Monday, March 22, 2010

*Medical Alert.* My Excellent Dear Good Friends: I Am Dying.

But I REFUSE to go.

Aw, c'mon, folks. A little silly overblown melodrama never killed anyone.

Even when it hits so uncomfortably close to home.

I'm back from the hospital once again. In the last year I've been admitted to B.General some 16 times, once to Holy Cross, and three times to nursing homes ("SNIF's"). I've come very close to dying at least three times. k dad calculated the actual amount of time I spent at the hospital, rather than at home, last year. He tells me I spent more time in the hospital.

And just when it seemed like it was. . . well,not over, but slowing down at least. . .

would somebody please play that music from Jaws or something? . . . well, you get the picture. . .

yeah, speed demon. Up it goes again.

Well. I'm going to break this post up into several, okay? I hope that'll help circumvent boredom, hunger, the need to pee when only half-way through. . .
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I owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people for my complete lack of communication. You know who you are. I hope you'll understand - and forgive me! - once I can finally tell you how it all came down.

Today is Monday, March 22, 2010. I had "exploratory" surgery on Wednesday, March 3, then major surgery on March 8. Quite major. After that, they sent me to ICU (Trauma Center/ICU) where one of my nurses from a "previous engagement!" happened to be assigned to me one night. Oh, we talked and talked and caught up with family news, and she insisted I'd saved her orchids with my Handy Dandy Orchid Tips.

Family news. Yes. Long talks with many nurses about such, both ways. And in the pre-op waiting room was: k dad and k bro, both from Chicagoland; and k nephew, now living in Brooklyn, New York. Ah, my favorite nephew in the world! k sis was back in New Jersey, having to return to work after not one but two long and extended visits; k mom was in Chicagoland, busily working away to help pay for all those plane tickets; and finally, k niece was settling her (OUR) family in the new place they'd acquired since their house was under water and all workout attempts had failed, whereupon they moved out, cleaned up, and handed the keys back to the bank.

That tiny pre-op waiting room was crowded, people. I hope and believe I had a tight hold on my emotions. But having all that family there, for no other reason than love and supportiveness, made it very hard indeed to just talk without bursting into tears. See, our family never behaved in any classic family manner. I'm not sure we ever really knew how. But we're learning. We're not throwing away our independence; we're just adding that all-important element called "interdependence".

And you know what else? Friends and family are not allowed anywhere near those little pre-op waiting rooms. But the hospital personnel, who had every right to ask - to demand - that my family leave? They didn't. Doctors, nurse-practitioners, nurses, PCA's. Nobody.

C'mon. How often is family even allowed a kiss at the door leading in to the operating area?

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