Today I shared a story with my friend, Mi, about a post-surgery miscommunication disaster that happened here once. We were laughing, and Lara laughed over it with me once she arrived home. It made me think of all the quirky things that happened during my breast cancer treatment.
Lara and I are still having a good laugh.
So, just to give you a moment (at my own expense), here are some highlights:
– General anesthetic has nothing on what doctor’s refer to as a “twilight sleep.” After being given that particular drug cocktail for a surgery, I awakened with no filter. The last thing I had heard before I was wheeled away to the operating room was another patient, across the room (in plain sight) giving our nurses such absolute grief it made me mad. In the recovery room, that patient was wheeled in after me. I cheerfully (AND LOUDLY) announced to Lara and my mother, “Oh, that lady there is a b*tch!”
– After my hysterectomy, I was having trouble trying to sit up and get out of bed. My sister-in-law was helping me, very gently, until – all of a sudden – she lifted me a bit more abruptly and I fell, face-first, into her chest. We just about died laughing. The laughter was painful, mind you, but that didn’t stop me.
– Chemo fog: the novelty of a mom who sees movies for the first time, even though we’ve watched them already, has worn off for my children. At first, they though it was hilarious to watch me watch movies I couldn’t remember at all. Now, it’s as if I have some bizarre form of potentially contagious amnesia.
– 3:00 a.m. I am convince that Lara can hear the sound of my eyelids when I open my eyes. I needed a snack every morning at 3:00 a.m., and the second my eyes would open a voice would say “what’s wrong?” It never failed to make me jump, because I wouldn’t have even moved yet and she would know I was awake. One night, getting me a snack, Lara bumped into a wall (hey, she was exhausted) and said “I can’t hear where I’m going.” Using her ears to see may have been the problem there.
– The tale of the cup of my blood: the day after my first surgery, Lara zipped over to the hospital as soon as she had left work. I was not at my best, to say the least. I struggled to sleep in the hospital, despite major surgery and major painkillers. The doctor ordered an Ambien for me to make sure I’d get some sleep. Needless to say, I was pretty out of it. While Lara was standing at the foot of my bed, a nurse was checking my drains. All at once, she thrust a cup of my blood into Lara’s hands, while she started searching for her glasses to read how many ccs were in there. Lara smiled at me reassuringly, as I stared in absolute horror. Of all the potential for embarrassment after a surgery, that was not on my list of things to even consider.
– The “people’s eyebrow”: During chemo, about halfway through, I had a bizarre experience. I had just hopped out of the shower, and was drying off my face, when HALF of my right eyebrow came off. I lowered the towel and half my eyebrow was just gone. I screamed, and then I laughed at myself for screaming. I started wearing my scarves down over my forehead, to hide the missing half.
– Party central: The nurses took their midnight breaks with me. First of all, they knew I was sleepless, and secondly, they snuck me extra food. Well, once I was allowed to eat, that is. At one point, I had three different nurses hanging out at 1 a.m. It was actually a lot of fun.
– The time I lied: This goes to the food thing. When I had my hysterectomy, I was starving before surgery. As soon as surgery was over, I wanted water. And the biggest meal I could find. Not only was I not allowed to eat, they wanted to restrict my water intake as well. I had already been empty for over 24 hours. For those of you who don’t know me personally, it’s a miracle no one was killed. 24 hours turned to 48, turned to almost 72. This amazing nurse told me he wasn’t allowed to feed me until I passed gas. I told him I wouldn’t be able to until I had eaten. I went for a walk in the hall, for the millionth time. I came back and lied – I told him I farted. They fed me!
Ahhhhh. None of this compares to the fact that somewhere, my dad has photos he took of me while I was completely knocked out in the hospital.
Let this be a lesson to you all: huge, life-changing events are rich fodder for laughing at yourself. I know this firsthand. 🙂
Happy Monday, and blessings to you all…