mott's Granny Smith applesauce. Egad.

Nonetheless, I am sticking to this diet with a will of iron. Longtime readers may recall how outraged I was to get a grade of "Fair" on my prep last time — when they sent me the directions for how I was supposed to eat three days too late. Jerks. But this time I will get an Excellent! Or an Excellent Plus!  I will be the poster girl for colon prep!

I can turn anything into a competition. Even one that no sane person wants to win.

(Years ago, we were making clementine pomanders at a Betsy-Tacy party, and our hostess commented how nice it was to do an activity that wasn't competitive. I promptly said, "Mine's cutest!" and Thecla said, "Mine's roundest!" and Alice said, "Mine's orangest!" Our hostess sighed. Silly girl.)

The big news is that I have a hot date for my double knee replacement surgery, which is: February 1. I wanted it to be sooner, but what can you do.

To my surprise, I got a little teary looking at my x-rays. Both knees are bone on bone, and I'm developing all kinds of bone spurs; they were ugly, sad pictures. But it also became vividly real at that moment. I have truly terrible knees. I have been living in pain for a ridiculously long time. I am going to have major surgery!!

Some doctors won't do a double surgery, and indeed my pal Nurse Kathy urged me not to. But I want it done. I hate pain, like everyone else, but I am determined and stubborn and I will muscle through. My sweet Greek surgeon (who is 12, bless him) says that I seem very motivated, and he thinks I'll do well.

I'm determined to prove him right! My goal is to get myself ready by getting as strong as possible beforehand — which means riding my bike and lifting weights (and going to Deep Water — it is ridiculous how many of these classes I have to miss. Tuesday and Thursday nights are in high demand in my life, apparently!).

So, today I got back on my bike for the first time in a long time.

I had decided to ride for half an hour, but halfway through I was sweaty and tired and had an achy bum and sore knees and was ready to throw in the towel . . . and then went, "Does this hurt more than double knee replacement surgery is going to? If I can't handle this, what makes me think I can handle that?"

And this was just the tough talk I needed; I stayed on, pedaling away, for the full 30 minutes and then some, because I wanted to finish the song ("Fallin' and Flyin'" from the Crazy Heart soundtrack).

Then I lifted weights and did wall push-ups, and now I am sweaty and limp and exhausted and proud and victorious.

Time for a hot bubble bath and some clear liquids! 

Colon prep. Egad.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cherry Ames, I Am Not

I'm back from eight days in California with my recovering mother and am more clear than ever that nursing is not the field for me (not that this was ever a question). The good news is that Mom is recovering well; by the time I left, she'd been cleared to drive and was already dressing, showering, and otherwise taking care of herself (even finally applying her own bedsore cream — don't ask).

But she is ridiculously bad about remembering to take all her medicines at the right times. She does okay with the early morning and late evening doses, but she is such a scatterbrain right now, remembering her 11 a.m., lunchtime, 3 p.m., and dinnertime meds — if she's doing anything else, that thought goes right out the window. I used to have a co-worker who consistently forgot to turn in her timesheet (and thus didn't get paid that week), and I felt the same kind of incredulous exasperation. How do you not get this???

Watching my vibrant, active, confident mom transition into a little old lady (or, as she would say, LOL — what she sincerely believes the acronym stands for) is not easy, and I am not handling it outstandingly well. Her short-term memory (see pill schedule) is poor, which I found especially frustrating.

One example (of many): We visited her primary care doctor and were shown in by Nurse Candy, who took Mom's vital signs and asked her lots of questions about the surgery and rehab. Then the doc came in and Candy went out, and the doc asked Mom if she wanted a flu shot. She said yes, so he said he'd send the nurse back in.

Mom: After Pat gives me the flu shot, we can go.
Me: Is Pat the flu shot nurse?
Mom: No, she's the nurse who was in here before.
Me: You mean Candy?
Mom: Yes.
Me: Candy is Pat?
Mom: Yes! Wait . . .

Things like this happened over and over (though we always laughed about it, which is something).

Anyway. I'm back on the Right Coast now. And it is a great joy to be home, I've already taken 75 baths, though once again my editing work is on fire and I don't see a lull in sight. I also have a head cold and feel clogged and dull. I really, really, really need a true vacation!!

Ah, well. I'm home with my boys, I have paying work, Mom's doing okay — things could be worse.

(I must say: As life philosophies go, "Things could be worse" is a tad lacking in joy. I'll work on that.)

— Lady C

p.s. Here's what I read on my family "oblication" (Sexy Em):


 Who's read the latest Maisie book? I was very disappointed — how about you?