Monday, December 06, 2010

Home again, home again

Three days post-surgery, and everything is finally getting back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. 

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It's Owl Right & thankfully, so am I

We got home Friday a bit after lunchtime, and it wasn't long before I was drowsing off, physically needing to lay down and sleep. I was (and am) in more pain than I expected, but I'm trying not to dwell on it, because it can only get better from this point on, right? 

The surgery went well. One thing I learned is that I probably don't hide fear as well as I'd like to think. The surgical nurse, Olga, could apparently tell that I was terrified, because at one point, just as I was about to be put under (I was watching the anesthesiologist putting the first drug in my IV line), she came up to me, grasped my hand, and told me that everything would be ok.

And it was ok. I came out of anesthesia quickly, and wasn't sick at all afterwards. I was a little disoriented, but it passed quickly. The procedure was an obvious immediate success, but they don't consider it a true success until 3 months post-surgery, when they'll better be able to tell if the procedure "took" long term or not.

So, it's a date. February 3rd, 2011, I'm looking at you.
used with permission, by clarita, at Morguefile^
I would have been able to come home sooner than I did, but they had trouble getting an acceptable blood oxygen reading. It wasn't until they tested my ear that they got the (normal) 97% measurement that they wanted.

used with permission, from Morguefile^
My fingers never show the proper levels of blood oxygen due to the fact that I have mild primary Reynaud's phenomenon^ (pops to a National Institutes of Health page). In other words, I have poor circulation in my fingers and toes, and always have. Secondary Reynaud's (which I totally do not have) is caused by other factors, often serious diseases - it's not a diagnosis anyone wants.

To be honest, I always thought that everyone had the same experience (cold extremities indoors, actual pain in the cold) and that it was entirely normal. At least  until I was pregnant in 2005 with Clementine. My doctor, who was trying to get a blood oxygen reading at the time, grabbed my hands, held them palm up, gestured toward the splotchy, pale skin, then said, "Has anyone ever told you why your hands are cold and blue? Because you have Reynaud's".She seemed quite pleased to be the one to tell me.

So, I have Reynaud's. Really, though, the only time it comes up is when I'm out playing in the snow or when I need to give a blood oxygen level, which is almost never. By the way: you can try to tell the nurses that they won't be able to get a blood oxygen reading from your fingers, but about half the time, they'll take it as a personal challenge. At least it isn't painful, though. Nothing like the nurses who are entirely sure that they'll be the one to tame my rolling, collapsing veins with half-a-dozen jabs in the arm rather than taking it out of the back of my hand as I request. In the past I've come close to fainting before they were willing to give up. Now I just insist on the back of my hand.

As mentioned above, I'm still in quite a bit of pain, but determined to get some work done this week. I've had it up to here with my own kvetching, and feel the need to be productive. I'm tired of being sick. I'm sick of being tired. So, I'm planning on working on Christmas gifts, putting up the Christmas tree with Dan and Clementine, and doing all of the other things one is supposed to do in December.
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Speaking of Clementine: She handled Mommy being in surgery both better and worse than I would have expected. 

Better in the sense that she's been all over me, giving me hugs and kisses, which is very sweet. She wanted to be reassured that everything was ok, and she spent a lot of the weekend right next to me, checking on me. She asked a lot of questions, all of which we answered, all of which seemed to satisfy her sense of curiosity. She knows that I'm ok and at this point, she's back to her sweet self.

But worse in the sense that Clementine decided on Saturday to give herself a haircut. She seems to like to change things up whenever she feels stress, and told me quite plainly that she wanted shorter hair, which is why she cut it. We didn't scold her - there was no point. I simply told her that we'd have to go to the salon and get it evened up, which we did, and she's now the proud owner of a darling pixie cut. 
Until later...
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