Asleep. Then awake.
A few months after Forest was born I opted to get an IUD put in as my method of birth control since I was still nursing and I couldn’t take regular birth control pills. Five years went exceedingly fast—I remember getting the card afterwards that said when to come back and thinking that it was ages into the future. Well, this fall I started trying to get this replacement on the schedule and through a series of poor communication with my midwife’s office it did not happen on the schedule I was hoping. Eventually it all got squared away and soon enough I was in the office to try to get everything switched out.
Except it wasn’t easy. Suffice to say that blindly searching for the string to remove it got nowhere but me into a lot of pain and even using an ultrasound didn’t help because the IUD was embedded and the string had wrapped itself inside my uterus instead of hanging out where it was supposed to. The IUD was just like Forest at his birth, cozy and refusing to come out. That’s how I found myself scheduled for an outpatient hysteroscopy at the hospital a week later.
So I started the great Google search of what was involved and of course proceeded to freak myself out for the next week. Honestly I was more worried about being put under. I’ve only ever had some gas when I had my wisdom teeth out back in like 2001 and then the really horrible epidural experience when I had Forest. And I knew that my mom and brother have had bad experiences with anesthesia so I was just not looking forward to it all.
The procedure would be relatively quick and it would be the recovery from anesthesia that would take the longest and then I’d be able to go home and recuperate for the rest of the day. Unfortunately it was scheduled for 7am and I had to be at the hospital between 5-5:30 am for prep and signing in, etc. This meant I had to drive myself to the hospital and wait for Chris to arrive after he dropped Forest off at daycare at 6:30. And it wasn’t at the close hospital since my midwife had moved offices a few years ago, which meant it was further away. Suffice to say, I found myself killing time in the car at 4:45 am before I went inside to kill more time before I was sent to the outpatient surgery area.
I wasn’t nervous about the removal and replacement process itself, mostly the anesthesia. Between the failed removal appointment and the ‘surgery’ appointment I went down many rabbit holes of “What if I don’t wake up?”, “What if the intubation tube knocks all of my teeth out?”, “What if I choke/aspirate and die because there’s some kind of residual fluid in my stomach?”, what if, what if, what if?!!! There were several nights I’d wake from a deep sleep, realize what was on the agenda later in the week and then spend the rest of the night in a restless tossing and turning and light sleep. I mean, part of me was like, “This is no big deal, I’ve got this!”, and then the other part of me was freaking the f*** out.
After I was taken into the initial room to talk with the nurse and get settled in, I found myself cozy under this space-age looking blanket that had a tube pumping warm air into it. And then more nurses and then the anesthesiologist coming in to talk to me about the procedure again, everyone repeating more of the same questions to make sure everything and everyone was on the same page. Then the nurse tech for the anesthesiologist came in and started adding in his meds to my IV line and we were wheeling down the hall just before 7 am. A few turns and my arm was cold, a fuzzy feeling started coming over and the last main thing I remember hearing was one of the nurses telling the other nurses to remind her not to go to OR 4 because she’d been there all week and we were supposed to go to another OR and she didn’t want to end up at the wrong one. We went to the right OR and I remember looking up at the giant metal lights that weren’t on yet and that was it. The next thing I knew I heard quiet rustling at my feet and two nurses chatting and somehow I focused on a clock above the nurses station and saw it was 7:45ish. Somehow I mumbled over the oxygen mask to ask how long I’d been there to which a nurse replied that I’d been there for about twenty minutes. Whoa!
That was super weird. 45 minutes had disappeared that I had no memory of. It was trippy to think about even without all of the meds I was on and the anesthesia hangover. Then I proceeded to lose control of the next 45 minutes as I drifted in and out of dozes for 10-15 minutes at a time. I’d shut my eyes thinking I was going to rest and the next thing I’d know the clock had changed positions more drastically than I’d anticipated. Somewhere in that time I mentioned I was cramping and they pumped some Demerol into the IV cocktail and then I was moved to another recovery area where they brought Chris in. He had arrived not long before the doctor came out to tell him I was out of the OR and everything had gone well. I was slowly waking up better by then but we were probably in that little recovery area for another 45 minutes. After the nurse removed all of the IVs and other devices that had been attached to me we made our way to the bathroom so I could get dressed and pee—the pee was a stipulation for leaving the hospital. And not long after that a volunteer wheeled me downstairs to the exit and Chris picked me up and we drove home.
I crashed hard for two hours when we got home, barely hearing Chris as he told me he was going to go out and get some lunch. I’d had him stop at Panera on the way home to get me a bagel and I ate the second half of that when I woke up for lunch. Still groggy I attempted another nap in the afternoon but my mind kept focusing on that time loss for some reason so I didn’t sleep as well. I was also a little stir crazy but knew I had to still take it easy so I went outside to call my parents and then water the tomato seedlings that are in the man-cave under lights, germinating for spring. I spent the rest of the day chilling on the couch and watching tv.
The rest of the weekend I moved in and out of feeling myself and then feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Saturday I probably should have laid lower than we did but Jessica, our SIL, had been scheduled to be in town for the night as a layover on her way to a cruise out of Galveston, plus we had to go back and pick up my car at the hospital. Needless to say, by Saturday evening I was wiped and Sunday morning I woke up feeling very zombie-ish. Plus, I was still stuck on that damn time loss. I don’t know why I was hung up on it. I think because even when we sleep, we dream and we know we are dreaming even if we don’t remember them, but this was like nothing. There was nothing there. And I’m sure people who go through much longer surgeries have bigger trips over this. I also in general have feelings about time in general, how it passes, memories, etc—things I can’t exactly put into words here, so I think this hit me a little hard. And then it also triggered some feelings from Forest’s birth that had sat quiet for a long time and decided to rear their ugly heads again.
