Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Monday

It's early morning on the Monday of Labor Day. I've been home now since Friday afternoon, and here are some of the highlighted events since then:

  • my usual driver -- Chaim -- who I request when I use a car service -- took us home from the hospital, even though it was his day off

  • Matt was here when I got home with a friend from camp who crashed here til yesterday. Matt asked me if Holly was racist, since he's black and she kept growling at him. I explained that Holly's not a racist, but she is a sexist -- she doesn't like men, unless she knows them (which includes Nick, Matt, my dad, and other men she sees and remembers, which includes my ex-husband). Other men are greeted with growls and barks

  • Olivia stepped up while we were gone and took care of everything in a singularly impressive way. She took care of Holly, kept the house in order, checked to make sure all was under control, made the coffee, ran and emptied the dishwasher, brought in the mail and the papers -- everything. She did an amazing job

  • Matt was offered a ride up to Amherst by a high-school friend who offered to drive him up to school on Saturday afternoon. But inexplicably and unforgivably he blew him off. First there was a series of vaguely explained delays, then finally by evening he just let him down. Understandably upset, Matt asked his dad to take him early yesterday, which fortunately worked out. Unconscionable about his friend. But he got to school early and safely, and by 11 or so was already in the housing office getting set up. He sounded better from there; he found out he can get apartment-style housing on campus in a single that's part of a larger suite. All this for a mere $1200 more per semester. A bargain at twice the price. Even he said "so far so good", which for him is a major affirmation. Fingers crossed

  • the house is filled with flowers, cards, plants, gifts and fresh fruit, and the care and thoughtfulness of the givers means a great deal to me. Thank you John, Bruce, Ellen, Judy, Bob, Mom and Dad, Nikki and Jamie and to everyone who's been calling and emailing

  • I've had two sets of visitors. My parents came on Saturday, for about 45 minutes. And they returned yesterday with my favorite aunt and uncle for an hour. Great to see them. The only problem is that I can't comfortably sit for more than 15 minutes, which I did during both visits. After each I needed to lie down and rest for hours. I think I'll spend more of today supine than sitting, and may need to forgo visits for a day or two

  • I'm having a lot of post-op pain, not only at the incision site but in my low back, butt, hip and leg, and there's also some numbness in my right calf. I'm sure this is well within the normal recovery range, but if it's not better in a day or so I should probably call the doc (which means I won't actually speak with the doc; that' s not the protocol, but with Kim the always-helpful PA

  • I'm almost continually drugged, taking all the pain meds as prescribed which is a hell of a lot of pain meds. 2 percs every 4 hours plus the muscle relaxant twice a day. I'm a little woozy and spacy, especially about an hour after I've taken them. I'm sharp enough to write and email and read, but would never be able to work or be truly productive. That'll have to wait until the pain subsides enough so that I can cut back on the drugs

  • I found out during the family visits that my maternal grandmother was addicted to percoset. They wouldn't go so far as to call her a junkie, but apparently she had pills squirreled away in every pocket and every place so she'd never be far from pain relief. I've been told all my life that I resemble my grandmother more than anyone else in the family, and here's another common bond (though I don't see any true addiction coming my way; I don't particularly like the state I'm in on perc

  • it's possible though that the pills I'm on now are helping break my addiction to sleeping pills. For as long as I can remember I've taken stuff every night that's intended to prevent migraine. It's a low-level anti-depressant that's supposed to help avert all headaches, and over the years the dosage has been adjusted as my body inures itself to each level. I started at 10 milligrams and today I'm at 100. Though it's not intended for sleep it offers drowsiness as a happy side effect, and I've relied on it for as long as I can remember. But I'm concerned about mixing it with the other drugs (I've tried it and the experience was something I don't want to repeat.) So I've been doing without since I've been home. The good news is that I'm sleeping pretty much as well without it as I did with it, though of course the perc/flex combo is pretty powerful. I'm hoping to continue without it once I'm off the current regimen -- that would be an unintended but welcome consequence of this whole process
  • We resumed playing Scrabble yesterday -- first games in about a week. We played three games yesterday. I won 2, Nick 1, but all were good, tight games (though in fairness the scrabble gods smiled at me throughout and Nick was seriously disadvantaged when it came to letters. Didn't stop him much though; he had a seven-letter word (the word was smiling. He's learned to look for key letter groupings like "ing") and a couple of killer plays. He's so cute -- he gets more anxious when he's winning than when he's losing. When he's losing what's happening is what he expects. The winning though makes him tense because he's sure I'll pull out some amazing late-game play that will turn the game around for me. That didn't happen in the last game, though he thinks I threw the game to him. I didn't -- scout's honor -- I just didn't have the letters or the imagination to win the final game. But he's such a great and fun competitor; nothing skirtly about him

  • We watched Gran Torino last night. We're completely behind in movies, and hardly saw any in the past year. What we saw a lot of was plays: over a dozen in the winter and spring. We agreed on our two favorites, each with a bullet. They were the new production of O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms (brilliant; the director cut at least a third of the dialogue, added key sections in pantomime and refreshed the entire play) and the revival of Joe Turner's Come and Gone (we saw it exactly one week after the Obamas did, and sat in the two seats directly behind where they sat. The whole audience and staff was still all abuzz about their attendance.) But over the next couple of weeks, with my boundless limitations we may get to catch up on some of the movies we've missed.
It's good to be home. Yesterday the house was full: the 3 of us, Matt and his friend, Matt's dad, then later in the day the family. Today will be quiet, which is just fine. After today Nick starts working again, so it's the last day for a few when he can just hang out with me without work beckoning him. So I want to make the most of today when we're still in the bubble of the holiday weekend.

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