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Monday, January 23, 2006

Woot! I got a doctor's note.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have a doctors note stating that I am to remain home untul Feb 1st. All I can say is... Sweeeeeeet. *said like Eric Cartman from South Park* Ain't nothing like directions from a physician to make me sit on my ass and sleep in late! :) But really, I do need to do that. Eric's been so good about making sure that I don't over exert myself (and I do really try). I know, I know, I should rest but you know me. It's hard for me to make other people do things for me that I am supposed to be doing. Like my job. Like the laundry. Like feeding the kitties. But everyone is gladly doing all these things for me. It makes me feel really nice though to know just how many people care about me. Along with all of you. Your comments are all so generous and caring. Thank you are so much!

So yes, I've been home with my kitties and trying to rest. You can see they are more than happy to take advantage of me being home:

Fang loves the chin love. :)

And here they both are, helping keep me warm while I blog:

Now I know I've been neglectful in my blogging. I'm sorry. *hangs head in shame but not for too long because it makes my face hurt* But I did send a mass email to my family. Now, now... it's not that I don't consider all of you family... *sly wink* It's just that I might overload Yahoo! mail if I tried to send it to everyone I know. :)

So I've decided to share that email with all of you. Mostly because not a heck of a lot else has been going on in my life.

So here it is. It was sent on Thursday the 12th (oh and for those of you that actually got this email, I've included pics of the card this time):

Hello all!

Oh yeah, mass email time!

I know some of you are wondering how I am since my surgery. Well actually, I'm great. The surgery was on Jan 3rd and took about three and a half hours and then about two hours in recovery. I'm still at home recovering now too. Percocet is now my friend. I went in for a follow up appointment yesterday (Jan 11th)and was instructed to "take your normal pain meds". Yikes. That was my first hint that things were going to hurt. When I got into the clinic, the doctor took a quick peak up my nose to see how things were healing and then pulled out what looked like four fondue forks. No shit. Fondue forks. Each about six inches long (at least). He then told me that he was going to give me cocaine. Of course, you know me, I balked at that. I literally grabbed his arm and said "You're gonna do what?" I informed him of my drug background (uh, I mean, mom's drug background) and told him that I wasn't too keen on the idea and were there any other alternatives?

Him: "Well you can just take the pain."
Me: *Ponders for a second* "So how addictive is this liquid cocaine?"
Him: "Not at all. It's a medicinal dose."
Me: *Lay back on the chair and give a thumbs up* "Fire it up."

He proceeded to dip each of those 'fondue forks' into the cocaine and then push them up my nose so far I began to see stars. I had to remind him that I'm a biter. Gritting my teeth with his fingers so close to my mouth, you have -no- idea how badly I just wanted to chomp right down. :P

He then left me there. Two silver prongs sticking out of each nostril while the cocaine took hold. He warned me it would go down the back of my throat and that it would taste nasty. But damn, he didn't say just how nasty! I can literally say I have never swallowed anything nastier than this stuff. And I have eaten dirt as a little girl! :P He laughed when I asked him why they couldn't make it frigging bubble gum flavored or something.

About fifteen minutes later, I'm having my fourth endoscopy in twelve months. No I don't recommend them. At once point while gritting my teeth and clenching the arm rests on the chair, I asked him (okay more like grunted at him between expletives) "What the hell are you doing? Digging for treasure?!" He pulled out the scope and proclaimed "No, but I can tell you... It's a boy!" I love Dr. Senior. The man is a nut! And he had nothing but good news for me. He said that while my surgery was pretty challenging because of my nasal structure and everything that he had to do, the results that he could see so far were excellent. And yet, I still have stitches in my nose. In three weeks I have to go back (Feb 1st) and I hope/fear that he will pull them out then. I'm really not in the mood to have stitches pulled out of my nose. Especially as many as there are and how far up they are... at least as far as I can see. And by the way he was digging, I'm -positive- there are more up there where I can't see when I tilt my head back. *whimper*

But holy crap... I can breathe! Easily. Through both nostrils. At once even! All the time. You have no idea just how frigging kewl that is! If it didn't hurt so damn much to do it, I'd probably be singing all day long about it. (Singing, projecting my voice, laughing even, are painful to do.) I haven't sneezed once since the surgery. (Which is probably a good thing because I can't imagine how painful sneezing would be right now.)
(Update! I sneezed for the first time on Wednesday and I was right... boy howdy did that hurt! I had to sit there and hold my head for a few minutes. We now return to our regularly scheduled email...)
And I only blew my nose for the first time this morning (and that nearly brought me to my knees). And I think I really only did it out of reflex.

It looks like my nose changed shape a little bit too. It looks smaller to Eric and I. And yes, my voice did get higher but by only a tiny bit. I'm sure it will get higher again once all the swelling is completely down but I doubt it will be a drastic change. It's just enough that most of the people I talk to daily are able to notice it.

Besides that, all is well. I'm on anywhere from nine to fifteen pills a day (depending on pain) but I'm already starting to scale all those back. And while I spent the first five days inside, on the futon, watching Anime and Godzilla, I'm still not completely strong enough to go outside a lot. Today was only the second time I've been out and about. We went to see Memoirs of a Geisha. After that we went to the book store and then, I was done for the day! I get so tired so easily. It's a bit frustrating but the doctor did remind me that I -did- have major surgery and that some people take upwards of six weeks to recover. I'm recovering very quickly in his opinion and I'll probably be back to work next week. :)
(Update: I was out of my mind. I went in on Tuesday the 18th for 5 hours and Wednesday the 19th for 4 hours. Done. I'm home again now. Back to the email...) Probably, I mean I thought I would be able to go back to work this week but it's obvious I was out of my mind to think that! :P This will have me out of work for two whole weeks but no one in my office seems to mind. I talked to my boss yesterday for a bit. She's been doing most of my work (on top of hers) and the other people in the office have been helping out. They are such a nice group of folks! They sent me a card too.

