Carbo-bye-drates!

Recovery continues. There was a slight blip last night that had us concerned, but I spoke with a nurse this morning and it is a common thing and nothing to be alarmed about. Thank you for all the support, encouragement, and well-wishes in your comments, e-mails, texts, and cards. It means a lot. I am neither foolish enough to believe there aren’t those who struggle with and through far worse, nor ungrateful enough to not realize I am lucky to have the care and support I need when I need it.

I order to reverse the effects of 6 months of inactivity and over-indulgence, we said good-bye to carbs yesterday. No more pastas, potatoes, breads, or sweets. Its all meats, seafood, veggies, and whole fat dairy from now on, so we placed a grocery order and stocked the house with all the acceptable foods! To kick things off, I made boneless pork steaks, onions, and mushrooms in a beef stock, Tamari, garlic, and ginger broth in the crockpot for dinner tonight. (More for Jeffrey than me, at this point, but I can sample a little.) It tis my first time making a meal since my surgery, and it feels good to be able to return to at least one of my domestic roles again. A well fed husband is a happy husband, or so they say.

I took a deep nap today and had that awful dream where I was trying to wake up but couldn’t move or make a sound. I hate when that happens and, for a several minutes after waking, I was shaken and upset. It was, otherwise, a good nap, and once my agitation had subsided, I felt quite refreshed.

I have started catching up on reading and commenting on everyone’s blogs, but I am woefully 2 weeks behind, so forgive my late and slow-to-come comments.

I have really been enjoying “Bridgerton” on Netflix. We are finishing up with Season 2 tonight.

We have planned our first “post-surgery recovery celebration” weekend trip to New Hope PA in mid-July, a place we’ve yet to visit, and look forward to exploring. (Any dining or must-see suggestions , Mistress?) We will be seeing “Kinky Boots” (again) at the Bucks County Playhouse while we’re there.

As promised, here are both memes that tickled my fancy…

…and a couple Harvey pics…

…and last but not least, it’s still pride month so…

Stay safe, all!

Best laid (up) plans

I knew going into this surgery that I would be laid up for several weeks afterwords, restricted to very limited movement. No lifting, no bending, nothing beyond moving from one room to another or changing positions from sitting to standing to lying down. No activity more strenuous than walking. But, man, did I forget how boring it can be when you’re home alone all day basically restricted from doing most activity. I can’t do something productive like clean or cook because of all the bending and movement. I can’t organize anything because again, lifting and bending are a no-no. I can basically read, watch TV or movies, listen to music, and stare off into space. Even most Of the sedentary activities are difficult because of the Location of my incisions makes it difficult to sit up at certain angles.

Don’t get me wrong, having this time off to myself to just rest has its perks. For one, I’m basically spending the entire day with Harvey, petting him, cuddling with him, talking to him, discussing our life plans, etc. Second, it’s been a wonderful break from work. I don’t think I realized how much I needed this break. Third, I am mastering the Art of napping.

But it’s now been two weeks, and my brain and feet are getting restless and I want very much to do something more. I’m torn between wanting to do everything right so this healing happens completely and thoroughly so that I move forward with no complications; and testing the waters to see how much I can actually do before I am riddled with pain or regret. So far, the practical logical side of me is winning and I’m being a good little patient.

I had sincerely hoped I would blog more, given all this free time I have on my hands with nothing else to do. But I don’t have much to blog about, aside from reporting on my daily reduction in pain, my discontinuation of pain meds, my bland and boring diet, or my subsequent appointments to have various items removed from my body as I healed. (When I first came home, I looked a little like the bionic man who woke up before surgery was done and left before anyone could stop him.)

The good news is that the surgery was a complete success, I am healing really well and rapidly, and there are no indications that there will be any complications or problems moving forward. Once I get the remaining staples and “Cathy” removed (aka my catheter) next Monday, If I can just keep my Crohn’s flare ups in check, I should be able to live a long, healthy, and relatively normal life going forward.

I sincerely don’t miss Roger in the least, but I am surprised at how used to having him I was, and how much I’m aware that he’s gone. It has taken me a little while to break the habit of checking on him regularly.

While the physical manifestation of Roger is gone, we suspect his spirit lives on in the house, because there have been a few unexplainable incidents that we suspect may have been caused by Ghost Roger. A walking cane that we had purchased for my post surgery recovery last November disappeared and we could not find it anywhere in the house when we were prepping for my return home after this recent surgery. One day, while I was still in the hospital, Jeffrey was doing laundry in the basement and took a break to come visit me in the hospital. When he returned home, the cane was lying, mysteriously, in the middle of the basement floor by our laundry. There was also an instance where a side gate that is always locked was wide open when Jeffrey came home one day. And, finally, we’re pretty sure ghost Roger ate all my remaining get well donuts.

