Posts Tagged ‘mason’

Back from the dead

April 30, 2008

For the first time in years, I have absolutely no abdominal pain. I’m still weak as a kitten, and don’t yet have stamina – but that will improve with time.

It was a few days after my February 20 surgery before I was physically able to sit up and actually open up my laptop to take advantage of the hospital’s free wi-fi, not to be confused with the hospital’s very not-free surgical costs. While I was in the hospital I was coherent enough to successfully take each of my “inbox” e-mails and put them into sub-folders of my newly created “hospital” e-mail folder – which ended up being three folders:

After getting out of the hospital, up until just a few weeks ago, I was not able to comfortably sit down for more than a minute or two, so I handled almost all of my e-mails the same way as in the hospital. I am surprised to discover that I can type pretty fast while standing, hunched over my keyboard. Reading much while standing was really not very workable for me.

I am now not a fan of the practice of hospitals giving their patients the illusion that they have control over their pain management by allowing them to administer their own medication by pressing a button when they felt the need, to cope with their pain. When I spent years in grad school aspiring to be a social psychology professor, “locus of control” was one of many research interests of mine. Yeah, I understood that I got to choose when to administered my pain medication, but the doctors’ orders were rather specific as to exactly how often my button press would actually let the IV administer medication and as to exactly how much medication. It took about an hour for me to learn that I could administer pain medication every 10 minutes, and that the amount of pain medication was rather minimal. This was especially obnoxious when I was attempting to go to sleep the first two nights, when I was in the most pain. I was in too much pain to sleep, and for me to get any significant amount of pain medication into my body I would have to be awake at each 10 minute interval to hit the button to get a few drops of pain medication. Of course the night-shift nurses were absolutely afraid and unwilling to call the doctor that was specifically on call to handle calls from night-shift nurses. On the third day after surgery, I described my pain control plight my actual lead surgeon. He readily agreed to change the order from self administered meds to a nice cocktail of happy happy pain medications which included pill, patch, and IV delivery methods that truly handled the pain, and kept me pretty blitzed during my hospital stay.