Under the nice surgeon's knife and out again

My two-hour surgery started yesterday morning at 8:00. The nerve block wore off last night at 1:00, so I took a sleeping pill and two Percocets. When they didn’t help, I had no choice but to wait four hours before moving up to Demerol, but even with Demerol, the pain forced me from my chair every 45 minutes. Once up, I would stumble about the house for a while, catch up on a blog or two, and change out my ice pack. As crappy as the night was, the pain was physical rather than emotional, and physical pain is nearly always easier to bear. Indeed, I’ve grown so accustomed to it that I’m confident in my strength to endure it, plus I see no place to go but up, the pain being so outrageously bad that it’s darkly funny.

Speaking of things that are darkly funny, I had a good late night chuckle when I damn near tripped over my blind dog and crashed through the living room window, which measures four feet by seven feet. Such a dramatic exit from a warm house onto a cold sidewalk would have capped the day off nicely, I thought. One thing about the universe is that no matter how much crap it throws at you, there’s still plenty in reserve.

Despite the pain, I’m high on the fact that my surgery has become an event of history rather than a source of dread. I fully expect months of misery, but I can almost make out a light at the end of the tunnel, and that feels really good.


Bernie said...

Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, if you expect months of misery that is what you will have, expect months of healing and good things....so glad this ordeal is over, be well my friend...:-) Hugs

lakeviewer said...

Good to see you back on the blog block. Take it easy, man. Everything can wait until you're good and ready.

Snowbrush said...

Hey, Lakeviewer, good to hear from you'uns.

Bernie " if you expect months of misery that is what you will have"

Bernie, I look forward to understanding you better. Are you by any chance a monist? I imagine in you a world view like that of Unity Church, Science of Mind, "A Course in Miracles," or Christian Science. My own belief is that, after all the suffering I've been through over the past several years that it's unwise to expect improvement to be either quick or relatively pain free. On the contrary, I found it disheartening to get shot down time after time by rosy expectations that weren't realized. You might say that I've been there, done that. I agree with you that an optimistic mindset is powerful, but I think you see it as THE solution (maybe even as the ONLY solution) rather than as one part of the solution. I also think you view the universe as benevolent, whereas I see it as supremely impersonal. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

khelsaoe said...

"my surgery has become an event of history rather than a source of dread."

~Glad to know you survived the surgery....now on to the tough part. Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (because the tunnel is filled with crap :o ha ha), but I'm glad it's peaking through to you.


ellen abbott said...

It's nice to be on the other side of a source of dread. I hope your recovery is speedier than you anticipate.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thinking of you! Don't trip over your dog. I have done that and it's no fun at all!

CreekHiker said...

Snow, So glad the surgery part is over. Hoping your mending is much better this time around!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

At least it's behind you now...
Take the drugs.
I hope this time the surgery gives you relief.
Glad your back !

Teresa said...

Hi Snow,
At least you are here to 'tell your story', you might not be, had you gone through that window. Count your blessings, bud, and get well soon!!! You are right about emotional pain being much harder to bear than physical pain! At least in the long run...I think you are on the mend! ((((HUGS))))T

Lydia said...

Heal fully, even if slowly. And remember that your blind dog can no longer heel!

Bernie said...

Snow your not wrong, the way you think is who you are, I believe if we change our way of thinking we change who we are. I am none of those what you suggested (grins) but I do go to Mass....I have been through much, the passing of my husband, son, my parents and a brother and then I topped it off with back surgery and Breast Cancer. These times were life changing and I could of fell into a pit of darkness and poor me and almost did but one day during chemo and I was so ill something happened, I had enough of the pain and suffering and I knew I had a choice....to just die or live....I wasn't even sure what my choice would be I only knew whatever it was I wanted to give 100% to it.....within a few hours I knew I wanted to live so I realized I had to get my act together and not play the victim. My decision served me well, it wasn't always easy as I was very ill but I worked very hard at accepting, forgiving and learning. That was 7 years ago and I have never regreted it....I am a diabetic and have RA....not easy but every day I do at least one thing to help someone or make their life a little easier....I do it because I truly care not for reward but the benefits have been almost overwhelming and plentiful....the love, caring and kindness that has come into my life are beyond words. I love your raw honesty Snow, it is your truth and your pain is real, so use it as an opportunity to grow even if it's only to appreciate the times you had no pain....sorry I didn't mean to ramble but you did ask...please take care......:-) Hugs

kylie said...

i truly think that after such a bad run last time this will be a piece of cake in comparison, even if it turns out as bad you have developed skills for coping.....

i know that physical pain usually abates a tiny bit each day so if you can just do one day at a time and celebrate the gains you'll do ok. but you knew that

emotional pain, on the other hand, comes and goes in waves and any small, unforseeable event can set it off.

i know which i'd rather

my dog is black. i can fall over him in the dark easier than blinking.

take care snow

Snowbrush said...

