The Importance of Trying Times

Last week, I had surgery. It was elective, so I’m not dying or anything. I just thought I ought to finally tell someone besides my immediate family. Also, ’twas the prompt for the first Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest I’m hosting (be sure to enter; you’ve got a day or so).

Because of this surgery, I haven’t been feeling up to snuff. That fact sounds a bit obvious, but was not part of my pre-surgery planning. I had the house clean, meals set up, rides arranged, babysitting for the day, and a prescription filled for heavy-duty Ibuprofen. In terms of what my recovery would be like, I think I thought I would just veg and write for NaNoWriMo afterwards.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found very comfortable positions to write from. Between the lingering tailbone recovery and the fact that the surgery was done near my midsection, I haven’t been able to wedge a typing machine in a sustainable place long enough to attempt much longer than a short story.

I have also been very tired.

-Not that surgery and recovery are completely alien to me. I’ve had an appendectomy and three C-Sections. Like pregnancy, however, I figured I survived operations in the past and was likely to handle another one just fine.

Then I get up and try walking.

By the by, if you’re considering an abdominal area incision, I’ve some quick recommendations:

  1. First, have people and/or devices around to retrieve things that keep obeying gravity.
  2. Purchase a heating pad for your back. Walking around like Igor for a day or so will really cramp up your muscles.
  3. Get a belly strap. I’ve used this amazing device after my C-Sections, and I rush-ordered one from Amazon last week after I could sit up long enough to do so.
  4. Surround yourself with pillows.
  5. Do not cough.
  6. Do not laugh.
  7. For the love of all that is or isn’t holy, DO NOT SNEEZE.
  8. Have a surface nearby that can hold your water, pain medicine, food plate, socks, stretchy pants, strap, ice pack, cell phone, etc.
    Turns out, I really need a wider nightstand.
  9. Accept any offers of help! We have so many leftovers from dinners brought in, but now I don’t have to worry about lunches, either.
  10. I can’t think of anything else, but the list looked too short with nine items.

I’d like to say I’ve at least devoted my hours of recovery to introspection or philosophizing in preparation for writing, but that isn’t true, either. The last few days I’ve actually gotten a few armor set upgrades for Link in “Breath of the Wild.” Dragon hunting is a great time-killer and now I’m pretty much an expert on where they spawn.

I’ve not had the memory or focus capacity to create. Sorry.

So, let’s end this apologetic blog post by giving a short Week In Review. I know it’s Wednesday, but unconventional is my thing.

Wednesday, November 7: Track Memory, my submission to a contest that I should have waited till the 16th to post. Sorry, Charli.
Thursday, November 8: Skinwalkers, XLI.
Friday, November 9: On the Brink, a poem I wrote just before going under the knife and scheduled ahead, thinking, What if I die and this posts the next day and everyone is like, Whaaa-?
I also announced my intent to have a weekly contest.
Saturday, November 10: Official Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest start. YAY!
Sunday, November 11: The Apple Pie from the Same Tree, my real-life experience written for Carrot Ranch’s blog prompt.
Monday, November 12: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Two.
Tuesday, November 13: Inspirational quote by Neil Gaiman.
And, my little contribution posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Today, November 14: This post. 🙂

Happy Wednesday or Whatever Day You Read This. May you have more mobility than I!

Life Lessons, The Hard Way

I remember my first in-the-car auto collision like it was a mere eight years ago, because it was. I was stopped behind a midsize vehicle in my sedan when *WHUMP!* -a teenage-powered Suburban rolled down the short hill and forgot to stop behind my car.

“Are you an artist or something?” the policeman teased as I attempted to draw the scene on the official record afterwards.

Laughing, I said, “No. Why?” He showed me the other two drivers’ simple, boxes-and-arrows graphics. “Oh.” And I’d been worried the insurance adjuster would notice the sloppiness of my miniature, expressionist Mazda Protegé.

I’d learned to call the police because an older lady attempted to remove our backseat door of that same Protegé just two years prior. I was parked at the time and had opened the door to unbuckle my two-year-old when she did it.

“Do you mind if we just settle outside of insurances?” She’d asked.

I had considered. Respect your elders and such. We were newlyweds, considering, and couldn’t afford much on our own. However, I opted to phone the police and our insurance.

I found out later she’d tried to contest it. She suggested that I opened my door right as she was pulling into an angled spot, from across double-yellow street lines, at an obtuse angle of entry.

Yep.

The collision I first mentioned was bad because our insurance decided to total the vehicle, and we were left to fill the void with an adequate replacement of equal- or lesser-value. I also experienced minor whiplash.

“I’m so sorry to hear about your accident!” My son’s preschool director said, once I finished with the police reports and continued on to retrieve my then-four-year-old. “I’ll bet that was a real headache,” she commiserated.

“Well,” I said with a straight face, “It was more of a pain in the neck.”

My humor would keep me company over the next few weeks as I learned exactly how fun whiplash was to recover from.

This story crossed my mind early this morning, around 3 a.m.

I’d risen to facilitate an answer to Nature’s call and had nearly not made it back to bed, or even erect again to hobble there.

This was in consequence of a foolish decision I made yesterday to forego a ladder and climb our garage shelves like some lesser-intelligenced simian ancestor.

Had I been said primal ape, the resulting slip and fall would have broken my perfect prehensile tail. Being a Homo sapiens, I instead damaged my rump (and my pride).

This time, my husband got to deliver the zinger. “I’ll bet that was a real pain in the butt!” he said. (Our youngest, age 4, was within earshot. Plus, my husband never curses.)

I’m sure he’s laughing now, as I type on my backlit phone to pass the hours before a health clinic opens.

I’d assumed only minor damage last night. Though slow, I’d managed to drive, walk to book group, and water the house plants. This (early!) morning, on the contrary, I was overcome with nausea upon standing -okay, upon upright hunching. I finally made it back to bed to beg a bit of bread and Ibuprofen from my drowsy helpmeet. And an ice pack.

I suspect I’ve broken my tail after all. We’ll find out in a mere four hours.

Not that I’m counting.

What NOT to Say When a Woman Gets Her Special Monthly Visitor

“Don’t worry. In a few years you’ll have dried up and it won’t be a problem anymore.”

“You have one every month. Shouldn’t you be used to the pain by now?”

“It’s better than the alternative, right?”

“Well, that explains things.”

 

On the flip side, the following comments are perfectly acceptable:

“Hi, honey. I happened to be at the store during lunchtime and they had your favorite chocolate on sale. Here’s a case of it.”

“I’m so happy to see you! I was just thinking, ‘I haven’t made dinner in a while.’ How about you go take a nice, hot shower for a few hours and I’ll take care of dinner and cleanup.”

“Hi, sweetie. I have great news for you: I just read about this surgery they can do to remove a woman’s uterus and place it inside her husband -but only during that time of the month. I signed us up for today; let’s go!”

Answer

Go ahead, Dear, cry it out. Spend your tears to pay off sadness. Think through all your sorrows, and tell me every pain.

I’m here, and I’m not leaving. I want to stay with you. I love you more than anything, and I’ll not move till I convince you.

We’ll sit here, by the door. We’re safe; behind it, in the dark. I’ll hold you close as you hold me, till the world is ready for you again.