Aging

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 

I turned 50 in April. We'd planned a month long sojourn through Italy, starting in Rome and then winding down the Amalfi coast.  We planned that trip for over a year.

Then Covid.  Which, you know. Closed Italy, then closed everywhere. 

But this post isn't about Covid. That is an eternal nightmare that makes me incredibly filled with rage at stupidity and toxic individualism.  It's not about the 3.5 months that I literally did not leave my house because my never ending pancreatitis, recent past kidney failure and diabetes painted a giant "Easy to kill" sign on my back.  It's not even about the depression that hit me like a wholly unexpected wave and pulled my feet out from under me, forming a rip tide that I had trouble shaking.

In May I had a surgery to remove my gall bladder which was determined to have caused ten months of pancreatitis. It was a weird thing having a surgery during a pandemic - especially one that was scheduled two days after my visit with the surgeon. (It was a very bad gall bladder.  Quite.) Of course by that time I'd had three Covid tests since pancreatitis mimics Covid. The surgery seemed less daunting than having my brain swabbed again. 

 No one was allowed to go in with me. I woke up to very kind nurses who ( apparently) were keeping Terrance up to date via phone calls.  I lingered in recovery until about 4:30 that afternoon when Terrance was called to meet me at the front door. I walked out to get in the car, blessing the nurses who had managed the hell out of my pain and kept the ice cold cranberry juice flowing.  (Big props to the nurses at Mayo Health)

I slowly recovered - which took longer than I expected. Then again the stone was 5 FREAKING CENTIMETERS. Having your surgeon in front of you super excited as you emerge from the fog of general anesthesia to exclaim about the size of your gall stone is a special experience. My mom later said "Yeah, surgeons rarely get excited. It must have been a really large stone - larger than he's seen."

At the beginning of June, just as I was feeling better and didn't have to clutch a pillow to my mid section every time I inhaled too deeply,  I was walking back to the car from dropping off some library books when I stumbled. And fell. And heard a deeply worrisome POP! My first thought was "Please Jesus, don't let my still not fully healed incisions to have ripped." They did not.  My next thought was "My ankle is not in the place it should be on my body." It was, in fact, not. I reached down and with grit I did not know I possessed, I popped my ankle back into it's joint.  I continued to lay on the gravel for some time, causing the librarians to run out of the building and try to convince me to have someone get me.

No. I insisted, I would drive home. It was only about a quarter of a mile and I could do it. 

I did glance down at my ankle on that short drive home and began to mentally prepare for the news that it was broken. It looked - well - like nothing I'd ever seen before.  Terrance took one look and said "That's broken." Once at the ER, a very kind doctor unwrapped my ankle and said "Oh! well, I suppose you could have sprained it - but something that looks like that is usually broken."

It was not broken was badly dislocated and incredibly swollen. The ER called in more painkillers which made the pharmacist intently question Terrance as to my obvious budding opioid addiction. Two times in a MONTH. Was he sure I didn't hurt myself on purpose to get more drugs?

About 4 weeks after the surgery, I got a call from my GI doctor. Now, friends, at this point I have SO many doctors who've been pulled into my case(s) that I can forget who does what. I thought they were calling to see if the pancreatitis symptoms were better.  Nope. I was 50. I had some long term GI issues. It was time for my colonoscopy.  I actually said "You've got to be fucking kidding me. "

Nope, they were not fucking kidding me. They wanted me in ASAP. I was on the radar.  Fine. Whatever. Why not?  They were going to sedate me, right? Ok. Sure.  

I went in for that little exercise in willpower after drinking that low key semen flavored gallon. Lucky for me, I ALWAYS have diarrhea so there was less to clear out of my intestinal tract.  Oh, and if you mix margarita mix into the solution it will mask the taste, at least a little.  And if you are diabetic you are free to suck on real sugar candy to keep your blood glucose from diving off of a cliff during your day of fasting. 

The procedure itself was nothing. I was given meds, I woke up and left the hospital. I was warned that I had some polyps and they were going to be tested. If they saw anything untoward, I would be back to do this in 5 years instead of 10.  I

Last week, I got tagged for my overdue mammogram.


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This is where I seem to have stopped writing. Who knows why - Cat? Child? Spouse? All are feasible explanations.  But now I hit publish on this saga of fiascos. For I will be publishing the NEXT saga of the  fiasco

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