Thanks to all for your well wishes. You have cheered me more than you can know, especially since my face-to-face friends have come to think of surgery as being such a normal part of my life that they apparently see little reason to reach out much this go-round.

For now (it's 3:00 a.m., and I'm just up for a short while), I'll address only a few points that seemed especially to call for a response.

Brit "Take the drugs."

Oh, I am. I'm only out of my recliner now because I'm waiting for my second 100 mgs of Demerol to kick in so I can go back to sleep. In the past I avoided taking sleeping pills and narcotics together, but I don't see myself as having a choice anymore, because neither by itself is powerful enough.

Lydia "remember that your blind dog can no longer heel!"

You gave me a chuckle, Lydia, because my blind dog IS a heeler--a blue heeler. She doesn't let sightlessness get her down though, and continues to love a spirited game of fetch, although it takes her a while to find the ball.

Bernie "the way you think is who you are"

I'm going to have a go at addressing you in some detail here despite my impaired mental acuity at this late hour and on these powerful drugs.

I am aware of your losses, Bernie, and was esp touched by your bravery in decorating for Xmas again after eight years. Since you still have RA and diabetes, I assume you mean by statements such as the one above somewhat less than I originally thought. A monist who believes that the universe contains but one substance--that one substance being spirit in this case--would hold that pain and sickness are illusory, and that such things as RA and diabetes can be eliminated instantly by thought alone. There is certainly nothing in your Catholic faith to suggest that the material world doesn't exist, or that positive thinking is a panacea.

Bernie "I had to get my act together and not play the victim"

From this and previous responses to my blog, I gather that you MIGHT think I do "play the victim," whereas I see myself as acting in something of a heroic fashion if I may be allowed to boast. Believe me, I never sit and wait for God or fortune to drop in and solve my problems, nor do I wring my hands in self-pity rather than looking for ways to help myself, but neither do I think that denying the probability of a prolonged and painful recovery will mean that I won't have a prolonged and painful recovery. I try to view such things from an evidence based perspective, and the evidence holds that my last two surgeries take a year to recover from, and that's if they're successful. Recovery-wise, I would have embarked on an easier road if I had had my shoulder joints replaced. I chose the surgeries I did because, if they work, I will be better off than with artificial joints; and if they don't work, I can get artificial joints later.

Also Bernie, my friend, I don't see suffering as entirely negative because I'll guarantee you that I'm far stronger for what I've been through. Yet, I do sink pretty low at times, and I do write about it when that's what I'm experiencing.

Michelle said...

Oh yay! Yes, no the healing begins.

Michelle said...

I mean NOW....frikken!

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Snow! You were on my mind all day Friday. I'm so glad things went well and that you DIDN'T go crashing through the window during the night. It's great to hear you sounding hopeful about your recovery.

I know there was lots of positive energy being beamed in your direction. Maybe it's good to know all of us are out here rooting for you?

You wrote (in reference to the pain) that you feel confident in your ability to endure it, it having been a companion of yours for so long. Yesterday I had a very similar thought when I registered for my college classes (after nearly 20 years since I last attended college). The coursework will be challenging right off the bat, but once my nerves settled, I remembered what I've been enduring, and like you, suddenly felt confident in my ability to get through it. It's SO GREAT to see a glimmer of light ahead when you're inside the tunnel. I'm happy for both of us!


Gaston Studio said...

Sooo glad this surgery is over and you can get on with recovery, pills, sleeping in your recliner, ice packs, etc., as before.

Hope you didn't hurt yourself too much while falling thru the window, but I can see that it gave you a little distraction. I'm sure it also scared your poor blind dog to death, for a while at least!

Take care my friend, and take the pills.


Marion said...

Snow, I'm so glad your surgery is over and you survived! I loved the photo and may steal it to give to my 'surgeon' son-in-law. It cracked me up. I'm happy the surgery didn't affect your upbeat personality and unique sense of humor and world view. LOL! I took your advice and my quack, I mean surgeon did give me some conintued pain medication which does take the edge off. Thank you for helping me out. When I called his office and mentioned a few of the ideas you gave me, his nurse went from bitch to saint in about 2.3 seconds! I owe you one, for sure.

Thanks, Snow, for being you. I'm sending you New Age healing vibes, Christian prayers and a few Buddhist chants thrown in for good measure. I could make a little Snow voodoo doll with hunky, healthy shoulders for kicks, but I'll restrain myself this time. Tee-Hee. I love and appreciate you and really do pray for your speedy recovery. Hang in there and for God's sake, watch out for the damn DOG! Hugs & Blessings!!

