Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Post-Surgery Life of a Diva

I had a spinal fusion and a sacro-iliac fusion a week and a half ago, which seems like a lifetime ago, thankfully.  Yes, it was major.  No, it wasn't fun.  The hospital stay deserves a blog or a dozen unto itself.  In fact, the bedpan incident deserves its own blog!  (As does the catheter and the "blood bag" that my physio called my Gucci and my Prada.)

Two days after  my surgery.  Looking fashionable even with a catheter!

The good news?  I am home lying in our double bed in an alcove of our living room because I can't make it up the steps to our bedroom.  The Christmas music is streaming as is the sun, and my daughter, Charlotte,  is beside me in bed knitting compulsively and helping her mama meet all of her multitude of needs.

The bed has become the visiting central station.  Friends are joking that we should permanently instate it here, privacy be damned.  I must admit, I do enjoy being the reigning princess of my domain, nestled by the Christmas tree as I am and having my shopkeeper's bell to summon help when necessary.  I've got a whole system for getting out of bed: the log roll out, the slipping on of my Crocs for grip, the wriggling to the end of the bed, the gymnastic maneuver of lifting myself up on my walker, and then the stately stroll to the bathroom that once took five minutes and I can now do in under two.

Here is Charlotte avidly knitting on the living room bed!

Last night the whole family piled into the bed to watch It's a Wonderful Life.  We had Don's famous olive oil wok popcorn and I indulged in a mug of mulled wine that quite resplendently complimented the drugs that  I am taking.  Our daughters are seven and nine, and, while they were intrigued by the movie, it didn't have the impact we thought it would have.  We had frequent stops to explain what George Bailey was doing and the many historical references they did not get, and while Don and I were silently streaming tears at the end, the girls were balling up with terror.  Apparently it's a scary movie!  Who knew?  As a result, we shared our living room bed with two weeping daughters for a portion of the night until they could get over their fear of angels and of not existing.  We might go back to Kung Fu Panda tonight.

I'm enjoying my waist!
In addition to watching old Christmas classics, I've been "youtubing" Ellen monologues (no Ellen in Hong Kong, sadly), watching Saturday Night Live reruns and well-done fluff like Drop Dead Diva on Netflix.  I am staying away from news and immersing myself with anything that makes me laugh (even though it hurts my back when I guffaw).  My reading consists of Eckhart Tolle and anything about staying in-the-moment and being grateful.  Oh, and I read Penny Marshall's My Mother was Nuts autobiography and had a good laugh and learned a bit more about the inner workings of Hollywood.  As a result of her extensive professional relationship with Tom Hanks, I dreamed  we had a romantic interlude last night.  He's a doll in real-life and even better in my dreams.  I always enjoy my sexy celebrity dreams when they occasionally show up, but Tom Hanks has never played a part in them before!

I'm looking thinner than I have in ages thanks to the corset/back brace that I have to wear for at least another six weeks until all the screws fuse into my bones; while I don't particularly love wearing a corset, it gives me the 18 inch waist I've never had, and gives me ample cleavage to boot.  I'm also sporting some very classy white surgical stockings that are compressing my legs like sausage casings. (And, yes, my legs are roughly the shape of sausages right now!)  The stockings take a good half an hour to wriggle on, slightly faster with the aid of talcum powder.  I lie on the bed whilst the assisting saint engages in hoisting, pushing and heaving.  It's a little like rolling out dough for bread and the accompanying kneading, the dough being my legs.  It's not a pretty affair.

I'm going to have to humble myself soon and let either our lovely helper, Myrna, or my saintly husband, Don, give me a good scrubbing while I sit on the commode/cum shower chair.  Fortunately, my hair looks better each day it's not washed and I'm neither greasy nor stinky.  Also, I have a high tolerance for dirt so showering is definitely not my first priority.

My cleavage detracts from my dirty hair.

Getting dressed?  It's an affair that involves more than me.  Changing underwear I can now do by myself under the covers; usually I only pull a muscle or two, requiring intensive massaging with a variety of mentholated products afterwards.  I've got a uniform of tank top, black yoga pants and long sleeved black tee shirt that keeps the wardrobe easy.  I have a closetful of clothes (and heels) that I am yearning for, but I'l stick with elastic waists and stretchy fabrics until I can appear in public again.

My daughters have become quite good at helping mommy adjust all my bumps and bruises as they wrestle me into my clothes.  I spice up my shapeless, colorless uniform with bright scarves because, in spite of this surgery and my accompanying ineptitude and drugged demeanor, I am still, at heart, a vain woman.  (My pre-surgery vanities included a wax and an eyelash extension.  I considered a self-tan, but thought people might think I was in for a tummy tuck and face-lift if I got too extravagant with my vanities.)  Even so, on the first day, when I asked the nurse to dig through my suitcase for a scarf that better complimented my eyes, I did notice some eye-rolling.  I also made sure I had pretty scarves on my pillow that accented my hair and made the living unit (my bed) just a little less sterile.

CK: the roomie from heaven.  

So, day by day, I'm keeping it positive and trying to keep it light.  One day at a time, I am finding things to smile at, being grateful for all my blessings, and realizing that, no matter where I am or what state I am in, it is a state of grace.

Grace personified by our Starlit Charlotte

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