Monthly Archives: September 2014

Maybe it DOES Go Bad?

I actually wrote this post a few weeks ago but didn’t have a chance to post it. I am no longer on crutches, but this story I think illuminates some of the challenges I was faced with.

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I have been cleaning out my study over the last few weeks for the first time in…well, a really long time. I know that I unpacked when FH and I moved in to our house four or five years ago. But since then, I kind of abandoned the room.

Going through all this stuff has been kind of a fun experience though. It’s almost like treasure hunting, really. Well, if your definition of treasure can be loosely interpreted. For example, I found a baggie FULL of those little nubs you put in bookcases to help hold up shelves. I was so excited to find this because I have several shelves that are precariously balanced in my library and could use the reinforcement. Plus I’m a dork.

During this process I did post a few questions on the internet about how long various items last. I was curious just how long lip-gloss lasts. Or chocolate. Or lotion. Because I found a box from high school with all of the above in it. I was told that the lotion should be fine, but that any food from high school should be thrown away and to not put on the lip-gloss from high school under any circumstances. Apparently lip-gloss does not have a ten-year shelf life. Who knew?

I did find a lot of interesting things in my collection. There was a lot of stuff that I wasted babysitting money on when I was a kid. This includes such things as solid incense that is meant to be burnt over hot coals. When did I ever think I was going to use this? Plus I bought a lot of fragrant oils and stuff which ended up spilling all over everything so all my incense related stuff was sticky.

This big attempt to clean out my study was over the last few weeks. There is still a lot to do, but my desk has been cleared off and that was my main goal as I have been working at my desk during knee surgery recovery.

I was sitting here working and realized my hands felt really dry. So I dug out one of the bottles of lotion that I had uncovered during my cleaning earlier. I opened it up and it was more liquid than anything else, so I shook it up and poured a big glob on my hand. And it STANK! Oh my gosh, I never knew lotion could stink so bad!!! It was so bad that the dog actually woke up from his nap and came over to smell my hands and made a face. The same face he makes when I take off my nail polish.

So now I had terribly stinky lotion all over my hands and I had to find a solution. I can’t just walk into the other room and wash my hands because I am on crutches still. I don’t want to wipe my hands off on my jeans because then I’ll have to wash them and who knows if the smell will actually get out!?! I grab a tissue and smear off as much as I can before crutching to the bathroom to wash my hands off (twice). I picked out some lotion that is only like two years old, so it’s fine and stuffed it in my back pocket and crutched back to my study. Once I realized the stink of the lotion was still hanging around in my room, I decided to light some of my incense from high school.

So I dig out one of the tiny matchboxes I had found. It was pretty nice, and I think I picked it up in Germany the last time I was there. I pull out one match and strike it. The head falls off. I pick up another and the same thing happens. And another. At this point there are only a few matches left in this matchbox, but I don’t trust them anyway so I pick up another matchbook I had found and luckily this match works the first time I strike. I guard the flame from the breeze my ceiling fan is giving off, but I am able to pull through in the end and light the incense. My room already smells better. And I’ve learned an important lesson. Some things do not last forever. Like lip-gloss. Or lotion. It DOES go bad!

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Super-Friendly vs. Mean: The Difference of an Extra Blanket

There were many different thoughts I had going into surgery and the days surrounding it. On the day of surgery I’ll admit, I was a little freaked out. I was going to be going under anesthesia and although I’m a relatively healthy individual, there is still a certain amount of risk involved. Some of the thoughts running through my mind were:

What if the doc finds something much worse, like bone cancer?

What if the doc has to open me up and I end up with a crazy gross scar?

What if I start bleeding a lot and the doc cannot control it and I fall into a coma?

What if I never wake up? Would my family be kind enough to not leave me as a vegetable? Could they let go?

What if my leg ends up having to be amputated after contracting a terrible infection??

What if I have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and my heart stops?

What if he gets in there and can’t fix what’s wrong? What if I have to hobble around for the rest of my life? How can I get married like that? How can I have kids??

Why didn’t I make a will? I should have a will! What if something goes wrong?!

What if I DIE?

As I sit here writing this I do realize I may have overreacted a bit. But nevertheless, it was scary going into surgery. Everything went smoothly with removing the torn part of my meniscus and the doc even figured out what was causing me so much pain. The unfortunate part is that is isn’t something that can be fixed surgically. It is a heal-over-time thing. Basically the problem is, at the top of my tibia the joint was damaged by falling on it funny (not sure when this happened, probably after the initial injury in February). The doc told me that my joint was squish/spongy and it isn’t supposed to be. This doesn’t show up on an MRI or anything, it is one of those things you have to see once in there surgically. So that’s why I’m in so much pain and why it is taking so long to heal.

Back to the day of my surgery: I had two different nurses attending to me, one before surgery (super-friendly nurse) and one after surgery (mean nurse). Super-Friendly Nurse was really kind, answered all my questions, and overall just made me feel a lot better about things. The one afterwards, well… I am curious as to whether she was having a bad day or was just not a nice person. My guess is she’s just not a nice person.

See the thing is, hospitals are cold places. And I was wearing a gown. That’s all. And so when I got back from having my knee operated on, Mean Nurse put one thin blanket on top of the one thin blanket that Super-Friendly Nurse put on me before I went into surgery. But that was it. Two thin blankets. I was still shivering. I asked if I could have another blanket and she said sure. But did nothing. I ended up asking at least once more before Future Husband was in the room. While he was there, I asked at least twice more. Mean Nurse kept telling me that she’d get me another blanket, but then didn’t. I don’t understand why.

Was asking for an extra blanket really that unreasonable? Is there a blanket maximum that I did not know about? If I’m shelling out several thousand dollars for surgery, doesn’t that entitle me to AS MANY BLANKETS AS I WANT?!?!

It was really frustrating to be cold and request another blanket and be told yes and then ignored. Was Mean Nurse trying to rush me out of there? I still had to have all the sticky things they put on me to monitor my heart rate taken off. I still had the IV in that would have to be removed. So why skimp on the blankets??

As a side note – I am aware that nurses are one of the most overworked/underpaid professions. I know they don’t get thanked the way that they should. But I am always polite when dealing with anyone (especially nurses, wait staff, and retail workers), sometimes too polite. Maybe if I had made a stink I would have gotten that extra blanket.

It’s frustrating to really appreciate someone’s chosen profession and the work they do and at the same time want them to just listen and give you another blanket. It would have made all the difference if Mean Nurse had given me the blanket I requested. Instead of feeling appreciative for the work she did, I felt resentment for what she refused to do.