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txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 06:46 AM
Sounds like our February group is going to be as large as December's! I guess with the holidays and stuff, all the patients/surgeons are gearing back up ...

I've actually crossed most items off my to-do list, and am putting the finishing touches on getting my room/house set up. Assigning duty days for friends to check in, and my best friend works 10 min away - so she'll be doing "daily duty" for a while. I think if I have home health care drop in early a.m., best friend drop in for late lunch, and then the "on call friend for the day" come by after work that should cover the schedule.

I may have mentioned before, I live in a duplex - and have a great couple next door ... they'll have a key, of course, know all the details (and to come check on any loud thumps - heh ... we both have hardwoods so anything dropped is quite audible!) - and will watch my doggie until I'm moving around better.

Ultimately, I decided against the life alert type device because it won't work with VoIP - and the programmer geek in me is fundamentally opposed to getting a landline just to support the service. I told someone last week - only semi-teasingly - I may just buy a few air horns to signal the neighbors - LOL. I suppose I ought to leave them at floor level, eh? Wouldn't do much good to fall, need one, and have it be on the countertop! ;-)

While I'm a lot more calm than I was last week, my sleep schedule is SO screwed up: I'm sleeping a LOT during the day, and getting tons done in the wee hours. Tried to get things back on track ("Pam, we sleep at *night* ...") for a week or so, but finally just decided to roll with it - I'll just take all the rest I can get now ... at whatever time of day/night.

For example, It's 6:40 a.m. CST, and I've been up since 1:15 a.m. (damn barking neighbor's dog ... I am *definitely* getting earplugs!): Since I woke up, I've done laundry, washed dishes, am thinking what dish(es) to cook and freeze today, continued organizing bills, made yet *another* to-do list ... oh - and made a trip to the 24 hour CVS down the road - LOL!

(I've always been pretty nocturnal, but it's gotten silly ;-)

While at CVS, I picked up a 240 count pack of cleansing cloths (240, you say? Yes, yes ... I know ... they were on sale), face wipes, extra batteries (for remotes), and my first grabber. The grabber has provided about an hour of rousing entertainment this morning ... I got one with the suction cups, and it's pretty slick! It's possible I've picked up half the items in my house with it, and the dog is looking a bit uneasy ("is she coming after me with that next???").

Oh, and I grabbed haircolor. My roots are AWFUL right now, but I need to wait a bit closer to surgery or I'll just have roots *again* 2 weeks post op - LOL. My hair is usually dyed some red not found in nature, so there's a fine line at how close I can do it before surgery, as well ... TOO soon, and I'll be leaving pink spots on the hospital pillows ;-).

One thing I'd like to note about my "freezing ahead" plan ... cheap containers = BAD PLAN.

I picked up about 50 identically sized containers at Big Lots several weeks ago (some off-brand). These lil' cheapies, I believe, actually *create* frost ... the equivalent of tiny terrariums. Currently, I'm eating all the stuff I cooked to start and replacing with stuff I'm cooking NOW stored in name brand storage containers.

All my pre-op tests are done ... blood donation is done ... I met with anesthesia and solidified an aggressive pain mgmt plan (HIGH tolerance to pain meds) ... Hanson wrote the rx for a handicap placard, and completed his portion of the application form - so that's all done.

This process - the preparation for surgery - reminds me a lot (maybe even MORE planning) of getting ready to give birth.

I intend to wrap up all except last minute details (grocery shopping for perishables, etc.) early this week, and then I am going to play, play, PLAY until midnight on Feb 4th!

Looking back over all this, I fully realize it's one big rambling soliloquy, but it's still pretty indicative of where I am mentally these days ;-).

Best wishes to everyone else in the homestretch!

Regards,
Pam

Singer
01-21-2008, 08:23 AM
One of the most de-stressing things I did before surgery was to color my bleached-blonde hair darker, close to its original color (mousy brown) so I wouldn't be staring at roots for 3-4 months afterwards. I was really glad I did this, and when I finally got a bleach job at around 4 months post-op, it was a huge thrill.

