Thursday, July 09, 2009

UPS & DOWNS (as in down for nap)

Today it has been 4 weeks since Dr. Friese removed my left kidney in a tidy nephrectomy and Dr. Asher installed it in Ron, the recipient. I can now laugh, cough and sneeze without simultaneously screaming with pain, although I do have to wrap my arms around my abdomen cause things still feel really weird around my incisions.

I will share more about the whole experience when the outcome is more of a known. I am fine, but as I write this Ron is back in the hospital and heading into more surgery.

You know how anytime you have something done they always tell you about that very small percentage that shit happens to? Well Ron is in that percentage.

For me this has been an early preview of what I imagine my octagenarian years will be like. The following is a list of the newest fun behaviors in my repertoire...

When I get up in the morning it takes me a while to stand up straight, because they sliced into my abdomen and sewed me back up and that stuff is still reeling from the abuse. When I'm 80 I imagine it will be because my spine is slipping over into a question mark due to osteoporosis, but as I shuffle to the bathroom 80 feels like now.

The next thing I do is head out to the garden to water my plants because tomatoes out of the garden taste and smell a million times better than anything you buy in a market. I sit down to do this because of the heart palpitations.

After watering I lie down and take a little nap.

Next I call my neighbor and tell her I'm going to take a shower where for some reason I always get dizzy, possibly from raising my arms over my head with my eyes closed. If I don't call her when I get out she's supposed to come and make sure I'm not passed out on my bathroom floor.

After the shower I take another nap and often forget to call my neighbor to let her know I've successfully made it out of the shower. It's not a long nap because she always comes to find me.

I head out to the living room for a little TV or some reading. Sitting or laying down for any period of time causes more napping.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are light meals because since the surgery my stomach is sensitive and everything I eat, or perhaps just the act of digestion, causes my stomach to be upset so that inevitably I have to carry some Tums with me.

Speaking of dinner this is a meal that I am now eating at about 5pm - also known as the early bird special hour. I do this because if I eat later than that I am nauseated when I go to bed. When I think about how I used to give my 95 year old Nana shit about eating so early I feel like a real asshole.

I've quit drinking because it also upsets my stomach.

I won't even go into the subject of gas passing and I promise I will not tease my mom the next time she toots her way down the sidewalk when we're out in public.

Now when I drive - to the market and to the bank (Nana's last two destinations in her final years), my hands are firmly at 10 and 2 and I drive the speed limit and keep a nice safe distance between myself and others. If there is traffic I get light headed and a sweaty upper lip and on one occasion had to pull over. The volume on the talk radio is turned up high so I can hear it better (but that's been going on for a while).

When I'm out walking my daily mile I often have to slow down, bend over and hold onto something while I catch my breath.

Sometimes I say "whooo doggy."

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