Monthly Archives: April 2007

Wow, drugs do work

Today I am weirded out.
I was to spend the day with Miss_Mimsy and she called at 1pm to make sure my butt was in gear. It totally wasn’t. I took my percocet and ended up heading back to bed for “a few minutes.” It was something like 2.5 hours when I got up again. And things were weird. I had spent the time watching thoughts go by. I had some interesting ideas and didn’t grab on and follow any of them. they just passed by saying hi on their way through my head. When I tried to walk, I felt disjointed and I think I looked like the Scarecrow first trying to move after climbing down from the corn field. I had a pleasant little smile on my face and my mouth did not hurt for the first time. There was still some sort of sore feeling going on but it just didn’t matter.

This is how I expected the drugs to behave after surgery, I guess I figured out the trick. No eating right afterwards. Gives the drugs a chance to play without the affects being watered down.

The thing is that this is a very uncomfortable feeling and I don’t much care for it. I don’t trust myself to get anywhere. There is no driving today. I can understand why people were concerned about my ability to drive if this is the normal affect of narcotics. Sadly, my body doesn’t respond well to weird feelings. Since I am learning to actually pay attention to how my body feels it is hard to escape it when things get out of my control. My body starts to panic and flooding the entire system with adrenaline and such so I have other meds to hand the anxiety. I go between being overheated and terrified of it to freezing. I shake and quiver and can’t hold still. It seems that the eye shaking problem I have gets a lot worse. It seems to every now and then keep in time with my heartbeat, shaking every time my heart pumps and it puts pressure on my head. I am writing most of this with my eyes closed. Thank goodness for touch typing.

I don’t know how long this will affect me. I thought it would clear up after I got some food into me but it really hasn’t. Most of the issue is making food and feeling like I need to be held in place. When I tried to make my microwave mac and cheese I spilled it all over the counter. I put the bowl under the edge of the counter and scooped it over the side and into the bowl. This effect was one of the reasons I was staying with others the week after surgery. Stupid over sensitive body not acting normal. Can’t say I like this effect after all. It might not be so bad if I wasn’t the one taking care of myself but it sucks when I am.

Reading through Wynkat1313 posts on the affect of the 80-880 highway fire issue, it does make me wonder if any of what I am going through is related to that. I am not seeing an effect link but it might be. Something to keep in mind.

More Updatage

This is just sort of a babble of a post.

Still not up to par but I am doing better. I can drive which is good because I need to be able to do that to take care of myself. I am still really careful with what I can eat and my throat hurts most of the time. Percocet is suppose to be my friend but it still has yet to get rid of the pain. I saw a comic in the New Yorker with the caption “I would like to up my dosage, I still have feelings.” It was a patient on a shrinks couch but it seems relevant to what I am going through too.

Sometimes it seems like I am doing ok and getting better, other times it feels like everything is against me and I am alone and can’t do anything. I was pretty well taken care of the first week after the surgery when I really couldn’t take care of myself. I had Fennifer stop by last Fri and Sat. Sunday I found I dropped right back into the depression mode I was in before the surgery. Monday, renwench stopped by after work and we went grocery shopping. I had her be my back up and tested to see if I could drive while on pain meds. It was a little wearing but that was more because I really hadn’t been active for about three weeks and was weak than because the drugs were messing me up. Tuesday, I had some appointments that I pushed myself through and in the afternoon I hung out with Lizzy and that was very good. I felt like I was mostly back to my old self. I still needed to take it slowly but I wasn’t in need of a babysitter anymore to take care of me. Wed Fennifer came over and cleaned and cooked and we went shopping and saw Meet the Robinsons (fun movie). It felt good but I was very tired when I got home.

Today I was suppose to spend a couple of hours at work, go to a 5pm appointment and a 6:30 group class. I just couldn’t do it in the morning. I called work and told them that I was toast and I would try again later. Turns out that I slept and still had a horrible time getting up in the afternoon. It seems that I am paying for doing so much the two previous days. So I couldn’t help out my old company with their upcoming presentation and I made it to my appointment 10 minutes late. I fell to pieces at my therepy session. I just can’t keep it up. I am being pulled so many ways and it turns out I still need a babysitter. I don’t need the level of care I had the first week but I still need help.

