Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Back in the Saddle and Sore

Remarkably, I'm home from the hospital a week and a half early. The reasons are numerous and involved. Basically, it came down to lazy tumors, following Doctors' orders and the men in my life – including Craig and his gaggle of retired Irish nuns. Oh, you thought this experience would make the blog less weird. Silly Billies! While I'm nowhere near as fragile as when I came home in December, I still have quite a bit of healing to do. Thus, I am on my sofa watching Soul Train or catching up with the Food Network while writing. I admit to doing just a wee bit of cooking. More on that and the writing later.

Moving Men

I have to say that you can tell you're well liked when there is more than one choice of person to pick you up at 5 am to go to the hospital. My wonderful driver, Ray did this duty for one of the pre-op tests earlier that week and he even waited for hours for me to be discharged. He had experience as a caregiver and thus was a very steady and calm presence while being very entertaining. Jon and I now know how to properly handle the munchies between the time one shows up for the Emmy Awards and when one can actually sit down at the Governor's Ball afterward. I was quite happy to hear that the champagne flows as abundantly as I'd heard. Ray was pivotal to my being calm and collected to and from the hospital, and I'm so grateful that he could be there.

Then there was my Dad who flew out to LA for the first time to while away the hours with me in ICU. The ex-Marine, ex-cop is very much a steady presence in the middle of the worst mayhem. I expected that. What I didn't expect were the very long talks about cooking and gardening. My Foodie leanings come from both sides of the family. Dad is quite an accomplished cook, especially since retiring. He even grows and fishes for his own food (his tomatoes and collards are one of many reasons I miss living in Philly). I'm very excited that he plans a return trip that will include some fishing. I am so clearing freezer space (he even cleans the fish). So, we talked techniques for making tomato sauces or how to use a pressure cooker (I'm still afraid of them) or about biscuits while wave upon wave of doctors trooped through my room). Yes, it really was that many. Dad thought I was exaggerating when I said I'd already seen 12 of them before he came by the day after my surgery. Then, six more showed up. It's a teaching hospital, and I had a rare tumor. Thus, it was a phalanx of surgical residents, a herd of oncology residents and a swarm of pain management residents along with my primary doc, my regular oncologist, and the lead surgeon. And me without make-up! At any rate, it was a very nice visit full of some wonderful moments and a few revelations. And between him and Jon, I wasn't alone for very much time during visiting hours.

What did Craig do? Primarily, he took care of Jon by getting him to the hospital after work and keeping his spirits up. Craig is very good at that. Of late, I hesitate over talking to him. Laughing too hard actually hurts with all of these staples up my abdomen. But I digress. Craig also did something that I know was tough for him, but it meant the world to me. Whilst visiting his Grandmother in a Catholic nursing home, he sat with the elderly nuns there and had me put on their prayer list. Those lovely ladies drive him crazy, so this was quite an effort on his part. But they are some heavy hitters, prayer-wise. I'm certain that it helped me out. I had many people from many denominations putting a word in as well. I really needed that and truly appreciate it.

And then there was Jon. He went through a lot last week and was as scared as I was, but he held it together, visiting me and keeping my freak outs to a minimum, spending time with my Dad, working full shifts AND thoroughly cleaning the apartment. The Hubs is definitely a catch, as a friend pointed out last week. He's also a keeper. I still need a lot of attention, and I'm still freaking out regularly, but he handles it with a great deal of patience and even a goodly amount of humor. I am very blessed where the men in my life are concerned. Overall, I am most fortunate to have extraordinarily wonderful family and friends.

Musings from ICU (funnier than that sounds)
By the end of the second day, the whole not eating thing was wearing thin. I was awake enough to be aware of the staff working in a central area just beyond my room. The ebb and flow were interesting for a while, but then I noticed something that I found insidious. The nursing staff had food. All of them. There must have been some sort of delivery while I was dozing off. Fortunately for all on that floor, the sliding glass doors closed off my room from the aromas of the McDonald's ® fries and Subway® sandwiches or there may have been a big problem involving pulled IV lines and breaking sliding glass doors. As it was, I think I may have been glaring at them so much while sucking my lemon glycerin mouth swabs ( I was getting nothing by mouth those first few days – no even water), that the Docs put me on a liquid diet the next morning. Perhaps, I was a bit scary. My sense memory is very strong. I could almost taste the fries and those sandwiches. Made me cranky. The liquids helped a lot. I'm not sure if the clear chicken broth was as good as it seemed because I was so hungry. It's like this one pizza parlor in Philly that I only seemed to go to after a night of drinking. The pizza and steak sandwiches were amazing – I think. I've never been there sober, so I can't be sure. Anyway, the broth tasted great and curbed the homicidal urges.
I admit to not helping myself while I was in ICU. Somehow, I managed to find a TV network, Live Well HD Network that had cooking shows or cooking segments on other shows. And then there were Rachel Ray's and Martha Stewart's talk shows on which there would be cooking. In Ms. Ray's case, sometimes there was RuPaul from whom I learned a lot about how to wear false eyelashes. I hadn't been paying attention, but they have apparently come back into use. At any rate, I found a lot of food for thought – literally. I even found on a PBS station, the video for Julia's Kitchen Wisdom and watched ti all the way through the pledge breaks. During that program, I decided is that crepes have intimidated me for far too long. As soon as I can get back in front of the stove for any length of time, I'm going to take them on. How am I ever going to perfect the baguette without becoming competent at crepes? I also pondered the notion of making herb infused oils rather than continuing the losing battle of keeping them fresh in the fridge. All of this pondering happened while I was not allowed to eat. What a mighty grocery list that produced! Luckily, the nurses' PC in my room was password protected, and I had no debit card. Poor Jon wouldn't have known what hit him.

Year of Fun
We have entered the actual birthday month. I have properly celebrated Derby Day with sweet tea, a mint julep, fried chicken and picking the winner (though I had no bet down). Strap in for a lot of fun food and drink and mayhem.
Stay Tuned!

1 comment:

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