Sharshe
01-21-2008, 08:30 AM
Looks like you got it all down pat. My younger son gave me a grabber for Christmas. He said he and his girlfriend were running around Lowes grabbing everything :p . I've already scratched our Doggy's back with it. She actually started enjoying it. :D Enjoy your last days of mobility.

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 09:08 AM
One of the most de-stressing things I did before surgery was to color my bleached-blonde hair darker, close to its original color (mousy brown) so I wouldn't be staring at roots for 3-4 months afterwards. I was really glad I did this, and when I finally got a bleach job at around 4 months post-op, it was a huge thrill.

Singer, I'd go back to my natural color except it's dark brown with tons of grey (that started when I was still in high school). No matter what I do, I'll have roots ;-).

Pam

trulyaries
01-21-2008, 09:13 AM
Pam -
I know you won't believe this, but I just now thought of one clever idea that you didn't think of! (Before I explain this I should say I live in a very safe neighborhood/complex.) I put a sign on my front door that says "I am recuperating from surgery so it might take a little longer for me to get to the door. Please be patient. If you are delivering a package, please ring the bell once and leave the package on the porch." That worked great by itself (the past 8 months have seen an uptick in my online ordering!). What no one knew unless I told them was that underneath that sign, totally invisible, was one of those little metal magnetic key holders with an emergency key to the front door. That came in handy when I knew someone was coming over so I didn't have to go down the stairs to open the door or if I were sleeping. This was in addition to keys given to my two primary caregivers. I didn't have a better place out front to hide a key, and the "under the mat" thing was a little too common.
BTW, I have THREE grabbers, located all over the condo. I'm short so I have found that they come in handy even if I weren't recuperating from surgery.

I know you'll come through your surgery just fine. Counting down with you ... ;)

geo
01-21-2008, 12:50 PM
Wow, trulyaries, you must live in a VERY safe area! That reminded me of having surgery and recuperating at my sister's house. She had told me that one of her then-neighbors had gone to rehab for addiction to pain medications, and they knew I'd had surgery, so I was totally paranoid they might break into my sister's house or something for my precious oxycodone! (Am I watching too much TV?)

Pam, I will say it again, I think you are P-r-e-p-a-r-e-d with a capital P! I think people will look at your posts for years to come to help them with their own lists. And, I really can't wait to read your funny posts when you are on an aggressive pain management plan!

As far as sleep, I'd say you're right about just getting it when you can. That is probably how it will be for awhile after surgery too.

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 01:32 PM
Okay ... I had to take a break from chasing the dog around with my grabber (muah-hah-HAH!) to respond ...


Wow, trulyaries, you must live in a VERY safe area!

Yeah ... a great idea if you can pull it off (locale-wise); 2 minutes outside downtown Houston? Probably not advisable.

I'm distributing about 15 keys, and yes, I DO have a list of who'll have them as a matter of fact.

Mail/packages aren't really an issue: I'm friendly with my postman and FedEx/UPS people (mostly because we all hate the dogs across the street and talk about them all the time - LOL), and they always tuck my packages in a safe place on the porch.

Pretty much, after surgery, I'm going into "if you don't have a key - or unless you just happen to be standing at the door when I open it - you ain't gettin' in" mode.


... And, I really can't wait to read your funny posts when you are on an aggressive pain management plan!

Geo can't wait to see me PWI (post while intoxicated) - niiiiiiiice. Where da lub, baby?? LOL!

Pam

trulyaries
01-21-2008, 04:08 PM
Yeah ... a great idea if you can pull it off (locale-wise); 2 minutes outside downtown Houston? Probably not advisable.
Pam
Right - not advisable. Of course, I know no place is 100% safe, but I feel pretty good about where I am. Besides, the president of our condo association is retired, and I swear he patrols our small complex constantly with his Doberman always at his side. Bad guys don't need to know that the ferocious looking Doberman is a great big pussycat!