Since I can do things for myself, it is almost impossible for me to ask for help. I can do my own dishes, I can clean up my apartment, I can dress myself, etc. but I am not doing it. It isn’t something I can really even explain because it doesn’t make sense to me. It just meant so much to me to have Fennifer make me some eggs when I could do it myself. I am not well and recovering from the surgery has made it even more so. Or visa versa. Sometimes it is ok, sometimes it is not ok. Sometimes it has to be all about me, sometimes it is good for it to be about someone else that isn’t me.

I have something to do and people to be with on Sat and Sunday. The person I thought would cover Friday ended up with life pounding on her and is unavailable. Since my plan didn’t work, my mind is drawing a blank on what else to put into play. This bothers me, I am not use to my mind being so limited. I think this is the effect of the pain meds.

So that is where things are now. Sometimes it is good and ok and I am on top of it. Sometimes it is not ok, I need real help and I am burying myself even deeper. Middle grounds would be nice.

What a buzz!

I am taking percocet for the pain and have been very unimpressed with the effects of a narcotic. Basically it didn’t feel like it was doing anything for me but I do have to acknowledge it does seem to be taking the pain from a 7-0 (on a 1-10 scale) to a 3-4 which is good. But no loopyness or being out of it or anything like that. Nothing to make dealing with the pain more enjoyable.

After taking a dose I ate a banana pudding cup. Regular with sugar. And man oh man do I have a buzz. I don’t know why it is hitting me this time but my head feels like it is barely attached. I have to pay attention to get my feet to step in front of each other. My hands go flying all over. It would be great if I could just lie down and enjoy. Sadly I am in the middle of trying to make something to eat so I can’t do that quite yet. This is the loopy part I was thinking I would get from the pain meds and I get it from a cup of pudding.

The percocet didn’t have this affect when I took the previous dose. I guess the other times I have had the banana split pudding, I was just suffering too much to notice the sugar buzz. Either that or I have just the right combination of sleep and food and paying close attention for the effect to kick in. I have described the affect of sugar on me as a spin the wheel sort of situation. This seems to be another example.

Wooo hooo. Finding my nose seems to be entertaining at this moment. This is almost like having alcohol.

Recovery Update- The change of pain

Things still hurt and they will hurt for at least a week longer. I am at the point where I thought I would be when the surgery was over.

My tongue has finally stopped hurting so much that it masks the throat pain. I can use my tongue again and might even be able to come close to eating and chewing. The sad part about this is that now I can feel how bad my throat hurts.

Going a couple rounds with Kaiser on Thursday got me more powerful meds and even more powerful meds. I was concerned that the really powerful ones would make me less likely to eat. Since the main problem I am having is getting enough food and liquids into me, being less likely to eat would be a Bad Thing (TM). And going into the weekend, there wouldn’t be anything that could be done until Monday. Again with the Bad thing. So now I have a variety to choose from to make me feel better. I have still to get to a point where there is no pain. The best I have managed it the point where I don’t feel like screaming when I swallow or bend things because I am clutching too tightly to try to take the focus away from drinking.

It still hurts now but it seems more manageable. I have given up any idea of being fully functional for the next week.

I have also used up all my assistant plans. Kristil was a wonderful babysitter for when I had the surgery. Ken took me in and did a great job taking care of me for Sat-Tue. Chris was good and helped me strive for getting better Tue-Thurs. Jennifer came over for part of the day Fri and Sat. Now, there are no more plans. I am once again all on my own. I don’t need quite the level of care, the making me food and bringing it to me in bed anymore. That would still help a lot but it is no longer a need. I am in a place where I am not sure what type of help I could ask for or would feel comfortable asking for. I am not able to do “Polite”. I feel that I would get very frustrated with someone’s attempt to help if it isn’t exactly right because I have to be in charge again. When I could turn it over to someone else and was allowed to pout when it wasn’t working right, it was ok. When I have to be the one organizing and making things happen and I am still working through someone else, then stupid stuff like not finding the right pudding at the store becomes really hard because I am not taking care of myself and I am not being taken care of. I am still not up to “making nice” so that people will still like me and be my friends. That will come back after I feel comfortable taking care of myself.

