Sep 26, 2008
The running fan at night.
For a long time now, I have always had a fan running in my bedroom at night. When I was a teenager, I got a fan for my bedroom because it was always so hot there (my parents house had very poor air circulation back then). Since then I have become accustomed to the "white noise" of a fan and the constant flow of air it creates. Fast forward a few years and I am constantly working night shift. For those of you who are familiar with the concept of the Circadian Rhythm, you know that being up all night and sleeping all day is not normal. So I would make the window as dark as possible, and run a fan on high. The goal being to simulate as close to my preferred sleepy time environment. This type of environment was all well and good for many years. That is, until the Wife came along.
She and I have a very different idea of what an ideal temperature is. The biggest problem here is: I am always a lot warmer than she is. I like air moving and she feels it dries out her throat at night, causing her to wake up with a sore throat. Case in point, last night.
We are visiting her parents, and it is very warm here in the Sacramento Valley. So I was laying bed last night, sweating. Finally I cracked and said I had to have something going. The air conditioner seemed it would make things too cold, but the table top fan available to us looked like an enticing option. Once on, even on low, things became so much better for me. The Wife however, did not seem to feel the same. Waking up at about 0600 this morning, about the same time Ben woke up, she complained of it being too cold.
Somehow, some way, we are going to find a solution to this argument. I don't really know how. I don't really know when. But eventually, we'll solve the problem. Until then, I figure if this is our biggest complaint, things really aren't that bad. She of course, could come up with a much larger list than me.
But that is something for a later post. For now, I'll continue to try to remember to move my chonies from the bathroom floor to the hamper, and reduce her list by one.
Sep 24, 2008
The wife is extremely adamant that I don't go anywhere. And unfortunately, her word is pretty much law here. She has been pretty darn good to me. When I wake up, after she has gone to work, there are some drinks and snacks left out in the living room for me. When she is home she is pretty good about getting me things I need. I can't complain about these things.
Its the time when I am home alone for 8 or 9 hours that seems to get to me. Quite honestly, I am bored. I have gotten pretty good at moving around on my own, and after only 6 days I can put weight on the joint with no real pain, but I still use a crutch to get around. But when you are home for 8 or 9 hours a day by yourself, and anyone who you would normally talk to during the day is at work, its pretty quiet. I find myself talking to the dog and cats for a good chunk of the day. Here is an example of a conversation between me and the only ones here at home:
Adam: Good morning Bear.
Bear: Bear looks up with an uninterested look.
Adam: What should we do today?
Bear: Well that's a dumb question, we are going to sit around the house and do nothing, just like yesterday.
Adam: What do you think Bear? Should we go watch some TV? Maybe play some video games?
Bear: Fricking human. That's what you did yesterday, and it didn't involve me then, why should it involve me now?
Adam: Well, lets go turn on the TV. Come on Boy.
Bear: I'm only getting up because you are asking so nicely. But don't expect me to get all excited while you lay on the couch, I have to lay on the floor, and you watch some movie I have been forced to see a hundred times.
Adam: That's a good boy. Come on.
And so it goes. The conversations with the animals only go so far. So I spend a lot of my day simply not talking. That, in and of itself, is a different experience. Talking is something that comes naturally, even talking to yourself (but we'll call it thinking out loud so it doesn't sound so senile). To go a full day without talking is a different thing all together. Its strange, almost creepy. I don't think I could be part of a monastery that requires the Vow of Silence. I simply talk to much. Although it might be interesting to try it one day, and spend some time in silent reflection about life in general. We'll see if that ever happens.
In the mean time, I think I'll go find bear and see if he want to watch a movie. I think the Matrix is on (one of my favorites), ad I think I've only seen it 99 times.
Sep 20, 2008
I have to say, from this point on things became a little fuzzy. But apparently the "edge" was off and I was feeling fine. I was then wheeled the operating room, given a mask which was pumping in pure oxygen, and I later woke up shivering and cold (a standard side effect of anesthesia). After about an hour I was released back to the world.
