How’m I Doing

Surgery is T-minus days away and recently I’ve had a number of folks ask me how I’m doing. I’m okay as long as I don’t think too long and hard about the details of the surgery or my stay in the hospital. I haven’t stayed overnight in a hospital since I was a kid (when I had my tonsils out) and like anyone, I’m not looking forward to an extended hospital stay. (Extended being anything more than an outpatient procedure.)

As the days creep closer to the 30th, I try to keep my mind on other things. I’m sure the reality of what I’m about to go through won’t really hit until Friday morning when I’m the one donning the hospital gown. Now that the initial shock has worn off and I’m at the waiting stage, I sometimes think to myself how odd it is that I feel fine and yet I’m about to subject myself to something that’s going to make me feel a whole lot less than fine–in the short term. It feels a little like walking into the hospital and saying, “I feel great. Now F*$% me up good. And hey, let me pay you five grand for the privilege.”

The trick for me this week will be to keep my mind active and not succumb to thoughts of “this is the last of the old me,” blah blah blah, “only one more week before my life changes for ever,” yada yada yada, or, “the next time I’m sitting in this seat watching an opera here…” all of which isn’t in my nature anyway.  Won’t do me any good. (Also reminds me too much of sorority sisters who spent a good portion of their last quarter senior year moaning, “This is the last time I’ll brush my teeth in this sink.”) Besides, I much prefer to look at this all in a more positive light. This is the gift of gaining health before it’s taken away. As friends I know who’ve gone through similar health situations put it, it’s all part of embracing the new me. And I’m good with that.

All the pre-op stuff is behind me. I have one remaining office visit with my plastic surgeon to sign consent forms and answer any remaining questions. Then, Friday morning, the main event. I learned last week that my very good friend Jan will be coming up from Kentucky to be here for the surgery and the week following. It’s so reassuring to know that she will be here, if nothing more than to pass on her amazing positive energy, cheer me up, and be a comforting presence during what I’m sure will be a very surreal week. Ever since my freshman year in college, she’s been like a mom to me and it means a lot to have her here.

I’ve spent the past week getting things in order, running errands, etc. in preparation for my recovery time. I’ve loaded my Netflix queue with light entertainment and went to the library to get a few books that won’t require mind-bending concentration. (Nanny Diaries seemed appropriate.) I have the best intentions to use my recovery time to catch up on projects at home (no heavy lifting, mind you) but ever optimistic, I’m hoping I can at least compile my (now extremely overdue) 2009 book list. Sometimes I think the hardest part of all of this will be forcing myself to do nothing. I’ll have to really pay attention and listen to my body, something I’m not always good about.

So, to answer the question, how am I doing, I would say I’m great. I’m ready to get this show on the road. I’m tired of talking about it and ready for action. I’m already looking forward to high summer, when I’ll be floating on Lake Michigan when the most and worst of this will be behind me.

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7 Responses

  1. One day, if I’m super pain-tolerant, three days max. A few people I’ve talked to have encouraged me not to rush it (as badly as I’ll want to go home) but to spend the extra night in hospital care, taking full benefit of the pain meds. I think it mostly depends on how quickly I bounce back from the anesthesia. Right now, I’m planning on two nights in the hospital and home Sunday.

  2. Kristi

    Kathryn,
    I think that you have one of the most positive attitudes of anyone that I know – which I’ve heard helps the healing process a lot. I pray that it ALL goes smoothly for you and that your recovery be short and your pain minimal. And if the recovery isn’t as short as you would like – call us, we usually around to chat 😉 and if the pain is more than acceptable, that they give you some good meds to take home with you. I only wish we were closer to be there to support you in person, but know that we are all there with you in spirit.
    Kristi

  3. Mike — Thanks. Me too!
    Kristi — Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers. If I find my positive attitude in need of a little perk up, I will definitely give you a call. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I wish you guys were still next door!
    Karen — Don’t you know it!

  4. My goal, while I’m with you, is to turn what could seem like a bad drug trip into as much fun as possible. A tough assignment, but we can do it if anyone can. Just remember, I don’t do bathrooms.

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