Monday, August 4, 2014
Day 24 of 100 Days of Good Karma.
If tomorrow, my first day of chemotherapy, is the first step on the road toward remission then today’s installation of the port was the equivalent of lacing up my shoes.
Other than having my wisdom teeth removed in high school I’ve never had surgery before. So I was a little clueless what was expected of me.
I had a good laugh at my own expense over the super-sexy thigh high support hose I had to put on.
These beauties are thick and white like a little girl’s tights only tighter and they stop at the top of my thigh.
This results in a rather unappealing butt-flesh muffin top.
It took me two tries before I could get the first one on and the second leg wasn’t much easier.
The nurses laughed when I complained, “Seriously, when was the last time you put on panty hose?”
I get to wear these for the next 24 hours. The doctors say they prevent blood clots. Personally, I think they’re there to boost my self esteem. I can now claim I am tanner than something.
Justin snapped a picture of me pretending to be brave before they wheeled me out of the room.
Right after Justin took this picture an orderly named Amir came in and wheeled me away.
And then I was pissed.
It might have been the fasting hunger, or (more likely) my lack of caffeine that set me off.
But I was suddenly furious that I couldn’t walk. I had to be wheeled.
I could understand needing a ride later, but now?
There was nothing wrong with my legs, ugly support hose or no ugly support hose. Being wheeled around might be hospital policy, but it made me feel like an invalid.
No, more than that.
It made me feel helpless, and I can’t think of anything I hate more than being helpless.
The more I thought about how I hated being treated as though I were sick, the angrier I got.
I don’t think of myself as sick.
I think of myself as having a problem, albeit a rather scary problem, that needs to be solved.
Being wheeled around in that bed was fucking with my self image. Before cancer I saw myself as strong and capable. Not someone who needed to be carted around on a mobile bed.
So, yeah, I got angry.
And, of course, what happens when I get angry?
It’s a vicious cycle I’ve been trying to break for years.
Amir parked me behind a curtain in the pre-op area where I met my favorite person of the day: The anesthesiologist.
“Have you ever had surgery?” He asked as a nurse pressed a tissue into my hand.
I shook my head.
“Yeah, you seem a little stressed,” he said with a smile. And then injected what he referred to as ‘the equivalent of three margaritas’ into my IV.
Silver Lining: Medical professionals who know just when to hit you with the good shit.
I remember meeting the surgeon and being wheeled into the operating room. Then nothing else until I woke up.
Later, coming out of the anesthesia I cracked a joke about my new Borg implant.
The nurse smiled in that ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ way that Trekkies grow accustomed to when talking to non-Trekkies.
Here’s what my port looks like.
I’m a little sore and my neck is a little stiff, but I’m not in any real pain. The port feels weird and a tight under the skin, but that’s it.
I told Justin, “It feels like there’s a straw in my neck.”
He said, “That’s because there is a straw in your neck.”
(I think he’s still mad that I was right about having fun at the museum.)
I can’t swim for four weeks, and there was a lot of random emphasis on not going bowling (I guess someone actually did this??), but I can shower and resume normal activities tomorrow.
So my ‘shoes’ are laced up and I’m ready to ‘run’.
Let the journey begin.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!