I am not even sure I can go back to Ken or Chris’s if they offered. Ken offered me to stay the weekend and then back out in a bad way. He has set me up against his girlfriend and I am not pleased with this. I am not feeling overly trusting all over again. Asking for help just allows others to hurt you. Probably a lot of these feelings are because I am facing being alone again and so I have to put on the armour. Make it more about my choice instead of there being no one there for me. The timing of this surgery really sucked. I just found out a friend’s wedding is tomorrow when the invite arrived in the mail. Every time I think about it I get heartsick because I would love to see the event in person.

I am sure I will be fine. I am always fine.

(FYI renwench, you will be tapped for grocery shopping when I figure out what I need and when.)

Yet another surgery update

I am home. Today has been bad. I haven’t gotten any better and actually fell back a couple of steps. I am finding out that this surgery (tonsils and softpallet) is much harder on adults than on kids. I didn’t hear that before the surgery so my planning is a little off.

I did play the fight game with Kaiser and got a stronger med that I can feel good about taking. They wanted to give me a particular drug that I think will make me feel sick and since my main worry is getting enough fluids and food into me that would be counter productive. I called a friend that is a doctor for med info and I called the pharmacy to find out the actual content of the possible drugs to see if they would cause the affect I was worried about and I got a different nurse when I didn’t hear back from the first one. Damn that first nurse so didn’t listen on so many things. I am very grateful for the second one who gave me all the information I wanted and talked with the dr over and over for me. I probably got more attention than I deserved but if they didn’t start out so badly, I wouldn’t have had to go so far to take care of things. I have had good service at Kaiser but when they start treating you like you are just a list of things to check off and a box to be stuck into, then starting to throw a hissy fit works with making them actually listen to you. It is a little like Baycon last year when emergencies where the only things taken seriously. I don’t like working that way but I am learning how to recognize it and work with that system.

I had to wait until Chris got home from work to get the drugs. That was not easy/well done. I was tapped out from dealing with the hoops from Kaiser and didn’t want to take my current meds because I would be piling the new ones on top of them. I got the new ones and thank goodness they are pills. I can swallow pills better than liquid and the doctors/nurses can’t seem to grok that. I also got something for the stomach acid that my all sugary diet is causing. I took the low end dose of the new stuff and when I found I couldn’t talk any better because of the pain, I took half a dose of the old stuff too.

Chris then packed my things in the car and drove me home. On the way we could start to tell the drugs were actually taking affect. My speech started to veer off in odd directions (more so than usual) and I couldn’t remember things and now I am feeling a little fuzzy around the edges. This is good. This is what I was waiting for and wanting.

It looks like I have another week of recovery. This time at the level I thought this last week should be. It is turning out to be a big deal for me not to be alone. I am home alone tonight. A friend is coming over for the day tomorrow. I have an offer to stay in San Jose for the weekend with Ken again. I just have to figure out a way back south Friday night. I have a possibility with a friend but she has been pretty fried and this might be more than she would be comfortable with. I need to figure out what to do during the week. I am not a happy camper about this. I don’t like asking people to take care of me. I feel bad about it especially since I can’t return the favor. It would drive me nuts to do for someone else what I am having done for me. I can do it for short term like a day or two. I can put a lot of energy into someone in the hospital. But the ongoing wait on someone hand and foot would really eat my goat. I am hoping that I can do something for them in return that is one of my skills and has value for them just for balance sake. I know I don’t “owe” them, I just want to be able to add to the coffer. Besides, that way they might be willing to do it again if necessary. :)

Fun at Grocery Stores

I am still not up to getting myself around and I have been passed off to Chris for the next phase of my recovery.

He had to make a trip to the grocery store and I needed to replenish some supplies that seemed to be working and I wanted to go too. The Albertsons we went to has one of those motorcarts and I used that. While I may not look like I need it, I do actually need it so I could justify it to myself.

Chris made the mistake to going off on his own and catching up to me. That meant to me that I could play all I wanted and didn’t have to be focused. I tootled around the store picking things up. I love being able to do that with so little effort. I might have to consider doing it again sometime when I am feeling not quite up to par.

It was really fun to shop with easy and wave to the little girls in the toy car carts as if they were fellow drivers. I am a much happier person when I have energy.

It still hurts. The tongue is still the worst of it. I now have pockets in the back of my throat that I have to clean out. I will wait and see if that is something that will go away or not.