All said, I arrived at about 0830 and was released around 1300. Pretty good. The surgery itself was more invasive than the Dr. originally intended. According to him, as he explained it to my wife, my ankle is a complete disaster. He had to make a larger incision than he wanted to, and 11 fragments of stuff were taken out and disposed of. I had asked I could keep the bone fragments but was rejected. On the plus side, he took pictures of everything, which I will post later. They are all the way across the house and I don't feel like trekking over there for them. So I'll probably do that tomorrow. In the mean time, I am reaping the benefits of being disabled.
Sep 14, 2008
“Some effects of anesthesia may last for many hours after surgery. If you had local or regional anesthesia, you may have some numbness or reduced feeling in part of your body. Your muscle control and coordination may also be affected.
Other common side effects of anesthesia are closely watched and managed to reduce your discomfort. These side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting. In most cases, this can be treated and does not last long.
- A mild drop in body temperature. You may feel cold and may shiver when you first wake up.”
One would think, given the subject matter covered thus far, that I have a fear of being under the influence of a general anesthetic. I have to say, however, this is not the case at all. My point here, and it always seems like I am taking way too long to actually get to the point, is the doctor can do anything to you, and I mean ANYTHING, while you are completely unconscious. You become their pawn, their own monster they create from the multitude of prosthetic limbs and replacement joints available thanks to the miracle of modern medicine.
Don’t get me wrong; I have had my own unpleasant experience with anesthesia. After four hours under the knife I awoke to horrendous dry heaving and nausea. But the miserable experience is nothing compared to the other things done to me while in a state of unconsciousness.
Example #1: I am 12. I have just spent the better part of an afternoon in surgery, and I awake to the afore mentioned vomiting. As that subsides, I look to my ankles, where the surgery was performed. Instead of my little chicken legs I am so accustomed to seeing, there are large splints wrapped in a snug bandage. These splints, however, were not the real concern. Of more importance to me were the tubes coming from the top of the splints that ran to small containers used to show proof of blood circulation. In other words, they were draining blood to show there actually was some. This was ok with me. It didn’t hurt, and they gave me all the pain meds I wanted. So life was good. After a full day, and there was plenty of evidence of blood flow in the small canteens, the doctor came in to visit. After a brief hi-how-are-you session he looked at the drains. He made mention that were ready to be removed, and mentioned it might hurt a little. I was administered a quick dose of painkiller. Then the doctor, in his extremely silent way (he never said very much), took hold of both tubes, placed his other hand across my legs, and ripped the tubes from my ankles. Remember, he said it might hurt a little. A LITTLE?!?!? Good grief, if that was a little pain then I was the president of the Glee Club (which by the way, I was not). The pain was unbelievable. When he saw how upset I was, and admittedly crying, he apologized briefly and quickly explained there was no nice way to do what he did. So it was easier to simply get it over with. I hated that man for a long time after that.
Example #2: Fast forward 2 years. I require a follow up procedure due to a bone graft not taking properly. Once again, I am put under the influence of the general anesthetic and the same masochist who performed the first operation is at it again. Upon awaking, there is a familiar looking split wrapped around my right ankle. After about two weeks I am back to see the same doctor for a follow up appointment. When he removes the splint and a few bandages, we see an incision, about 3 inches in length, with a skinny little wire protruding from both ends of the cut. So there was about 3 inches of stainless steel wire in my leg at this time. The doctor, looking at it quietly, said nothing more and left the room. My mother, who was with me, and I both looked at the funny looking thing with some amount of bewilderment. Why on earth was that there? This is where I should have remembered that I hated this doctor. But somehow, over the previous two years, I had forgotten why exactly I hated this man. However, the doctor himself quickly rectified this omission from my memory. He returned to the office holding a pair of pliers. Somehow this still was not registering in my head, and I sat there on the table, stupidly thinking to myself, “Why on earth would he return with a pair of pliers?” Then he grabbed my ankle to hold me still. At that point I had one of the surreal moments in time when memories flood back to the very forefront of the mind, and everything becomes perfectly clear in one agonizing moment. He then grasped the end of the wire with the pliers and imply ripped it from my ankle. I saw stars, thousands of them, and fell back on the examination bed having lost consciousness due to the pain. Apparently, he had not forgotten the last episode of similar events, and simply figured absolutely no warning was better. Catch him off guard. It will make it easier. I think there was another small apology and an explanation that there was no easy way to do what he had just done.
