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WFC and me

I’ve had to cancel my World Fantasy attendance. Dammit. 2014 has just been an awful year, and canceling all the fun stuff hasn’t helped any. And here, continuing the trend, I’ve had to bail on my co-panelists for the Ecology in Worldbuilding panel (and Reader, I proposed that panel), and on all the wonderful people I was finally going to meet in person, and on all the wonderful people I see only at cons.

But, you know, recuperating has to come first, much as I hate it.

See you all in 2015, right?

#SFWApro

Zzzzzzzzz

Quick, guess how I’ve spent the days I’ve been home so far.

Sleeping?

You win, well, nothing. But thanks for playing!

The Giant Recliner and I have been spending a lot of quality time together. If I get everything arranged just right nothing hurts, even the butt-cheek drain. Unfortunately I can’t reliably replicate the combination of body and chair position that produces this effect.

I can’t quite remember what I’ve said here. And whatever it was, it probably wasn’t coherent because of the drugs anyway.

So, to recap…

I left behind:
One chunk of colon, consisting of clean tissue on both sides of the Primordial Wurst.
One chunk of the right lobe of my liver, consisting of clean tissue surrounding the Wurst.
Assorted lymph nodes, none of which showed any traces of cancer.

Assorted surgeons told me afterwards how lovely and healthy and wonderful my bowels were. (No really. My surgeon described me as “as beautiful on the inside as out”, the resident who sat in said something similar, and so on. Surgeons are a bit odd.)

I have acquired:
One incision, once possessed of 80 staples, but now plastered in steristrips. Well-healed, doesn’t much hurt but I wouldn’t lift anything heavy (and have of course been ordered not to anyway).

Three drains, of various sorts. One original surgical drain (is it going to hurt to get it out?), and two added by Interventional Radiology to combat the evil infection. These hurt, especially the one in my butt cheek that I have to sit on. I want them out as soon as possible. The others come out of my left side and my right side, so there’s no lying on my side option that’s any good either. I have a GP appointment tomorrow, but I’m not sure if a GP will want to pull drains from some other surgeon. Here’s hoping.

One ostomy, presumed temporary (a few months). (Also described as “beautiful” by various people. My surgeon did a good job, apparently.) This is a bit of an adjustment, but not as bad as I thought it might be. I’m not particularly squeamish, which helps, but it’s really not that bad. I managed to change the whole apparatus this morning, with only a minor mess. There’s a team of ostomy nurses who are utterly determined to make sure that you know how to do everything necessary before you go home, and they’re very good at their jobs. (I did flummox one when I referred to myself as a “fistulated cow” though. She said nobody had ever used that description before.)

Fistfuls of drug bottles: Antibiotic, other antibiotic, various things to help with the care and feeding of ostomies, and of course the all-important pain meds. I’m actually only taking them at night right now (though I seriously considered one mid-afternoon, because these drains are driving me nuts). They provide sleep and lack of pain: very nice. But I can’t drive until I’ve been off them for a week, so I have a great incentive to quit.

I’m not going to count the infection in the “acquired” column, because I’m hoping that I both acquired it and left it behind. Besides the antibiotics, I have no fever or other worrisome signs, so this one can just cancel itself out.

I walked outside today to look at the garden beds. That pretty much used up my endurance. This is going to be a long, slow recovery, and I’m going to hate every minute of it. (Also Boost. I hate Boost. And various other things, but especially the butt drain.) I expect to be cranky a lot, when my vision of what I should be able to do doesn’t match the reality. I’m trying very hard to be a good patient, and eat as much as I can, exercise some but not too much, sleep a lot, yadda yadda yadda.

I sorted through all the mail today, finally. Thank you for the wonderful cards! I appreciate it immensely, and it helps with the cranky.

Home.

Sarah is in the house.

Hospital Math

It looks like my 7-10 day hospital stay will end today. I think that would be 20 days, but I’m a bit fuzzy on some of them what with the fever and all.

I’m free of staples, but covered in steristrips. (Does steristrip glue smell like fir trees or spruce trees?) I’m taking my festoon of drains home with me, even the best beloved butt drain.

I will wear shoes for the first time in three weeks, and a garment that covers my butt. I will not be woken every two hours by a nurse who needs to record a vital sign, or feed me a pill. (As I’ve become healthier, the nurses have backed off, favoring sleep over exact documentation, but it’s still not restful.)

I’ll get to see Nick, and the boxer, and the velociraptors, the latter three under careful supervision. A boxer to the gut would put me right back in the hospital.

I’m taking with me a cocktail of bacteria (the preliminary culture said “a mixture of species of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria,” which covers all the bases at least).