Pam, if you react to the drugs the way I reacted to Valium you ought to be good for a lot of laughs. I can't wait either! :D

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 04:17 PM
I'm set for Dilaudid, trulyaries ... and there is no telling what I might pen! LOL

skoshi314
01-21-2008, 05:40 PM
I would have never believed I'd find so much info AND entertainment here! Pam, it's not that I don't sympathize with you and your upcoming surgery but I'm on board with the "can't wait to see what she says next" crew! Thanks for the smiles, heaven knows I need all I can get!

The Slice
01-21-2008, 05:42 PM
Hi Txmarinemom, forgive me for being a man, and perhaps a bit naive, but why not just let you hair go back to it's natural color? My mom at one point decided to start coloring her hair to hide the grey, but it didn't last for long before she decided that it wasn't worth all the bother to keep it up. I personally feel that there is too much emphasis in our society to look younger than we are. I get really ticked off at these commercials touting hair transplants, and hair growth formulas for men (and women) as if there's something wrong with going bald! Yes, I can understand it if you're a child, or teen, especially for girls as baldness in women is much less common, but when you're in your late 30's, 40's, or 50's and a guy, it happens. I hate that they feed on people's insecurities and try to make them think that fixing this will fix their lives.

Another idea is perhaps you can get a couple of FRMS radios with chargers, and give one to a close friend (in close proximity). This way if you need something, you can contact them without having to dial their number (unless you and a friend have PTT capabilities on your phones).

Another thought for you is going into this. First off is that they will probably give you a pre-op sedative that may, or may not actually put you to sleep, but if it doesn't, it will take the edge off. Let it do it's work and don't fight it. Now, getting the IV put in. If it's done by the anesthesiologist, there's a good chance that they might use a small amount of lidocaine prior to putting the IV in. If it's done by someone else, and they are having trouble, it's worth a try to ask them to let the anesthesiologist give it a shot and ask the anesthesiologist if they can use the lidocaine. (I know because I have always been a real tough stick.) A while back, I went in to have a lump removed from the back of my knee, and the anesthesiologist came in to give me the pre-op. He used a little lidocaine which made it much easier to get the needle in (because I had relaxed). Anyway, he said he was giving me a little Versed and that I would feel like I had a couple of beers. A couple of minutes after he gave it to me, he headed out of the booth with me and I was out by the time he had me half way out, no high, buzz, or anything, I just fell asleep. Much more recently, I went in for testing that required anesthesia and they had an IV nurse put the IV in and she missed 4 times. I told her to stop and let the anesthesiologist to do it. The anesthesiologist wouldn't use the lidocaine as he couldn't see the point of sticking me twice, fortunately, he got it in on the first try. If they will use the lidocaine, they will probably use a 27 or 29 gauge needle (much smaller than the IV needle) and will probably not feel much worse than a mosquito bite. (Much, much less discomfort than the IV needle.) I wish you the best, and look forward to hearing how things went. Don't let your pride get in the way of asking for explanations of what's happening, or help :D LOL It's a stressful time, and it would be normal to feel scared, vulnerable, and even a bit like a child. I know I did some time back when I fell and bumped my noggin. My parents came to the E. R, (they were living near by at the time) and I turned to jello. I felt like I was a little kid again. It sounds like you've got a lot of support around you, both physically, and emotionally and thats fantastic! I hope that much of this hasn't made you more nervous, but eliminated some of the unknowns. With depression and anxiety I have a particularly hard time dealing with knowing that something is coming, but not knowing what.

Geish
01-21-2008, 05:53 PM
Singer, I'd go back to my natural color except it's dark brown with tons of grey (that started when I was still in high school). No matter what I do, I'll have roots ;-).

Pam

I went with a darker hair color a week before my surgery. Now I have no idea what my natural color is because I have been lightening my hair since right after high school! Let me tell you it felt so good to go to my hairstylist last Friday and go back to blonde! Dark hair was not for me. I feel so much better just knowing my hair is back to "normal". It wasn't too bad sitting in the chair for an hour and a half. I just made sure to take a pillow with me and used it when I had to recline at the sink. I'm pretty sure I won't ever make the mistake of thinking I need to see what I look like with dark hair again!

