my surgery — a cautionary prelude.

so…
I’ve been home from the hospital for 3 days now and Brni has been trying to get me to post, but alas, shock & trauma coupled with the haze of scheduled narcotics makes my brain a bit of mush. But he’s right — I do need to at least try to get the needle in the groove, so to speak.

see, already now, not even a decent paragraph in and i’m in trouble of drifting off…and you wouldn’t believe the typos…

Before I lose it, I need to thank everyone for the kind wishes, vibes, Reiki, thoughts and smoke that were sent up for me. It really meant so much and I’m sure I wouldn’t have survived half as well without all of you. so, h’ok….

I think it’s extremely self indulgent of me to consider posting a blow by blow account of *my surgery* but for some reason I want to. I usually refrain (or try to) from doing the “all me” show, but I think I can manage setting this down and maybe tying in some relevant stuff about modern medicine, the state of health care or some other things of great social import. Or maybe not. It could end up to be a how-to manual…who knows? We’ll see what comes from the haze.

I do know that before I tell you anything, it’s important to let everyone know that there are things you must consider that no one ever tells you before going under the knife. One thing in particular — hair.

Surgery ruins your hair. If you have longish hair, or really any hair at all, unthinkable things are going to happen to it. Consider having a friend do your hair in a nice tight french braid. This won’t save it entirely but it will considerably lessen the damage. Or, this may be the time to start those dread locks you’ve always wanted. You may not be able to keep them afterwards, but at least you’ll appear to have some purpose. Another idea would be to finally get that short short cut…the more butch the better. I wouldn’t go so far as to shave it though. The thought of days of head stubble is not a comfortable one. There was an older black woman on the floor who had the right idea. Wrap it all in a beautiful scarf. Men, don’t fret…if it’s long, go Willie Nelson on it. You won’t regret it.

In my case, I left it hanging just like it always does, figuring they’ll tuck it all up in one of those paper hats and aside from some tangles it’ll do ok.

~ heh ~

By day two or three (I can’t really remember) it was one big matted dread lock. Just one — all of it. Add to that, there was goop in it. Waxy, sticky goop that the nerve team had used to apply the electrodes to my head after they had taken sandpaper and sanded little bits of it down in several places. It took me until day 4 to get the dread undone. Not an easy task when you’re still lying down on it, but it IS possible with the proper motivation. Of course, all this time there’s no mention of washing it. Sponge baths get into all your nooks and crannies (somehow leaving whole pieces of paper tape all over) but never do they deal with your hair. I finally insisted on a real shower with shampoo on day 5. I just couldn’t face the world with my hair all goopy and broken (note: picking at the goop they put on it does not get rid of it, it just spreads it around).

Ok…I think that’s all I can manage for now. Next entry will have more about the actual experience, but I’m at the end of my endurance for the moment.


8 responses to “my surgery — a cautionary prelude.

  • earlofgrey

    Sometimes we want to hear about you. *smiles* I hope you’re feeling so so much better. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.

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  • irishkerry

    You sound great and it’s a complete joy to see your post. Hang in there! Many hugs heading your way . . .

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  • uneedak1u

    You’re lucid, clear and sound like you’re mending.
    I never even thought about the ramifications of long hair, as mine was the suggested butch-short beforehand. This was due to nerve impingement in my left arm (which is why I was having the surgery in the first place) that had left me unable to do much of anything with my hair for months … hence the short ‘do.
    Hang in there. It gets easier, I promise.

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  • kijjohnson

    You’re very clear. I’m glad you’re making it through.
    God, I forgot about the hair thing! Long ago I went through some tests that required electrodes all over my head for two and a half days. The alcohol or whatever it was and then the adhesive and then the general hospital guck meant my hair was truly awful. I did an oil condition when I got it unmatted which helped somewhat, but the unmatting wasn’t very pleasant, oh no.
    People describe their surgery because it’s a way to process and take control of an experience they were powerless over. Describe whatever you want to.

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    • lsaboe

      a hot oil treatment! can’t manage it right now, but that would be just the thing. i have some lovely infused oils — oooo, mugwort? elderflower? sweet clover? calendula? mmmmmmm.
      and yeah, i guess that’s it. i’ve never felt so helpless before. like someone took all my stuff and left me sitting naked under bright lights. not a pleasant state to be in. so, i need to get this out. i just wish i could find my attention span somewhere…

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  • ossobucco

    It is brave of you to write so soon after surgery, and never fear, you are remarkably lucid.
    Take care of yourself!
    You’ll find the anaethesia leaking out of your pores and breath for the next few weeks. It’s a very odd smell and taste.

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    • lsaboe

      o dear gods! you mean i’m gonna off-gas for weeks?
      well, all i can say is, maybe it’s not so bad to get a lousy cold right after surgery (brni’s plague knows no bounds). at least i can’t smell me.

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