Marion said...

Oh my gosh! I'm glad you didn't trip over your dog...how disastrous that would have been!

And keep writing when you're low...it's part of healing. Don't know if it's the same for you, but when I'm down and write about it, I feel better able to go forward.

I'm glad your surgery is over. I hope you will feel a little better each day.

geek said...

Good to hear you're doing better! And good thing you missed the dog. I could just imagine you and the dog sitting on the couch and sharing ice packs.

Hold on to the light, Snow! Get well soon!

Mim said...

been thinking of you, glad the surgery is over - first step

JOE TODD said...

What a great line "One thing about the universe is that no matter how much crap it throws at you, there’s still plenty in reserve." and how true. I used to stick mt head up and get square in the face today I sometimes remember to duck. Wishing you the best recovery possible.

Renee said...

There is light for you Snow. I know there is.

I am with you.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Vern said...

Snow, I'm glad to hear that the surgery is behind you! I hope the full recovery isn't too painful.

Sonia ;) said...

Snow.....You are the light, with words that let other people know there could be worse or is worse that could happen in a say it as you mean it approach. Missed you...sorry been MIA(Missing In Attitude)....pity myself shit stage at my end of the block. Im pulling up my big panties and just dealing with the shit.


Bernie said...

Thanks for your reply Snow and I was suprised that you had visited my blog but am glad you you have....I only can say this, I am a realist who believes the choices I make will decide the kind of life I lead, I don't ask God for anything for me other than thank him for my gifts. Though I do pray for others.....I don't think I explained myself clearly or you would of "got it" it's okay Snow, as long as you are doing well now and are in the healing process I am very happy for you.....:-) Hugs

All Consuming said...

I'm so pleased it's over and done with at last for you. I'm having trouble reading at the moment but managed this post and will get to your others I have missed when I'm a bit more compus mentus. I so enjoy your writing. Lots of good vibes sent your way, and hoping the pain doesn't get out of hand too much. I'm slow, sore, tired and pretty deflated all round. Hoping Christmas will bounce me back up a bit. All the best to you hon, take care, Michelle xxx

rhymeswithplague said...

I thought the surgery was on your shoulder, but since commenter Vern said your surgery is BEHIND you, perhaps "shoulder" was just a euphemism to throw us off the track?
If so, thank God for small favors, as I wouldn't want my train to be on that particular track, which also gives new meaning to the phrase "tunnel vision."

Just_because_today said...

keep following that night and please,use the door to exit the house

Snowbrush said...

Just a few comments on your comments for now...

Marion "I'm sending you New Age healing vibes, Christian prayers and a few Buddhist chants"

You're one to cover her every base, I see. As much as I appreciate prayers and other spiritual gifts, what I would really like would be large gifts of money. Yes, that would be just the thing. MONEY. MONEY in LARGE denominations would expedite my healing exponentially.

Bernie ""I was suprised that you had visited my blog"

You were? I even showed your Xmas piece to Peggy who isn't a reader of blogs, but will look at one I especially think she will enjoy.

Rhymes, for god's sake, man, cut back on the caffeine!

Joe "I used to stick mt head up and get square in the face today I sometimes remember to duck. Wishing you the best recovery possible."

The same thing happened to my blue heeler--the one who's blind now. When she was still a three pound puppy, she attacked a city bus one day. Thankfully, she got smarter.

nollyposh said...

Well i for one am glad THAT's done!

RNSANE said...

Snow - good that the surgery is over and you are, supposedly, on the road to recovery. HOWEVER, leaps through windows are contraindicated in the healing process. I know that must have been painful and given you quite a jolt.

Rest when you can and when the pain medication is doing its job...I am like you, though, when I'm hurting and can't sleep, I'd rather be up and doing something.

Ann ODyne said...

"Catch up on a blog or two" sure is an understatement if you found your way to mine, but I am happy that the photo there of the ocelot cub was attractive to you as desktop material.
regarding your remark further up, about the ghost picture which returned after you changed your desktop - it is well known that Having the same desktop for a very long time can 'burn' the image into it, and changing regularly is recommended. Apologies for this information if you really treasured the ghost experience, but it's probably just that.
I have read your posts down here to December from the top (it is 3rd June) and am just amazed.
The WWW is certainly a salve for insomniacs everywhere, no argument about that.
I had a confused religious upbringing which results in my opinion of all cults, bishops, popes and hypocrites being pretty low indeed. I have found that the more a person claims to be 'a Christian' the less they act like one; and that Christians seem to think they have copyright on Being A Good Person. they don't.
peace and love to you

Rob-bear said...

I just hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train coming at you.