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 06:00 PM
Slice, take this all tongue in cheek today ... I'm zoning ;-).


Hi Txmarinemom, forgive me for being a man, and perhaps a bit naive, but why not just let you hair go back to it's natural color?

Forgive me for being a woman, but I don't want to! LOL

My hair color has *nothing* to do with how I think I'm perceived. If you've read my posts, you maaaaaaaaaay have gathered I really don't give a sh*^.

And all I mean by that is no OTHER person's opinion will ever define who I am: There's no one looking back at that mirror every day but me.

I fully agree, anyone who changes themselves to be "acceptable" will never be happy or satisfied. That comes from within.

How funny you mentioned the lidocaine trick ... I'd been under general anesthesia maybe 15 times, and I ALWAYS make them do it because too many have a propensity to blow through my veins.

They'll argue about it at first ("it's just going to be an extra burn ..."), to which I answer "Um, YEAH ... but it's the only one I'll FEEL.".

Thanks so much for all you wrote on the pre-op, IV, etc. - that should actually be a whole topic unto itself because so many have *never* experienced general. Consider posting all that again in a thread by itself? I think it could be very helpful!

Best regards,
Pam

The Slice
01-21-2008, 10:40 PM
Pam, my apologies if I misinterpreted/misunderstood what you had meant earlier. You were commenting on coloring your hair to hide the roots as the color wasn't your natural color, and that you had quite a bit of grey hair. I had interpreted that the primary reason that you were coloring your hair was to hide the grey, not just to change the color. BTW, bravo (brava?) on being so insistent on having them use lidocaine, I didn't have the courage or the patience to be firmer on the issue. What's worse is that the Dr. implied that I was being a wimp! This was after the ordeal with the IV nurse who missed 4 times and I think hit a nerve in my hand as it was a pain like I had never felt before when having a needle put in. It was a big thing for me to tell this nurse to stop. :eek: :D I also asked this Dr to use Versed for the pre-op as I was pretty sure that it would not give me the high/buzz on the way out that I hate so much, but he refused. I don't know what he did give me, but sure enough I got that terrible feeling that I had gotten so many times before as a kid. I didn't press it then because I was aware that there are all types of protocols etc. hospitals have to follow as well as a formulary for the approved drugs used in the hospital. That feeling is like the lightheadedness that you get when you pass out but much more intense as well as the sense of a literal buzz going on inside your head. On another note with IV's, the sore spot that happens when the needle goes through and through the vein is in essence a bruise. This can be minimized by stopping the bleeding into the tissues with direct pressure and patience. If the IV infiltrates (or blows) while running, the discomfort can be eased with warm/hot compresses.

One last thing, I saw the pictures that you posted and would suggest that if you really want people to see what you look like with the scoliosis is to have someone take another shot from the back with you standing with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. The way you are standing in that picture seems to offset the curve so that it's not as apparent. However, the image of the x-ray is impressive!

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 11:19 PM
One last thing, I saw the pictures that you posted and would suggest that if you really want people to see what you look like with the scoliosis is to have someone take another shot from the back with you standing with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. The way you are standing in that picture seems to offset the curve so that it's not as apparent. However, the image of the x-ray is impressive!

Slice, when I model, I shift weight to *either* foot depending on where my weight is moving. I can't even vouch I was *opposite* my curve in that shot.

I'll be more than happy to post a full on, standing, back shot - non-modeling - lmao ... and I hope you can tell a difference (you won't be able to, really).

But that's really cool you know how to tell me - or ~anyone~ - how to take a pic that depicts scoli.

Pam

The Slice
01-22-2008, 05:01 AM
You don't need to do that, but it's interesting that when I took another look at the x-ray, it's real obvious how the curve is affecting you if you follow the ribs down at the sides and can actually see the outline of your body in the x-ray that makes the shape of your body as it's affected by the scoliosis obvious.

txmarinemom
01-22-2008, 05:47 AM
You don't need to do that, but it's interesting that when I took another look at the x-ray, it's real obvious how the curve is affecting you if you follow the ribs down at the sides and can actually see the outline of your body in the x-ray that makes the shape of your body as it's affected by the scoliosis obvious.

