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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lobsterland Homecoming

Not long after the Revolution* they started talking about sending me home. It seemed soon, I'd gone under the knife Tuesday, they were going to send me home Saturday. But unless they wanted to monitor my sugars and vitals more closely than I could at home, there wasn't that much to be done. I can be uncomfortable at home as easily as at the hospital, plus I don't have to wake up every few hours for vitals checks. And hanging around in hospital is a pretty good way to catch MRSA or one of those other nasties that seem to hang out only in hospitals.

I'd asked my Dad to drive me home because between Corinna not driving much to begin with and suffering that concussion, it seemed prudent. Plus, she drove me after my cardiac catheterization and between her lack of familiarity with my car and my car's tight suspension, the ride felt fast and jerky with one minor injury let alone the full collection.

So of course I had a bunch meds to fill. Some of this stuff I was already on, Lipitor, Zebeta, aspirin. But they also have me on Cardizem CD, Lasix, KDUR, Senokot-S, Miralax, and Percocet. The Wal-Mart pharmacist told me it'd be about a forty minute wait, but I wanted to be home when I finally got home so I copped a squat on a bench there in the pharmacy area and waited. Corinna decided to do some grocery shopping, and my Dad looked around for nothing in particular. Then Corinna decided she couldn't take the noise inside, so she paid for the groceries and went out to wait in the cool afternoon air.

This worried my Dad, because there were dairy products in that cart. Milk, cottage cheese, etc. In his worry, I recognized that this was where I'd gotten my original phobia about dairy products going bad. It took me a long time, as an adult, to realize that the stuff didn't start to go bad before your eyes the minute it was poured into a glass or even set on the counter. I remember freaking out when giving a woman ride one time, in my twenties, because she bought milk at a convenience store and didn't start to drink it until several hours later. Wasn't she worried it would go sour? Or worse? She was completely calm about sipping it through the hot afternoon, even after it was warm. and to take the leftover home to put on her cereal the next morning. I was nauseated at the time.

Of course it probably does shave a few days off the shelf life, but an hour or two outside on a 75ºF day isn't even going to get the process going really. Plus, when dairy does go bad, it's pretty obvious. That milk might start to drift towards yogurt, but it's not as if you're going to accidentally drink and not notice it's sour. Milk doesn't last long in our house anyway, and on the occasion that the last inch or two goes sour, it's a pretty good starter for waffle batter at that point.

By the time my prescriptions where filled, I was too worn down to question the quantity of Miralax in the bag. Three 527 gram jars, almost 3-1/2 pounds of laxative. My Percocet script is only 30 tabs, and at the rate I've needed them, they'll be gone in a few short days. Even with a cat that needs the laxative, I think I'm sitting on at least a two year supply.

Dad wondered where Corinna had gotten to at one point, and I said she was probably out in front, stretched out on a bench sleeping with her grocery bags spread out in front of her like a homeless person. Then I remembered we were supposed to pick up a bathroom scale so I could monitor myself against sudden weight gains that might indicate complications, and also to grab a thermometer so I could check my temperature—same reason.

I went to find these things, and got completely gassed walking before I found the scales. Meanwhile my Dad was calling me trying to figure out where I'd gone, and Corinna was trying to text me. Her text ring tone on my phone is James Brown I Feel Good, so while I was trying to tell my Dad where I was in the store, I was hearing James Brown scream and shout in my ear and couldn't find a way to make it stop. I finally gave up, bought family-sized bag of pharmaceuticals and went to the car where nobody was to be seen. There was a courtesy wheel chair abandoned between the cars, so I sat in it and waited. Eventually they turned up, loaded up the car and on we went to home. Dad had gotten the scale himself after finding Corinna stretched out on a bench like a homeless person, a package of toilet paper for a pillow.

I'm not sure I've ever been so exhausted in my life.

Getting my nest set up here hat home took a good deal of time and trouble, or so it felt. More remarkable than the pain of post-op is the exhaustion. I can slowly do much of what I normally would, but when I'm done it's nappy time. And actually there's a lot I can't do. I'm on a ten pound lift limit and I certainly don't have a full range of motion with my arms and neck.

Once I finally did get settled, I think I slept about 12 out of the next 14 hours. Over the past two days I've been cobbling together these posts. Jello and Zippy have helped some, Jello pinned me down for a good nine hours the second night I was home.

*The Revolution is a bit of TMI: they kept giving me laxatives and stool softeners to counter the constipating effect of the drugs, and it had finally worked. When they asked me if I'd had a bowel movement, Corinna offered that it was more like a revolution.

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