I can assure you of one thing at least: I will not be afraid to ask questions and stop the doctor before anything happens post-op. And of the anesthesia, well, all I can say is I love trying to count down from 100 with the mask attached to my face.
100, 99, 98, 14, 107, 44, 12……
Here is the run down:
At age 11 my my grade school teacher, Mrs. Bunch (I'm amazed I even remember her name), noticed during P.E. that I was running on the balls of my feet. My heels never touched the ground. After a little investigation, we learned that my ankles were in horrible shape. The joints looked as though they had collapsed, there was very little cartilage, and broken bone fragments loose in the joints.
I was then introduced to Dr. Mink, an orthopedic surgeon. While his bed side manner was in question at times, he certainly knew how to manage a person's ankle joint. After the initial surgery, at the age of 12, a second was required at the age of 14 , to remove a screw and a bone graph that never took.
With these operations complete, it was estimated that I would require ankle fusion by the age of 20. Now, I am 32, and ankle fusion is still going to be the ultimate result. But for now, it seems I have another few years left in these ankles.
Now I am pending a arthroscopic operation on the left ankle in order to buy some more time before ankle fusion in an issue. So the operation is scheduled for Thursday. Here is what I know:
The surgery is scheduled at the:
Santa Rosa Surgery Center
1111 Sonoma Ave
Santa Rosa, 95405
As of now, we are arriving at the surgery center at about 0845 hrs. The operation is tentatively scheduled for 1045 hrs. I am expecting a phone call this week to confirm the appointment.
My parents, and Delia's, are going to come up for the day and keep Delia company.
We ourselves are going to arrive in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, hopefully in time for a nice lunch somewhere. and our goal is to make an afternoon of it with each other. The next morning we are going to get up early and head to the surgery center. Hopefully we are out in time for a lite dinner (I have no idea how I'm going to feel after the anesthesia).
So for now, we are simply waiting. We both work Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I'm sure I'll have more on this subject later.
Sep 12, 2008
But it does seem like time has been going by rather quickly though. It was almost 2 weeks ago that Delia and I celebrated our anniversary, and I really haven't had a spare minute since. I'm up at 0500 to get ready for work. I get gone around 1830, make something for dinner, we watch a DVR'd program or two and unwind from the days activities, and then head to bed. Over the last couple weeks my schedule has been this: I worked 3 days, had one off, worked 4 more days, had on off and worked 4 more. So over the last 13 day I have had only a couple of days off with very little in the way of rest. So it goes I guess.
My consolation to all this is that after this up coming Wednesday I will have probably 3 weeks off due to the ankle operation. I can't wait for this. Any more, I can't move the old joint without it cracking and creaking. Its really quite disgusting to listen to, I guess. I myself am rather fascinated by it. The wife however, thinks its really gross.
With all this time off and nothing to do, I wonder if the wife really knows what she is getting in to. When I am sick I become a whiny turd. I'm grumpy, I'm selfish, and I want to be catered to. I imagine the first couple of days will be the same here. Fortunately for her, she will only be home a couple of days be fore she has to go back to work and I will be left to fend for myself.
What am I going to do with all this free time I am going to have?
Perhaps I should have taken this whole hobby hunt thing a little more seriously.
Sep 7, 2008
So it was a good night. Its been a quick year, and a good one. I'm looking forward to more.
Happy Anniversary to us.