Monday, May 10, 2010

Another week full of "stuff"

The good news is that I got to sleep in today. When I say "sleep in" I mean until after 7 something. Then I made some special Peet's coffee that I bought in the Bay area for special occasions to help me wake up. It did the trick.

I'm sure my body is very confused with regards to healing, needing naps, sleeping on planes, whatever time zone I happen to be in, and the general physical and mental drain it has been faced with recently. I had hoped to go to the fitness center if even just to do some sit-ups or go for a brief walk on a treadmill - despite doctor's orders to avoid doing things that would raise my blood pressure for 9 days - but I never made it. No energy. That says something, as I'm one of the most energetic people I know. My body is talking to me and I'm listening.

I could fill this particular entry with political stuff as I know that's got big implications in the scheme of things but there are times to look outwards and times to look inwards. This is an inward time. At least, for me it is.

I've had people writing to ask what I had done in San Fran that took so much out of me. There is a level that I choose to keep as personal and a level I'm willing to share. All the work involved my jaw - mostly my chin - and the hardest part, I think, was removing titanium screws that were there from my original procedure almost 11 years ago. Ouch. When a typical dentist looks at a Dr. O X-Ray of your jaw there's lots of metal there that they can't quite explain. Sometimes ask if you've been in a car accident. Other times they just stay quiet. Anyway - the thing about the jaw and particularly the chin is that (a) it swells a LOT, (b) it takes a long time for the swelling to go down, and (c) all the cutting happens on the inside of the mouth which is actually a very intimate place.

After Chin Surgery

When you wake up from this stuff most likely you'll have drains embedded into your cheeks. Lots of yucky fluid tends to build up so the drains are pinned to the head wrapping. We sometimes joke that the drains are like little hand grenades and the wrapping is like tele-tubbie head but it's not so funny when you're the one to whom all this stuff is attached. Someone from the hospital comes by from time to time to squeeze the stuff out and measure how much is there. And, when the Dr. comes the next morning to pull them out I promise it's a sensation you won't soon forget.

I couldn't sleep for more than a minute or two at a time while I was there despite the pain button that gave a fresh dose of relief every 7 minutes. The nurses were universally nice while I was there but I want to give a special call-out to Lance. He was the nurse from 11:30pm until 7:30am - the time when I should have been sleeping - and although the night lasted forever he helped the time pass for me. Anyway - thanks Lance.

The good news is that your mind blots out lots of this in fairly short order. I remember it now because I'm still swollen and sore and I can feel the sutures in my mouth with my tongue but in a couple of weeks I'll feel better about it. At least, physically I will. It all takes quite the toll on the body. And the mind.

I'm a big believer in a holistic view of self. Body is attached to mind is attached to spirituality is attached to self-image is attached to any number of other components of ourselves. It's easy to think that each is detached and separate but as with most complex systems if you make a significant change in one aspect just watch to see how it affects all the other components. Anyway - thankfully this was just my jaw.

The irony is that I prefer this stuff to some of the things that will be happening to me all too soon - pulling teeth. That stuff creeps me out. But such is the the reality many of us need to face. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled out (15 years ago) I had as many different types of drugs as they could provide in hopes I wouldn't remember any of it. When the oral surgeon asked "IV, or gas, or pill, or injection?" I said yes. Bring it all on, and you'd better have someone big and burly to hold me down,too, if you think you're going to keep me in that chair. Anyway, that's another conversations for another day.

Another component of this kind of surgery is that it affects the food you can eat. I've had more yogurt and pudding in the last week than I've had in the last couple of years. One dear friend doesn't want me to drive (too many meds) so she stops by to take me to the store. The other evening one lady was buying all these "interesting" kinds of yogurts that I didn't even know existed. Like Cinnamon Roll. And Red Velvet Cake. That's yogurt? Yup. Apparently so. And they were on sale, so I have a refrigerator full of them.

My rest may be fairly short-lived as I need to get back east to retrieve some of my things from South Carolina. It shouldn't surprise anyone that I've got quite a few frequent flyer miles but I try to use them on days when it takes fewer miles to fly farther distances so that's one of the drivers. I'd rather let this wait for a little while but there is some need for something resembling closure, too, so I'm taking care of it sooner rather than later. No worries - I won't push myself too hard on the way back. I don't envision my typical 1,000+ mile driving days. I'm just not up to it.

Then, I need to visit my mom and my son. Then, I need a job. All in all - lots in the hopper.

First things first. I'm wondering what kind of yogurt I'll have for dinner. The good news is that I've got Banana's Foster Ice Cream for dessert. :)

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