Hah, so that’s what I’m thinking right now! How’s that for this post? I actually started and stopped this a few times wondering if I could even write about it and obviously this is the sanitized, internet version.
Oh, and then we found out a geocaching acquaintance of ours from Florida died on Friday as well and that really lumped onto the sadness for me.
With the evenings getting longer, slowly, I’m feeling the urge to get back out into the garden again. I did some seed sowing a few weeks ago and moved one load of mulch into the flower beds. More mulch needs to be moved but that will be a few weekends from now when I have some free time once again. It’s been mild once again and the spring ephemerals are beginning to show up. Many began arriving back in December. The smell of the wild alliums as you walk across the grass, the purple-grey of the henbit.
Reading, creating, spending time with Forest in the evening. So, I put my garden podcast on indefinite hiatus at the beginning of the month and I have been feeling so free! It had been taking up too much space in my brain—the planning, the connecting, the social media-ing. Now I’m focusing on just the one podcast, the Florida Trail pod, and that takes up considerably less space in my head for some reason. So, more brain space equals more creative time!
Other random loves: my orchids blooming in the office, Leo snuggling with me in the evenings (like, he expectantly wants me to go sit on the couch and crochet so he can cuddle!), the inklings of spring, re-finding my love of Bookmooch, finding audiobooks I can enjoy, orange Bubly water, the peanut butter balls my mom made at Christmas, OH—going to the gym! I signed up again and it never fails to remind me how much I love lifting weights and going to the gym. I feel so productive on my lunch hour and I’m glad to be going again. I never should have stopped a few years ago. I wandered aimlessly between running, rollerblading, and cardio at home without the ability to make myself focus and the gym always makes me focus.
Far too many books at once. But the one I’m currently loving is Red, White, and Royal Blue after hearing about it from various other reader friends of mine. I put myself on the e-book list back in the summer but I was still quite far down that list so I requested the paper version and had it within the month. And I forsee finishing that tonight or tomorrow after having picked it up on Saturday. Edit: I finished! So good! I turned it back in and picked up Becoming by Michelle Obama again after turning the book I had back in over the weekend knowing I wouldn’t finish before it was due back. I put myself back on the hold list and had another book within a few days. So, gotta finish it. I’m loving it but it isn’t a quick read.
I’ve also been listening to less podcasts and more audiobooks. We’ll see if this trend continues. I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I workout, too, which gives me an extra 40 minutes of listening time during the weekdays. Again, we’ll see how long the audiobook phase lasts. I’m definitely in a must read everything phase at the moment which always comes at the start of a new year.
Forest and I have been frequenting the studio a lot in the last month. He’s been in a creative mood as have I. I first began working on some weekly paintings in a sketchbook but then I had this weird idea to try a monotype print with a piece of plastic I had and I am now officially hooked. So, I make prints and am working on some slower art pieces in the meantime that I’ll work on while we’re over there. I don’t enjoy going to the studio when it is cold because it really absorbs the temperature and the central heating doesn’t really kick in over there very well.
I need to spend an hour or two really cleaning up the mess that Forest makes in there. He has toys he plays with but also his art stuff and he is not a neat kid and half the time when we leave we leave quickly and don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up.
Watching & Listening:
Still crocheting when I can muster up the mood—been out of that for a few days. But I’m in the beginning of Season 3 of The Man in the High Castle on Amazon. It’s a dystopian early 1960s with the Nazis and Japanese winning WWII. I am enjoying it (as much as one can enjoy a dystopian fascist future) but had some qualms that Google verified for me. So, first off the series is based on an actual book written in the early 60s. My problem is that everything that is happening doesn’t seem feasible to happen only 12-15 years after the war. Everything is tied up too neatly in a bow. And even if DC was nuked in the war, I just don’t see everyone rolling over in 10 years (or less time really, because all of these people are marching to the tune of the Reich already) time and being faithful servants to Hitler. Ok, sure he’s done his ethnic cleansing and everyone that’s left is a WASP ready to tow the line…it is just a really hard line to buy. Make it 50 years into the future? A few generations of brainwashing in? Sure. This soon, nope. That said, if you can get passed some of the plausibility of the storyline it is very intriguing and captivating to watch.
Oh, and I saw the Rise of Skywalker over Christmas and it slayed me! I had to binge episodes 4-7 again after that. I never made it back to 1-3 but plan to in the coming months.
Listening—audiobooks, obvs, but a few podcast episodes I’ve enjoyed: Armchair Expert episodes with January Jones, Ronan Farrow, and Keri Russell, and Hiking, Healing and the Highline Film with Plug-it In on The Hike Podcast.
Billy Goat Day – I’m heading to Orlando for the weekend to spend some time with the Florida Trail hiking community to celebrate Billy Goat, a renowned hiker who always comes to Florida in the winter to hike and hang out. We had the chance to meet him on our 2011 hike but decided against it in favor of continuing to hike and we were a bit further ahead of what then was a teeny, tiny bubble of hikers, and of course regretted it because while everyone was enjoying a day off we hiked in cold rain! Anyway, I’ve been wanting to get back to the community since I started the FT pod and this proved to be a good opportunity!
Camping – We finally made camping reservations for spring so I’m glad for that. Hoping we can get another backpacking trip or two in as well.
Stephanie’s Birthday – my friend is having a 40th birthday party later in February and I’m excited to be going to that and hanging out with friends for an evening. I guess, woohoo for middle age??
That’s it in a nutshell—what’s up with you?