Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Strikes Law

In the meantime I’m marooned on the sofa watching the Philly bike race on DVR and whimpering at the screen the way an indoor cat does at the glass preventing him from stalking a bird outside.

By the way, did you know that Jelly Belly has an actual racing team? I guess it makes sense since they make Sport Beans. I think this is the perfect team for me, what with having a Jelly Belly being typical of a panda's physique.

Picking a date for surgery was slightly less complicated than picking a space shuttle launch date. I had mass amounts of work travel in March and another week in April, and I had to move at the end of May. Add to this that at some point I actually had to get the MRI done before I could get the insurance to approve the surgery. And we were randomly super busy at work. This should be our slow time but there were unending budget drills and congressional inquiries and TPSs had to be done. Yes, we actually have TPS reports at my job. I make the joke daily and no one ever gets it. That might be a good thing.

And it had to be early enough to where I could recover enough to be able to handle flying to LA later in the month. And it had to be before the end of June so I could burn some unused funds in my FSA. I’m getting to the point where I’m actually planning for a surgery every year when calculating how much to contribute to my FSA. Sigh.

Super friend M came up from Richmond and took care of me. Now, for a non-DC person to drive from Arlington to Reston in rush hour traffic which involves no fewer than 4 highways, is deserving of a medal in and of itself.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know my life is one long I love Lucy/ Seinfeld episode.
I had to have my surgery at the hospital instead of the surgery center because a special table was needed traction hip something something. Generally I prefer to have surgery at a surgical center since my experience with hospitals hasn't been great. There was the time I had a broken leg and they told me my ankle was sprained, the time I had a shoulder surgery and the nurse dropped a needle and still wanted to inject me with it, and thennnnn there was This Time.

So first we went through the “Are you pregnant?” drill:
H: Are you pregnant?
IP: No.
H: Are you sure?
IP: Yes.
H: Are you really sure?
IP: Yessssssss
H: Prove it!
IP: What?

I had to take a pregnancy blood test. Which seems like a relatively simple thing since they were already going to have to stick me and insert tubing so I could become one with the Matrix. Yeah you would think.
This particular nurse tried three separate times to try to find a vein. I directed her to where I had scars from the IV from my tonsillectomy. She … did not listen. She found a vein and shot through it. Then she tried another and something … wasn’t right. All of a sudden I hear M say, “Whatever you do, DON’T LOOK”.

Have you ever seen a campy horror movie where there’s blood shooting out of a vein after someone gets attacked by a zombie/werewolf/vampire with a chainsaw?
My arm was covered in blood. They had to give me a new blanket I was so covered with blood. Now I have strict rules on puncturingcritical systems. You get three tries to give me an IV or draw blood and you're out. Thankfully at this point she gave up and called in another nurse who got it on the first try. If I have to have surgery again, I’m just getting a port put in.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the curtain …

Another nurse is telling OR horror stories to a guy about to get a vasectomy. I could not make this up if I tried. Nurse Kramer pops in a couple times, which included an attempt to guess my age. He was on the high side by about 20 years. I am not amused. He says he was basing it on the hip surgery. Note to self: I cannot get away with not wearing makeup.

Oh and the test results come back: I'm not pregnant!

With that cleared up I shuffle off to slumberland where the forest critters fix my hip. Well, what could be fixed. More on that another time.

Moving, a race report

Being the genius that I am, I moved the weekend before I had surgery.
While I was playing Keep Toss or Donate, the Team was off racing Mountains of Misery (MOM) and the Wilderness Road Ride. Rides so difficult they make Savageman look like cake. Since my sense of masochism only goes so far, I decided not to race the world’s hardest course on a torn hip and then try to move in two days.
But it did make for a fun game of “Would you rather” with the roommate.
Me: Would you rather race Mountains of Misery in a thunderstorm or … move on the hottest days of the year?
Roommate: The race. Absolutely.

There was a bit of stress since I didn’t officially have the new apartment until about 3 days before I needed to move. I had a panicky moment full of Catholic guilt that I would not be approved for the apartment. I had some contingency plans, but it was all pretty tenuous.
Second point of stress came when the movers I’ve used the last two times were fully booked. I think this was a blessing in disguise. The movers the new apartment complex suggested were great. They were super nice and took great care of my stuff. This was key since being injured and all I was pretty limited in what I could carry and move myself. And, I wouldn’t be able to move anything if it wasn’t where I needed it.
I took Friday off to pack. Saturday the movers came. I don’t know why, but it always takes twice as long to move stuff in and it does to move stuff out. It’s bizarre.
Now I had moved six months ago from a townhouse (under some serious duress) to a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate. I still hadn’t unpacked a lot of boxes when I moved to the new place. Which has absolutely. no. storage.
There was also a certain amount of pressure because 3 days later I would be having hip surgery and wouldn’t be able to walk so everything needed to be in its place.
I quickly found out that when I moved out of the townhouse, I didn’t get ANY of my kitchenware moved.
My awesome sorority sister R came down and drove me (because my car was still packed full) to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get basic necessities like flatware, dishes, and pots and pans. We also went all over creation trying to find a squid strip surge protector. Did they recall them? I can’t find one anywhere!
She also helped me make my bathroom handicapped accessible with a removable hand rail, fish bath tub grips, and a handheld shower head. All lessons learned from the previous surgeries.
As much stress as it was there’s something to be said for living within a 1/8th of a mile of restaurants, a grocery store, and a coffee shop for two weeks.

BTW, did you know that most people don't consider a bike to be living room furniture?