I am still weak and my guts hurt. The pain meds have still yet to get all of the pain covered. It is taking more than I had anticipated. Currently I have two appointments (that think they are at the same time and I will have to fix that) Thursday in Berkeley/Oakland. I have a ride back up for that and an offer to spend the weekend in the South Bay again. I just need to see what I can and what I want to get covered for Thursday night/Friday. I can take care of myself at this point but it is the crawling to the kitchen type of taking care of myself. I have been doing a good job asking for and receiving help to not tax my systems to their extremes.

And I did have fun tootling around the grocery store.

Grrr Arrg Bark

Here I am recovering from surgery. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes not so well. Pain is always involved. I am currently around someone very involved in SMOF-dom and I am getting all excited about getting some work done for upcoming conventions.

Baycon has asked me to do the Program Book for Baycon 2007. It is pretty last minute but I am sure I can handle it if I have the content in a timely manner. I have lots and lots of questions and I am not hearing from people. Some of that is that I have a time dilation issue where a long time for me is a short time for them because I am sitting on my thumbs and they have things like “real” life to deal with. But part of this could very well be the fan patented tendency to put things off and be disorganized. I feel like I have some basic questions I need answered before I can really start and I have nothing. So it is grrr bark bark.

Baycon staff is great at handling emergencies. The drawback to this is that things are left alone until they become emergencies. I don’t work like that. I panic so much earlier and try to make things run as smoothly as possible. I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone that I don’t have content and answers because they haven’t had a chance to get them to me. But I do wonder if I need to kick things into emergency mode so it can at least get in my hands.

It is close to emergency level because it is running so close to the deadline and I don’t know what energy I will have available but I am also confident in handling not in emergency mode if my conditions can be met.

Edit: Then I feel very silly when I actually get the responses I have been asking for after I start ranting about it. I have gotten some of the information I need and at least something to work on while I wait for more. Thank you Michael

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes you will write something that has a lot of emotional attachments (like my last post) and you get little to no responses to it. It makes you wonder if anyone out there is ready your journal or even cares. I think I am learning it is more of a factor that the more emotionally attached you are to something and you express that in your entry, the more people steer clear of it for their own reasons. They might now have anything to say, it might hit too close to home for them, they may have too much to say and not enough time so they put it off, or some other reason. It feels like a me thing but realistically it is a them thing.

Now onto the actual update.
I am getting better but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like things are just has hard but I am getting more done each time. Objectively that means I am getting better.

I am very grateful to Ken and dkferret for being there for me. I really needed it as I really couldn’t take care of myself. But I feel like I might have worn out my welcome. Some of this is just worry on my part which is annoying in its own way. I hate asking for things that people don’t want to give me. I would rather just close down and fade away. This feels a lot like how I act when people don’t want to hear what I have to say. The words just dry up and talkative me can’t say anything.

So much for relaxing and getting to feel what it is like to be taken care of when I need it. Now it is pushing to be as self sufficient as possible so I can hide back in my hole and out of people’s ways again.

This is one of the reasons I have a hard time when people offer to help. I can turn things over to them but I find that it is hard for them to let me know when they don’t want to help anymore and if it comes up without me expecting it, then I am left up a creek without a paddle so to speak. It is much better not to trust that they can do anything. They really want to and they feel they can do so much but then reality sets in and it won’t last and I don’t do well with the way others handle their withdrawal. This is the benefit of Self Preservation people. They may seem somewhat stingy but they only offer what they can afford to give. Not always, I have offered things I couldn’t live with in the long run because I was really excited. But more often than other types, I have a clear understanding of what I can get away with and what I can’t.

I still haven’t decided if this surgery thing was a good idea or not. It has been a learning experience. The can’t eat, can’t take care of myself, hurt thing has not been a good experience and if I thought about it before and what it would have brought up, I might not have decided to do this. It has killed the idea of other surgeries that I have been thinking of. I was really looking forward to this. Yeah, the rest of my life was seen as so bad that this was a highlight. That has changed. I did have rather good spirits about all this even through the being scared and the panic and the pain. Those spirits have left the building. Time for me to hunker down and go back to being alone and disconnected again.

Surgury update

The surgery went fine and I am sure I am ok but the recover is a lot worse than I expected. I have having a devil of a time swallowing anything so eating really isn’t happening. I can get a bite or two of whatever I am attempting before I am done. This means I haven’t had anything like a full meal total for two days. I am up to eating ice chips for my hydration.

