Monday, February 04, 2008

Progress & progression, and a wee little story...

Yesterday I had to empty the last 3 vases of flowers... they were setting on the woodstove, and losing petals and leaves all over it. It’s hard for me to toss the whole vase full of flowers when there are still one or two that look nice... but overall, they looked like they should have been thrown away a few days ago. *sigh*

A couple of the blooms that were still beautiful were in the bouquet that my niece, Michelle, gave to me. I don’t know what this white flower is...

but isn’t it beautiful. These blooms were mostly all closed when she gave the bouquet to me. What a surprise when they began to open. The detail of the stigma and pistil (see reference here) is really cool... and do you see the fine lines... I’m not sure what those are...

They’re even beautiful once they’re spent, when the petals turn pink...

And I found this sweet silk butterfly in the bouquet of Peruvian lilies that Sammy, Joycie & Mike gave to me. I affixed it to my desk lamp. Pretty!

And something not so pretty, but definitely showing progress, is my incision... and as usual, don’t look if you’re easily grossed out. I, of course, don’t think it’s that bad, but then I am usually interested in & not terribly grossed out by incisions, gashes, wounds, scars and the like. I don’t care to see them while they’re “active”… you know, gushing blood and all. But I don’t mind a good look at the aftermath. And a good story to go along with them is even better.

Anyway, it’s still itching like crazy. Still a bit of swelling. And I totally underestimated the pain. Dr. Adams had explained that because the incision is at the back of my neck, instead of, for example, the typical front incision for like a herniated disk, there would be a lot of pain to deal with. He was right. I’ve been trying to cut down on the pain meds lately, though, because of one of the usual side-effects... constipation, and anyone having used pain meds knows what I’m talking about. And also because they make me feel slightly not like myself, odd in the head, foggy, dumb, forgetful, tired. I tried Tylenol one afternoon in lieu of Vicodin. Did not work. Once the Vicodin begins to wear off, the pain is kinda bad... and if I wait too long, which I did last night, it is surprising how fast the pain escalates. I have gotten by today on 1 Vicodin at 9am, 1 Vicodin & 1 Flexural at 3:30pm, and 1 Vicodin & 1 Tylenol PM at 9pm. I think that’s pretty good. But then I woke up at 10:30pm and here I am wide awake. After those 5 days in the hospital, I’ve found I’m just not sleeping that well... I wake up throughout the nights.

I’d like to take a Valium right now, coz the 1 Vicodin and the Tylenol took the edge off the pain, but since the pain at nighttime is worse than daytime, just the edge isn’t much real relief. But... I had a bad experience with muscle relaxers about 9 days ago, so now I’m hesitant to take them at night... I ended up taking way too many during a 16-hour period, both Flexural and Valium with Vicodin; it was a week ago Sunday, and I had overdid things that Thursday and Friday and was really suffering for it... way, way overdid things. Started to feel good, and well... just stupid.

So that Sunday was awful. I don’t know why Sunday was so much more terrible than Saturday, but it was. It was like nothing could kick the pain. At one point, I took 2 Vicodin and a Flexural and was still in a haze of pain. It was the kind of day where you just lie still because any small movement was so painful that tears automatically form in your eyes. Awful. By late evening, I was, of course, doing better. I had enough drugs in me to ensure that! Over the course of the time between 6am to 10pm that Sunday, I had taken a total of 6 Vicodin, 3 Flexural & 1 Valium. Yes, too much. My only defense is the pain I was fighting that day was especially intense. Kev was monitoring my pills for me; we keep a record of time taken & what taken... and I know he felt I was taking too much, also, but I think I had scared him so much 2 days earlier when the pain really hit me, that when I asked for a Vicodin and a Flexural, his objections were not strong. His heart was in the right place... I think it was harder on him to watch me suffer than for me to actually suffer through that pain.

I’ve been sleeping on our sofa since I got home from the hospital because it’s truly comfortable, and because if I slept in our bed, I would be most likely to roll over onto my stomach in my sleep. I’m used to sleeping on my belly; that’s how I always sleep. Even if I try to go to sleep on my side or back, I will always end up on my belly. I did so even when I was pregnant. The PT at the hospital explained that I absolutely MUST NOT sleep on my belly; it’s the worst possible sleeping position for my neck.

So I went to sleep that Sunday evening on our sofa feeling so happy that: a) I had lived through the day, and b) that I felt so much better and felt thankful the sofa felt so wonderful.

So anyone care to guess what happens when you fill your body with too many muscle relaxers? And with lots of water because the pills make your mouth so dry? Ah, yup. I pissed myself Big Time, including the sheet and the middle sofa cushion beneath me. And it did not wake me up, at least not right away. Imagine the humiliation I felt at age 47 and having to wake up my poor husband at 2:30am to tell him I peed the bed (aka sofa) and could he help me please, gasping it all out while bawling my head off. Because, yes, the pain was back.


Kevin literally jumped out of bed, hugged me while leading me into the bathroom, helped me undress and get into the shower... where he left me in the warmth and healing powers of that shower, while he took care of everything out at the sofa... he took the soaking wet cushion, sheets, etc. down to the laundry room, grabbed a couple of clean sheets, took one of the cushions from the love seat and made it fit, re-made my bed, all the while coming into the bathroom to check on me every other minute, helped me out of the shower and dressed again and led me out to the sofa and put me back in bed, where I promptly fell asleep again. But Kev did not, he went downstairs to do a load of laundry thanks to my very, very, very relaxed bladder.

The sofa cushion cover is fine now; the inner foam is not. We will have to replace it. And that thick foam isn’t cheap. I think it’s going to cost us around $50!

So I still sleep on the sofa, but now I have a plastic-lined pad thing under the sheet between my ass and the cushion... my sister, JoAnne, had these “doggie wee wee pads” that she had used for one of her aging dogs who could not longer be counted on not to piss himself in his pen while sleeping. It resembles the blue pads they have at the hospital. And though I’m very thankful for her providing me with the wee wee pads, the plastic just makes me so hot that I end up sweating so much, it’s almost like pissing myself anyway. Well, not quite, but you get the picture (unfortunately).

So now you can understand my desire to decrease use of the muscle relaxers... they work so well. Too well.

I shared this story with my niece, Michelle, via e-mail, and I somehow ended up including Barnes & Noble on the e-mail distribution... yes, Barnes & Noble... they somehow made it to my listing of contacts on the web mail I’ve been using and I evidently managed to click on them, resulting in their receipt of the e-mail I intended only for my niece. Chelle was highly entertained by my peeing the bed story and the wee wee pads, and by the prospect of some dude at Barnes & Noble reading all about it.

And now, because it’s late and I’m still using meds, I can’t remember who began calling me Sweet Pee, but that’s one of the nicknames I earned.

Ah, well. Chalk that experience up to good practice for when I hit my 80’s, right? Late 80’s I hope.

And if you're in a situation where you have to use muscle relaxers & pain pills, I would recommend the wee wee pads as a precautionary measure. Uncomfortable, but worth it should the worst case scenario occur. And you know how bladders can be... susceptible to suggestion. (You're probably thinking you have to pee right now, aren't ya?!!!) hee hee...

1 comment:

  1. Hehehehe I'm still giggling about that.... :D The incision looks really good...You weren't kidding when you said you healed fast!

    Hope you are having a good day. Love you!