Here it is: (click on it to make it bigger)

my friends
And the inside: (once again, click on it to make it bigger)

my friends
I cried when I read all their kind words. No one has ever done that sort of thing for me before let alone all my co-workers. I don't have the heart to throw it out. It's such a funny card too. :)

Oh and for the record yes, Eric was with me the day of surgery. He traded a day's worth of shifts with another flight attendant so that he could be there and then he had the next three days off. I ended up being by myself for three more nights but he made sure to have a friend of mine call me all the time and another to stop by to make sure I was okay. I'm such a sissy. I -had- to have him there for the day of surgery. He sat there and held my hand as I cried and cried. I wasn't scared of the needles. I was scared of the anesthetic. At one point before the surgery, and I knew I would do it, I did start whimpering, "I want my kitty! I want my kitty!" I'd never been knocked out at all and I was really worried about it. But one really good thing about working in the School of Medicine is that you get to know a lot of the physicians in the hospital. When I walked in and saw who the Anesthesiologist was that day listed on the roster board, I felt a lot better. I know her personally and she was actually one of the top three people I was hoping to see on that board!

Well besides all that, Eric, the cats and I are well. Eric just made one year of service with PSA Airlines. He's really, really liking being a Flight attendant. Who'd have thunk it huh? :) He origially took the job with the thought that in six months he'd re-analyze it but he's thinking of the long haul now. It's nice. We are already planning where we want to go this year.

But for now, I think it's time for me to go back to the futon. Sitting in front of the computer this long after all that walking we did today has just got me pooped!

Love you all!


And that's my life lately. I hope all is well with all of you.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Percocet and bad Japanese movies

That seems to have been my life these past few days. But it's not like I'm complaining. I love bad Japanese movies. I'm a -huge- Godzilla fan! I got about seven (or is it eight?) DVD's of Godzilla movies and two Gamera movies for Yule. *so happy* Also, a friend of mine named Andy K lent me the complete Battle Athletes Victory series. I had never heard of it before and at first I thought it was the meds that made me giggle like a kid while watching them but they are actually pretty good. He also lent me the Studio Ghibli box set. Talk about great! I loved, loved, loved most of them... even if the sub titles were going a bit too fast to read. They were so fast in some sections that even Eric was having a hard time and he wasn't medicated.

So yes to all of you, I am still alive if barely. Posting this much has made me extremely tired. It's so hard to sit up in front of the computer. So no, I didn't go back to work today even though I had thought I would be able to go. Here's how I'm looking right now:

Yes my nose started bleeding again. I think when I was sleeping earlier today, I must have hit it with my hand because I woke up and my face just -hurt-. And my nose was bleeding again. And no, before anyone freaks out, I didn't cut my hair. It's just a lot easier to care for in a braid. :P

Ahhh.... that looks great:

I think I'll go join them and watch some more Godzilla. I love the futon. It's in perfect view of the tv and while laying down, all one has to do is raise their hand with the remote and hit "play". All is well in the world.

I'll respond to comments later on. Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and words. It really made me smile. :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

T minus one day

Tomorrow I'll be under the 'knife'. I'm having sinus surgery so that maybe, just maybe I'll finally be able to breathe. I'm having the procedure done at UNC (where I work) by Dr. Brent Senior. He's the Division Chief for the Department of Otolaryngology and specializes in cases as severe as mine. (Trust me! It's severe!) He's a really funny guy too. I think he can tell just how nervous I am about the procedure and every time I've left his clinic, I have at least felt confident. I'm just nervous about being put under is all. Any hoo, here's what he's going to be doing:

1. a total
2. a middle meatal antrostomy
3. a
4. an intramural cautery
5. an outfx of turbinates

And all with stereotactic CT guidance. That makes me feel better. That means that he'll be using my two cat scans for guidance so that he'll be able to perform the procedure a lot easier.

So of course, today was my pre-op. I've never, ever, been fully sedated. I am not terribly nervous but I sure as hell ain't calm! Here is the face of calm:

Yeah... and while I may look relatively fine in the pic, please note that my blood pressure was 143 over 72! (I'm normally 110 over 70) *laugh*

I went from clinic, to clinic, to clinic this morning. From 9 am to noon I was in that hospital but I never had to wait very long. Man I didn't realize how much stuff you had to do before surgery! And I'm just doing some outpatient work. I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt! And I didn't get any cool prizes either. But I guess I will tomorrow with a bruised face, bleeding nose and Percocet. ;) Eric was on it after his wisdom teeth were pulled. It made him smile a lot. *laugh*

I'll tell you one thing that surprised me about the ENT clinic... I've never been in the rooms they have for the kids before, but I think I prefer them. Check out these pics:

All the rooms where the adults are normally put in are stark white (see the pic above). I think I'd like having a nasal endoscopy if when I opened my eyes there were playful whales there. :P

Well, time to go get some things together. Surgery is at 8:15 tomorrow morning and I should get to bed. Wish me luck!