My friend Ken has taken me to his home and is taking care of me. I thought I would want someone around if I hit a problem. It turns out I am in problem mode all the times I am not asleep. It turns out I really need actual assistance. I was overly optimistic before. Now I am wondering it I am going to be up to snuff in one week or in more like two weeks.

All the things that are soft and liquid and cold are sweet and I seem to be spitting back up the sweet stuff which keeps me from eating as well.

Add to this I hit panic mode. I know I am fine but emotionally and physically I am react in a panic. Once I figured that out, things were a little better.

At the hospital, during recovery, the nurses seemed to think I should be able to just get up after recovery and get dressed and there was no way I could. I didn’t have the energy and was so shaky. I slept longer than expected I think due to the fact that every time I woke up I told them I hurt
and they gave me morphine. They would put heated blankets on me and I had trouble with that. I over
heated very quickly. I would start to focus on what I had to do to leave and I would be overwhelmed. I asked for dkferret (who was my surgery babysitter and did a bang up job) to help me get dressed and they said they would help me and then ignored me. They were getting ready to close down so it is understandable but it didn’t help not trigger things. They couldn’t understand my need for apple juice and told me I could have it after I got dressed. I had to fight them on
that too. They finally started listening to me and treating me like I had a problem when I finally yelled “What do you want from me?” I had to have a wheelchair out and couldn’t walk. The response I got from the nurse was that they didn’t do anything to my legs implying I should be able to stand on my own. A day later and I still am shaky when it comes to standing and walking.

After I got home and dkferret turned me over to Ken I just couldn’t face being taken to the South Bay. He had to return to take care of the dogs so after I had some more sleep I felt better but when faced with getting up and leaving, I felt apart all over again. Ken left and came back for me in the morning around 8am.

When I had some more sleep and woke up this time I realize that a lot of my issues are the panic reactions. I had Ken call Kaiser to find out if I could take my panic medicine and what else we can do about the pain meds because while they help it still hurts too much chew or swallow. The worst part of all this is that my tongue is swollen from them clamping it down. I can’t move things around in my mouth without it.

Normally I am fascinated by what happens to my body but I can’t even look at this yet. I am almost to a point where I can looking at part of it.

I will be fine, talking is hard and for anyone that has hung out with me, you will understand how much that bothers me. :) It hurts and it will take time to get better. Whaaaa

My surgery was delayed to around 3pm. They couldn’t get me out of the hospital until 8pm. 11 pm is when we sent Ken home because I couldn’t face a trip south. About three people wanted me to call them after the surgery to let them know how it went. I couldn’t call them on Friday and I finally had Ken call them Sat afternoon just to keep them informed.

Well, I wanted to be taken care of and that is what I am getting because I really need it. I was just hoping that it wouldn’t hurt so bad. I was suppose to be on happy happy drugs to get through this and just not functional. Whaaa.

Another update

Sometimes it is ok but just looking at my actions lately, it doesn’t look so ok. So this is another post just logging it. I can’t ask for help because I have no idea what type of help would even be useful.

I had a pre-surgery appt Friday morning. dkferret showed up late Thursday night to stay the night and babysit me during the appt. It was greatly appreciated. It meant something to me to have someone waiting and there for me as I went to talk to one person or another (there were a total of five I saw over 3 hours). It really made me realize that I am going to need someone to babysit me the day of my surgery and not just for the week of recovery afterwards.

I had been working all the week prior, Thursday to Thursday. Even a job I felt go going into as well as one I didn’t feel good about but did very well at. Friday, we did well at the hospital and I got to reconnect with dkferret. We had been out of touch for over a year and that was very good too. In theory, I should have been on an upswing and been doing fine.

