Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"greet the dawn with a breath of fire..."

this is pre-op week, and that means weirdness.  

scads of odd little details that are the world to me, yet barely fluff to the world, crowd my mind.

it's hard to know how to prepare for this surgery, so i wait for the lights to be safely out and i cry.  for five or ten minutes, then i stop and stare in the dark for a bit.  there is something wrong with the brain but i care less and less.

the anti-seizure properties or the anti-anxiety components of clonazepam are helping a lot with the spasticity, for which i am profoundly grateful.  if i can manage to get the doctors and nurses at the hospital to understand how it works together with baclofen and yes, even with tizanidine, then maybe there will be no stints in icu or trips to funky nursing homes this time.

pre-op week is always full of fun dialog, too.  this morning, i called one of the myriad assistants to my super surgeon, trying to track down the $2000 she wheedled out of me back in mid-january.  that was to have satisfied my deductible, and yadda.  except that it never was reported to my insurance company.  and, being odd and very touchy about funds, i have yelled, on several occasions, at other "providers" who seemed to be claiming the right to a piece of my delectable deductible pie.  anyway, the conversation boiled down to this:

ME:  i am trying to locate the $2000 i gave you back in january -- you know, find out how it's doing, is it happy, having fun..  i thought for sure it would write but i've not heard a word.
ASST:  we probably used it to pay something.
ME:  probably so!  i'd just like to know what, and when, and all that stuff, as i cannot locate the EOBs that usually go hand-in-hand with all that glee...
ASST:  o! you know what?
ME:  no!  what?
ASST:  we only needed $170 of that money and then they said you was covered at 100%
ME:  super cool!  so where is the $1830 that was left over?
ASST:  well, now, we just found that out in february.
ME:  and it's now mid-may... your point?
ASST:  can i get back to you on that?
ME:  you may, indeed  and i really, really want you to feel free to leave a voice message.

pre-op week is just fun, and foolish, for whatever reason.  it's hard to whip up the frenzy necessary for good reportage, so i'm gonna ask that you reread Dr. Hackenbush! Calling Dr. Hackenbush!  in that post i recorded one of  my favorite conversations from the medical intake process that makes it such a favorite activity for nurses and patients alike:

Here is a sample of our stellar communication, verbatim:

The Nurse: When did you last have an EKG?
Me: In August, the last time I was here. 
The Nurse: And when was that? 
Me: In August. 
The Nurse: And where can we get a record of that? 
Me: Ummm, here? In my medical records? (See? She managed to get to me -- my "intonation ascendante" is a dead give-away. Ar! I used to get hit on the head with a ruler whenever my "intonation ascendante" gave way. What was that dear old teacher's name? I can't remember, but I loved him...) 
[Choo choo! Train of thought! Choo... Back to the scene of the crime... ] 
Me: Ummm, here? In my medical records?
The Nurse: Hmmm. Maybe in your medical records.

so, yes, i am here begging indulgences.  your indulgence.  i find it hard to remember the day of the week, i am unsure whether the 12-hour clock is a good idea, and i am sort of shaking in my non-existent boots.

i will lose my left shoulder and the upper part of my left arm next week,

i still look to the amazing young hannah for inspiration and to stir the cauldron of my shame.  she is doing great with her physical therapy, and just prior to starting a new round of chemotherapy last week, she began the process of getting her fancy-schmancy new prosthetic leg. i love looking at this picture: she makes me smile, she makes me have hope for the future, her own, and everyone in her general proximity.

what super surgeon's plan will be should he open me up and find more infection (as unlikely as *that* would be, SNORT!).  he confessed to not having a clue but opined strongly against tossing in a third prosthesis... although the situation might cry out for yet another antibiotic-laced spacer.  and another surgery.

i am downright stupid.  for some reason, i thought making this brave decision to opt for the flail arm meant that the infection and inflammation would stop.  duh. no, i get to be brave and fight a good fight within the confines and confections of the identical situation.  the up-side is that should we ever get a handle on those wile e. pathogens, there's an improved chance of annihilating the suckers using some box of combustible supplies forwarded by acme corporation.

me and my deals with god.  harrumph.

today?  today i took a pre-dawn shower, and cooked up what can only be called "a mess" of brown rice.  it is destined to be a homey, comforting rice pudding for fred and the militant existentialist lesbian feminists pot luck wednesday night supper.  for some reason, they think it becomes health food if made with brown rice. whatever.  militant existentialist lesbian feminists -- and fred -- become all cute and stuff when their pupils dilate at the sights and sounds of comfort food.

the felines are fine.  okay, well, buddy has been a bit traumatized.  first fred dropped a heavy ceramic bowl full of kibble on his fine head.  and then i did it the next day.  so the poor little guy, who is always hungry, looks skyward with both fear and hope.  we tried to explain and apologize but we don't speak cat.

i need some pain meds and for my legs to be elevated, and to weep a little.  (oy!)  so i will write at you later, dear reader.

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