Monday, October 19, 2009

Not What I Was Expecting to Have Keeping Me Awake

My whole surgery experience today has been, in fact, pretty minor. The surgeon told my mom that my bowels were well cleared out—yes. That I knew. I just used the toilet about 30 minutes ago, about 30 hours after beginning my 1 Day Bowel Cleanse yesterday afternoon, and it was the first time that I only piddled. I have to say, I was surprised to find out how many people have had similar 1- or 2-day bowel cleanses. It turns out lots and lots of my friends have had to do them, for various surgeries or procedures, and I'd never heard a word about it. Evidently, I am much more comfortable with my own scatology than most people. This is a behavior that I may want to curb.

I am currently feeling pleasantly fatigued in the post-operative-drugged sense. My gut is still blurp-blurping a little, but that's to be expected after any surgery with its prophylactic antibiotic and preparatory fast. My throat is slightly abraded from the air tube, but nothing like last year after 8 days of it. I am, for the most part, feeling no pain whatsoever, and I haven't taken any pain medications since leaving the hospital around 1pm, when I was given a fluorescent red tipple to help me with the journey of 3 miles. Which, of course, I accomplished in the passenger seat of my mom's car. Issuing her directives all the way. When I stand up from lounging on the sofa I am not quick to throw my arms above my head and stretch, or even straighten my back all the way, but I'm pretty comfortable where the incisions are.

I didn't sleep much last night, which is not terribly surprising. I had to be up at 6:15 for a 7:15 arriving at the hospital (which turned out to be at least an hour and a half before they actually needed me.). We made it to bed around 11:30 and I used the bathroom again around 12:15. At 3:00 Ian got up to let Spackle out to piddle—one of the side effects of his Prednisone is that he drinks a lot more, and subsequently pees a lot more. He is used to being able to hold it for up to 15 hours, and so perhaps he's just taken by surprise in the middle of the night when, after a mere 4 hours, he suddenly wets his bed. At any rate, for two nights in a row he had small accidents on his bed, so Ian preemptively got up last night to let him out, which naturally disturbed me a little, but really not much, and then I was awake at 6:00 when I heard Mom being stealthy in the kitchen making some coffee. She was stealthy enough for Ian; not for me.

Anyway, after I piddled for the last time and before I fell asleep, I spent about an hour in my head, mulling over my upcoming surgery, and this, my mullings, were what surprised me. I lay there thinking about going under the knife, losing my ovaries, removing yet another part of my physical womanhood and I was . . . excited.

I had seen my friend/mentor/bodyworker Taya Thursday morning, and she had pointed out that removing my ovaries was the final step in closing the door on a path that was not mine. It was a path that I'd fondly assumed would be mine—the path of bearing children with my dear husband—but, several times over the past ten years, it had been implied to me, with greater and greater blatancy, that it was not my path. Closing it off completely would allow me to open up myself up to the Universe in a way I've never been open. Closing that door would free me to receive, without interference, my true path.

I mulled this over for awhile, and then realized that I have been struggling with trying to impose an "ordinary" life, as understood and practiced by a majority of Americans my age—spouse, kids, employment, exercise, etc—when I have had several extraordinary experiences. It's true that everyone's life is different from everyone else's, but even so, I have had a combination of extreme things happen in my adult life. My father died when I was 19. I know of three other people my age who have lost a parent. When I was 25, I became able to live without having to work. I know two other people in a similar situation. When I was 26, I contracted a breast cancer that has dogged me for a decade. I know two people my age in similar physical situations. When I was 27, I met Ian, who is the most incandescent blessing in my life. Many of my friends have had difficult relationships in the same time period that we have been together.

In short, I have been trying to fit my expectations into a framework where they just won't go, and getting my ovaries out (and a special thanks to Taya for bringing this to my attention) frees me from that futile pursuit.

And so, I am excited. I am excited to see where Life will take me next.


Erik said...

I am excited to see where you will take your life next..

the doors are there and you are one who has the courage to walk through them.

Gregory said...

I am very happy to hear that you've arrived at such a positive place emotionally, Calin. Good for you! You have had a singular life, and I'm sure you will continue to do so. It's wise of you to focus on the good as well as the bad aspects of it. And who needs to be "normal"? What fun is that?

Big hugs from Sweden.

Janet in Redmond said...

I'm just a stranger passing through (not even sure who/what led me to your blog), but I wanted to address the dog/prednisone issue.

My dog (Oscar) is also on that drug, and we've found that withholding his water bowl about an hour before his bedtime, with a last outdoor trip right at bedtime, has nearly eliminated his nighttime accidents. Our vet ok'd this.

Granted, he is only taking 10 mg daily and weighs 85 lbs., so this is considered a very low dosage. Oscar's disease is an intestinal one, so we were able to gradually reduce the dosage (down from 20 mg) until we could find a dosage where the disease was still in check and the bedwetting decreased.
But we couldn't have achieved a good night's sleep for everyone without picking up the water bowl also.

I wish you the best in your own recovery.

I have a plaque on my wall that might speak to you as it does to me: "Believe in today. Your life is now."