I was tired after the visit. dkferret and I are not calm people when we are together especially when there is stuff to catch up on. I zoned out in front of the TV some and napped some. I went to bed for real between 1am and 2am. I love sleeping but I hate going to sleep. I woke up on Sat from some really great dreams about a Moon Station, moving around in Zero-G, swimming in a perfect ocean, using my ability to float above the ground which is like walking on the crust of snow. I had so much strength and endurance and it was all so effortless and rewarding. Then I have to get up and everything just takes so much. I get up and get myself fed around 2pm. I watch a movie on TV and I am so out it that I pause it right in the middle of the big climax/scary chase scene and take a nap until about 8:30pm. So again I have slept the day away. And this means I am awake all night. I go to bed again around 3 or 4 am and read. I end up finishing by book at 7am after the next door neighbor’s alarm goes off and she isn’t home to turn it off. There is a brief book break to put on some clothes and flip her circuit breaker.

I have my alarm set for 10am because I have an Easter gathering to go to. I am looking forward to it and to talking with some of the people there. It is a chance to be social some more. I am sure this introverted side to me is not doing me much good. I am having trouble even returning emails. Of course I can’t go to sleep but I can get some rest in. This has happened in the recent past. 10 am comes around and I have drifted in and out of sleep and don’t get up. 11 comes around and I know I have to get up to be at the event at Noon. And I can’t seem to make me do anything about it. Everything requires too much effort. Everything about getting ready is broken into all these little steps. To go to the event, I need to call and confirm its location because I am not sure of my memory, which means I have to get up at 10 in hopes of catching my friends (I did do this and I missed them but I think I know where I am going so that isn’t so bad). But I have to get ready which includes eating breakfast, showering, putting on clothes and getting out of the house. Breakfast includes getting out of bed, opening the refrigerator and getting out two eggs, getting out a paper bowl, finding a fork and the spices, scrabbling them, putting them in the microwave, doing my little exercises while they cook (the exercises actually help get me going but no until after I do them, until then they are part of the just one more thing to do list.) Then I have to put my evil cheese on the eggs and nuke them again. Find juice. Sit down and distract myself while eating the eggs and juice, usually with a book or TV. That is just feeding myself. The shower includes shaving the legs, I have been wanting to color my hair so that gets thrown in there to be efficient, taking my meds, brushing my teeth. I have to figure out something to wear.

This doesn’t seem like much and in the past, most of this is stuff that runs on the back burner. But lately I see and sweat each and every action. If it can’t be done in three steps, I usually can’t start it. I keep wearing the same clothes days in a row because I don’t want to figure out something else to wear. They are piled next to my bed. I eat things that have minimal prep, like straight out of a box or can. Even boiling pasta takes too many steps. I spend most of my time reading or watching tv or sleeping.

I really wanted to go to renwench’s Easter event but time kept trickling away and then it just didn’t happen. I kept trying and not moving. I started and finished a book today. This is not how I want to spend my day. I haven’t been able to call anyone to wish them a happy easter. It feels somewhat obligatory to do so for my parents and I don’t want to deal with that. I don’t want to deal with anything.

I haven’t left my place since Friday evening except for turning off the power to my neighbor’s apt. I don’t have work lined up for tomorrow so I see it being the same.

I don’t have anything major going on that I need sympathy or help with like Miss_Mimsy. I feel like I should be just getting up and doing things that need to be done or that I would like to have done. But I am watching myself not do it over and over and over. I don’t feel like I am in a deep depression but I seem to be acting like it. I want to be taken care of because I don’t seem to be doing much to take care of myself but I feel I should be able to take care of myself. I want things focused on me and I don’t have room for anyone else’s problems but I would like to help someone else to distract myself from my crap and become functional again. I am lonely and feel like everyone is missing but I don’t want to actually deal with anyone. I think I probably need some sort of help but can’t imagine what that would be nor can I even conceive of asking for it.

In the past, when I have been depressed, I felt like it would go on forever. The work on myself has finally had the effect that I realize in time it will pass. But it feels like it isn’t passing, that it is just getting worse and worse. That I am undermining any ability I have to claw my way out. That is the negative side to knowing what you are doing. You have the ability to screw it up even better than before because you know the weak points.

This post is mostly an acknowledgment of my current headspace and dilemma. I don’t expect any response to this so it is ok not to put comments. The typical LJ <> comment would be more annoying than anything else. But ember_leo took me to task about disabling comments on my last post so I will leave them operational on this one.

(FYI I know about doing things one step at a time and eliminating unnecessary steps from the middle. That concept is not working at this time. Please do not bother suggesting it or anything like it. The issue is something logic will not fix. I have plenty of that and it is a lever that just isn’t working this time around.)