post-op loopiness

When You Can't Even Write Well Enough to Entertain Yourself

Well, I didn’t die on the OR yesterday. Yay! In fact, I already feel the difference the surgery was intended to fix. That kidney stone is gone. Yay!

Have you ever felt that, still in pain from a surgery yet feeling that the underlying pain has vanished?


A friend of mine, an avid nonfiction reader, recommended a book called The Gift of Pain by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey. A while back, I picked it up from the library and it sat on the table next to the couch for a while.

I have to admit, I couldn’t even begin to read this book while I was in so much pain. I just couldn’t. I still haven’t read past the first page in the introduction. And I looked at the cover. It’s not a very good cover.

Yes, we do judge a book by its cover. We do. We always will.

But now that I’m feeling a bit better, maybe I should read it now, do you think? I had a friend mess up a knee surgery once because she felt so good after they discharged her that she went outside and did a lot of gardening. On her knees. It would be appropriate for me to read about pain since I just spent the last sixteen days in the most pain I’ve ever felt. I think that’s true. I’ve had trouble with my back when I was younger, but did it ever last this long? No. Did I think I could die from it? No.

I need to tell you that I’m still loopy. From the anesthesia? From the two doses of hydrocodone I took yesterday as I wandered about my house after they discharged me? I don’t know which, but this morning, I almost poured cranberry juice into the base of my Nutribullet blender. That would have been bad. I also did some things, forgot, and went back to do them later only to find that they were finished. I wish all housecleaning went that way. But now, I forget what those things were that I had already finished. I forgot the feed the dog at all. I fed the cats twice because they're better at staring me into understanding. This morning, I told Nick to put the recyclables back into the fridge when he was done with them. I meant the milk. Plus, I wanted him to bring the bin back up to the house from the curb. Words got tangled in my mouth. After Mike and Nick left for work and school, I walked into the kitchen and wondered what I’d come there to find. At least I wasn’t so loopy that I couldn’t go back to the couch and remember what it was that I had forgotten. I needed breakfast. That was what I forgot. Seriously.

I kept losing time. By the time I made breakfast, it was somehow noon. Then it was three in the afternoon and Nick was home. Then, it was six and Mike was home. I’m not sure what I did all that time, but the cats and the dog are all inside and there aren’t any strange messes around the house.

I did manage to make dinner in the slow cooker almost by myself. Chicken noodle soup. Mike seasoned it when he got home because I forgot. But at least I didn’t burn down the house with my slow cooker.

There are days when a woman is supposed to lie on the couch and watch Netflix instead of organizing anything. But it was a little boring. Time was strange.

Before, as I waited in pain for my surgery, time crawled on its belly. Now, it’s bolting forward like a horse race. And I’m just watching it and trying to remember to do very little until I’m done being loopy.

That’s the reason why post-op patients should be supervised for twenty four hours after a surgery.

I’m glad I didn’t try to drive. Adding potatoes to the grocery list on the white board instead of lemons is a minor mistake. Losing time and making poor decisions in a car could be fatal. Even zoned out, I knew this much, so I didn’t go anywhere today. Not even during that afternoon hour when I actually felt good, as long as I wasn't moving. Don’t drive drunk, not even when an anesthesiologist did it to you.

This is boring. Am I boring you too?

Aw, shit.

I am. Sorry.

Thank you for listening, jules