Interlude: Attending strides in, followed by a pair of residents. “Are you ready to go home?” I reply in the affirmative. “Have you been eating?” I reply in the affirmative. “Well then let’s get you out of here.” Exeunt doctors.

I’ll be taking with me the antibiotics to deal with whateveritis I’m infected with. I don’t know yet if those will be IV or oral. (Infectious Diseases says they will be here “later.”)

I’ll be taking pain pills with me too, oh my yes! Three drains, an enormous line of staples, and all the internal healing bits? Drugs are my friend.

So now we’re waiting, on discharge instructions, prescriptions, Infectious Diseases. If they take too exceedingly long, we’ll check out and stay at a motel tonight, as driving home in the rainy night sounds unappealing (no, I’m not driving). But if we can, home tonight!

One thing I’m not taking home with me? The Wursts!

Hospital Math

It looks like my 7-10 day hospital stay will end today. I thing that would be 20 days, but I’m a bit fuzzy on some of them what with the fever and all.

I’m free of staples, but covered in steristrips. (Does steristrip glue smell like fir trees or spruce trees?) I’m taking my festoon of drains home with me, even the best beloved butt drain.

I will wear shoes for the first time in three weeks, and a garment that covers my butt. I will not be woken every two hours by a nurse who needs to record a vital sign, or feed me a pill. (As I’ve become healthier, the nurses have backed off, favoring sleep over exact documentation, but it’s still not restful.)

I’ll get to see Nick, and the boxer, and the velociraptors, the latter three under careful supervision. A boxer to the gut would put me right back in the hospital.

I’m taking with me a cocktail of bacteria (the preliminary culture said “a mixture of species of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria,” which covers all the bases at least).

Interlude: Attending strides in, followed by a pair of residents. “Are you ready to go home?” I reply in the affirmative. “Have you been eating?” I reply in the affirmative. “Well then let’s get you out of here.” Exeunt doctors.

I’ll be taking with me the antibiotics to deal with whateveritis I’m infected with. I don’t know yet if those will be IV or oral. (Infectious Diseases says they will be here “later.”)

I’ll be taking pain pills with me too, oh my yes! Three drains, an enormous line of staples, and all the internal healing bits? Drugs are my friend.

So now we’re waiting, on discharge instructions, prescriptions, Infectious Diseases. If they take too exceedingly long, we’ll check out and stay at a motel tonight, as driving home in the rainy night sounds unappealing (no, I’m not driving). But if we can, home tonight!

One thing I’m not taking home with me? The Wursts!

Rumors!

So, NOTHING DEFINITE, but, from the iPad of the Sarah:

“Rumors of possibilities of hints that perhaps it might not be impossible to go home today, or perhaps tomorrow, unless the tantalizing bits and bobs really refer to something else altogether.”

 

 

Best-Laid Plans

The surgery went great, they got all the cancer out of me, the incision is pretty well healed, and I’ve even gotten half the staples pulled.

And yet, I’m still in the hospital, festooned with drains and on the kind of floor where they check on you every two hours all night.

First there was the vomiting and the N-G tube. Then there was the utterly miserable experience of having a drain installed by people who didn’t do the drugs correctly. Then there was the other drain, put in by a team who didn’t do so badly with the drugs (though nowhere near what I wanted), but absolutely had to put the drain in thru my right butt cheek, thereby eliminating any possible comfortable position. And that’s completely skipping over the potassium wars, the pain med debates, and so many other fun things.

I have some sort of as-yet-identified infection. It’s small: my white blood cell counts are normal, etc, but I’m running a fever. Me and my cancer-free self will be going home as soon as they finish culturing the sample so they can be certain of having the best antibiotic for the job, and when I no longer have a fever.

My role in this is to sleep a lot, walk around regularly (and I finally have permission to go to the bathroom by myself!), and eat a lot, by which I mean nasty grape protein supplements, nasty vanilla general supplements, and meals that vaguely resemble food (I’ve been eating a lot of mashed potatoes).

I’m incredibly tired of being here. Incredibly. But if i leave too early and end up back here, that would just be so much worse.

And hey, no known cancer. I’ll deal with the rest of it.

MAYbe.

Sarah MAY be coming home, finally, in a few days. MAY. Details when I get them, which may not be tonight.

Slowly

So, Sarah is FINE, but her beat-the-world curve is apparently leveling off. Basically, they are having some glitches in dialing in the meds to get aspects of her recovery to be exactly what they want them to be.

This is not something for people to worry about, but I am going to be a grumpy little bitch for a while.

 

-Nick

 

Walking!

Ladies and gentlemen, our girl has gotten up and gone for a walk.

-Nick