Oh, MY GOSH! ... *really*? And all this time I was planning surgery to fill a few months in an empty social calendar!

I considered doing weekend stints with Greenpeace (the logistics were just off), writing my new book "Fill That Space in Your Life with Root Canals for Fun and Profit", or devoting my entire spring to polishing the "hand tooled leather" of the books in my Time-Life Old West Series.

None sounded as much fun as surgery.

And now you have to rain on my parade and announce (*gasp* ... publically, even!), you have analyzed my back, and it actually IS crooked?

Spoilsport! You ruined my illusion of a frivolous holiday! ;-)

Regards,
Pam


(Slice, this is my last even *semi* light post in response.

If you want to advise women on their haircolor via Mom's example, berate people who don't stand on their own (when YOU mentioned MOM - a few times, I think), direct people how to pose in pics - and then have the gall to point out their deformities, move on.

I'm still feeling peaceful, but you're annoying my Zen, dude. I could go either way at the moment, and personally, I prefer the well-humored me.)

The Slice
01-22-2008, 07:27 AM
I love your humor in the first part of the last response, and I deserve what I got. Looking back at it, and with what you wrote, I realize just how insensitive and tacky it was to say what I did in the last post. I'd try to explain myself as it seems clear that the message that was received was not what I had intended. That's my fault and I think that trying would just make things worse. In case you haven't noticed, I have a propensity for putting my foot in my mouth and maybe this time, I put both there. :( I offer my apologies and hope that you will forgive me. If not, I understand. Please believe that although screwed up, I had/have nothing but the best intentions. I'll say nothing more other than to wish you the best of luck with your surgery and hope you have a speedy recovery.

Susie*Bee
01-22-2008, 08:05 AM
Sheesh! Let a gal leave for just one day, and look at how much reading there is to make up!!! You guys sure were busy Sunday night/Monday day! It looks. from this post, that you've gotten plenty of encouragement and advice Pam. Ok, more advice than was wanted. ;) I do think Slice's intentions were well meant--he just doesn't understand you. So that was good you controlled yourself and didn't blast him--yet. Be careful, Slice! That clever tongue that keeps us in stitches can undoubtedly rip and tear equally as impressively...

Pam--I've been thinking of you so much, with your surgery SO FAST approaching. Do spend some time just relaxing (if you can) and enjoying yourself... If (and the possibility is close to nil but still possible) you have forgotten something, it will work out. Re: dye-- I had mine done a couple days pre-op, then at 5 weeks post-op. So it wasn't dreadful--and if I could do it at 5 weeks, you certainly could do it by then! Did you say pink??? Not like Vyxen on the Great Race??? I thought she was a hoot! :D Don't worry too much about your present sleep patterns (or lack thereof...) --it will get all messed up anyway. Just try to get close to enough of it, whenever. Good luck with all the med stuff. After reading some of the posts, I realize that area went really smoothly for me. My only comment is based on the depressing fact that I gained weight in the hospital-- they must have been feeding me the equivalent of 10 lbs. of Fannie May candies each day in the IV solution. Wish I could have at least enjoyed the delight of the real thing. :rolleyes:

Trularies--I'm one like you. We had a sign on the back door that basically said if you were coming to visit, just knock and then come on in... yup, way out in the boonies, lots of ol' country folk. I grew up in northern California in a "town" of about 20,000, and remember when the "climate" there changed and we had to start locking doors, etc. The town near us has a pop of 700. Yes, there are still some bad people in our area, but they wouldn't come to our back door for anything...

Pam--one last thing, since you told me once you had this... can you post the upcoming surgery dates? (end of Jan, Feb) If you can put them on the NSF calendar, do so. I emailed the "contact us" person and she said I should be able to go in and do that, but when I tried to add an event, it says I don't have permission to access that page. I also said they don't give us enough space for pm--only 1000 characters. She said they were meeting soon and would discuss that.

Take care!!! :)