About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seven Quick Takes: In Which I Complain For A While

One:  I hurt.  

You know how they say bone pain is the worst?  They are right.  I woke up after surgery and was doing OK until the nerve block thing wore off and then Sweet Mother of Mercy!!!  "How is your pain level from one to ten?"

"Nine!"  Boy, did they scurry about to do something about it.  At that point, I was not convinced I was going to be able to go home.  "They won't send me home hurting like this, will they?"  "No, no we're just going to get the pain under control."

Whatever it was it worked.  For a while.  Enough to get me home.  And then, SWEET BABY JESUS!!  Time for the oral meds to do their magic.  I was supposed to take two of the prescription ones and three ibuprofen every 4 hours.  They worked fine for 2 1/2 hours then it was grit my teeth time until the four hours was up.  That was good for about 4 days, when I stopped taking them around the clock.  Now I take them so I can sleep.  Sleep is good.

Two:  I look like I have been run through a wringer

If Jabba The Hut wore Hot Pink Crazy Cat Pajamas.  Not my best look.  Note the pain-furrowed brow.

The night before, and the morning of, the surgery, I was told to cleanse the surgical area with this really  strong soap, and to wash my hair with shampoo.  I went to the hospital squeaky clean and smelling like a very antiseptic flower.  My hair was silken and smooth as, well, silk.  

That was Wednesday.  Today, Tuesday, I look like the wrath of God.  My hair is sticking up, I have cowlicks that any sane cow would run away from, I am forced to wear an XXL chamois shirt with one arm through the sleeve and the other arm in a sling under the shirt, so it looks, (as Charles so helpfully pointed out) like I have gained about 30 pounds on one side of my abdomen.  "But everybody knows you didn't", he said comfortingly.

I can't wear pants that require buttoning or zipping, so I have been wearing either my new (to me) Hot Pink Crazy Cat Pajamas that I got at Salvation Army, or the aforementioned giant chamois shirt with drawstring pants or pull up fleece pants.   While I never claimed to be a fashion icon, I know that even I can do better than this under normal circumstances.

Three: I smell like a polecat.

I haven't bathed since Wednesday morning.  I have attempted to dab at myself with a damp washcloth but it is hard with one hand.  Charles has tried to help me with a sponge bath, but he is so afraid of hurting me, ("Am I hurting you?  Am I hurting you?"  he repeatedly asks while ineffectually waving a dripping washcloth over me.)  that I have given up until Thursday, when I go to the doctor and will get the green light to take a shower.  I have resorted to using baby powder.  I think it is bad, though, because even Frida has to think about cuddling up next to me, and she is no bundle of sweet peas herself.

Four:  The house is a wreck

It isn't as bad as it could be, thanks to Charles.  I have a call in to a young woman named Rose, who hopefully will put things to rights soon.

Five:  I have wonderful friends

Several friends have brought over delicious food for us.  This is a boon in a difficult time.  I never realized how much it helps to have someone just drop off dinner.  What a blessing!  And another friend stopped by to visit and pray with me - very helpful!  And I have had at least a couple of calls a day from folks just checking in on me.

Six:  I have a wonderful family

Charles had to travel the weekend after my surgery for work, so Phoebe, who had just moved out and was probably so happy to be in her own place at last, came home to help care for me.  She did the stuff that Miguel just couldn't do, and Miguel took care of cooking (actually they both did a great job with everything).  They made a meal on Sunday that was just tremendous.  I am the luckiest woman alive.  All this, AND Charles strokes my brow while waiting for my meds to kick in.  

Seven: All of you in blog land

Thanks for keeping me entertained this week!


  1. Oh Paula, what you have been through. So sorry you're hurting. ( I've never been to the hospital, except to have babies.) So glad that there are lots of people there helping to take good care of you. You have been blessed with a wonderful husband and friends, that is for sure. Hugs.

  2. I'm glad you have so much help! Surgery is never fun, but it will be better in the end.

  3. Oh, I can see the pain in your face! Grumble away because you've earned it! Please don't worry about the little stuff like the house not being tidy. That just goes with the territory. Thank goodness you have a strong support network that is pitching in for you.

    I fully understand about the sponge baths! I had to go 3 months doing that when I broke both legs. It wasn't pleasant!

  4. Sounds like you have had a tough time, But with the help of family and friends, you made it through, It will only get better once you can shower.

  5. That shower is going to be so sweet! Prayers for the pain abating and quick healing.

  6. I'm reading this very late so I hope you're feeling a lot better now (and smelling sweeter!).


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