On another note, I am a famous work gay now. My agency used a picture I submitted on the banner of our internal HR Website for Pride Month:

I’m on the left, in case you’re wondering.

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to come up with something brilliant and entertaining to write every day going forward. If not, prepare to be blasted with pictures of Harvey and cheeky memes from Instagram.

Puppy Power

You are my Harvey, my little Harvey
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know bud how much I love you
Please don’t take my Harvey away

Every time the shadows of my mind start to creep out, and I feel myself getting overwhelmed with everything, I swear this little guy senses it, and with the flick of a tongue on my finger, a wide-eyed stare, an adorable sigh, or a deeper snuggle next to me, he fills me with so much love and joy that all the bad thoughts go away.

He’s my little hero!

QOTD

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

– Rocky Balboa

My Biggest Fan

Things seem to be progressing well here and I’m moving in the right direction, health-wise, so I’m hoping we will be discussing my discharge in the next day or so. (Fingers crossed.) The care has been exemplary, as always, but I’m more than ready to go home.

As this is only the latest of many hospital stays for me, I always come prepared for the stay by routinely pack many creature comforts from home, including all of my technology (MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, and watch) and accompanying charger cords and earphones. These items provide me entertainment (movies, TV shows, digital comics and books, on line games, blogs, etc.) for my long stay to help me pass the time.

Yup, that’s 4:49AM, folks. I had just been woken up a few minutes prior to have my vitals taken and my blood drawn.

In addition, I bring a small menagerie of friends that are always popular with the hospital staff:

Packy, my abdomen pillow-buddy, who helps me cough without splitting a stitch.

“When ya gotta hacky, always use Packy!”

Morpheus, my emotional support giraffe, who keeps me company and temporarily takes the place of Harvey as my snuggle buddy.

Named after Morphine, which is what I was flying high on when we first met.

and Ella, my good luck recovery elephant, made for me lovingly by my dear friend and infrequent blogger, Java (from “My Life or Something Like It”) for a prior surgery.

Big things come in small packages.

However, the most popular item this time around, is the little USB powered portable digital clock fan I borrowed from Jeffrey, to offset the unusually warm temps in my room.

My cool new friend!

When the fan spins, it produces a digital clock with the time. Unfortunately, the clock part doesn’t work, always displaying “12:00,” but it still makes a great bedside fan and night-light

I can’t catch a full digital image with my phone.

Every staff member that has come into my room has been fascinated by it and comments on how cool they think it is (no pun intended.) I show them how safe it is by using my finger to stop the “blade,” a thin plastic blade that does not hurt in the slightest and has enough weight to generate a breeze, but not enough to hurt a body part should it come in contact with one.

It has been a huge (small) asset in helping me stay comfortable during my stay, while also being a surprising source of entertainment and conversation piece for the staff.

What fun!

Quick update

Apparently my post sounded more ominous yesterday than I intended.

The surgery was successful, no complications, and Roger is back inside where he belongs.

I’m very sore, and am decorated in tubes and bandages, but doing well otherwise.

I will post more when I have more energy.

Thank you all for the outpouring of well wishes, support, and love. It means a lot.

Stay safe, all.

Saying Good-Bye (to Roger)

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to, in the middle of, or through surgery, depending on your time zone. My Exploratory Laparotomy and Ileostomy Takedown (aka Bye-Bye Roger) is scheduled for 7:30am this morning, and I have to be at the hospital by 5:45am. I am grateful it is so early. It will be my Surgeon’s first procedure of the day, so he will be fresh and alert and I won’t have to worry about my surgery getting delayed because he’s running behind. It also doesn’t give me time to wait around all morning getting anxious about the surgery.

I believe the surgery will take 1-2 hours, possibly longer depending on how things look. I will be in the hospital for the next 5-7 days, and home recouping for an additional 3-5 weeks.

As you all know, I am not particularly sad to see Roger go. Still, he did save my life, and we have been together, day in and day out, for more than half a year, so it’s the end of an era…a short, 7 month era, but an era none-the less. I am going to commemorate this experience with a new musical I am composing. Here are the possible titles so far:

Wednesday in the O.R. with Roger

Miss Stoma-gone

The Phantom Pain of the Operating Room

More Miserable

Jesus Christ! Stupid Scars!

Cuts

Oh-My-Stoma.

The Roger Horror Picture Show

42nd Surgery

Sassybear and the Amazing Technicolor Stoma

Sassybear and the Angry Inch of Stoma

Singin’ Through the Pain

What’s your favorite?

If anyone would like to be a patron of the arts, I am accepting care packages of gluten free cookies, giraffe tchochkes, and super-hero themed gay porn.

Stay safe, all. See you on the others side.