December 15, 2014

The Countdown Clock is Ticking

There is just never enough time in the day, is there?

On Friday night, I went to bed at the gloriously early hour of 8pm and slept for 11 hours… I so needed that! I can’t remember the last time I caught up on sleep with that many hours in a row. (And it was a sound, deep sleep, too.) No, you can’t make up for long-term sleep debt, but research shows that it does help if you catch up within a few days of your sleepless nights. And, because I went to bed so early, I was able to catch up on sleep without really messing up my regular early morning wake up time, and I still had all day ahead of me to GSD. Excellent. Saturday I did something very uncharacteristic of me though: I didn’t have any actual events or get togethers planned all day long; instead, I was just going to use the day to run errands and clean my apartment like crazy.

I am really starting to panic a lot about my surgery on Wednesday (see: me dragging Adam and Jen into prolonged discussions today of whether I really need my left arm to be functional and how maybe I should just skip the surgery entirely). I can’t control the outcome, but I can at least make sure that my apartment is clean, comfy, and well-stocked with pre-made foods so that I can eat well without having to stress about cooking. (And of course delivery is always an option too.) So that was my goal for Saturday. I made some headway on work projects first thing, then headed out later in the morning and got a lot of grocery and Christmas shopping done, and finally caught up on personal email and also got some tidying up of the apartment done. However, it’s still not quite as decluttered as I’d like it, so that’s what tomorrow immediately after work will be for (along with inviting some friends over to help distract me from the impending surgery).

Starting Saturday night, though, things got busy – I had my company holiday party in Cherry Creek, which was a ton of fun. It was 1920s themed, and while I accidentally left my flapper-style headband on the bus on the way there (oops!), a lot of people didn’t follow the theme and it didn’t much matter. I had a great time just getting to chat and sip drinks with coworkers, but my favorite part of the night was hitting up the casino room downstairs and getting to play craps all night long… without having to care about losing money. Hooray for fake chips!

Holiday Party 2014
Yes, dear fashion committee, I accidentally left some hairties on my arm. But hey, I ditched the Nike Fuelband – progress!

But while I had a blast at the party, I hadn’t gotten nearly as much done beforehand as I wanted to… and Sunday was just a whirlwind of a day that didn’t give me room to squeeze more in. I headed up to Boulder to try out Orange Theory Fitness (will write up a few review once I can take some real classes, since this was just a soft opening), then dashed around for some errands, then went to try an aerial yoga class with a meetup group, then went to brunch with the girls from the meetup group, and finally zipped over to the movie theater to see Hunger Games with my friend Caitlin and her husband before doing some more Christmas shopping at the mall on my way home. Whew! I had a really wonderful time all day, but now I’m starting to wish I hadn’t packed quite so much fun stuff in and had spent more time getting things accomplished.

I cannot believe that my surgery is less than 48 hours away, and I feel like there is just so much to do! Tomorrow is going to be my last day of work until the new year, so I have a ton of stuff to get squared away. Normally when I go on vacation, I spend an hour or so each day catching up on email and any little pressing things that might have come up at the office. This time, I don’t know when I’ll be able to use my computer again (or be non-medicated enough to be coherent on a call), so there is extra pressure to make sure that I’ve tied up all the loose ends before I leave. I’m getting close to hitting Inbox Zero with my work email account, but there are still a bunch of big to-dos that aren’t in email form… and I don’t know how I’m going to get everything else done before my deadline of anesthesia hits. (Why yes, I will be taking a 6am conference call on Wednesday morning before I head to the hospital… so I’m counting every minute up till they pry the smartphone out of my hand and wheel me into the OR as an opportunity to GSD.)

Really, though, the uncertainty is a lot of what I’m stressing over. This surgery just has so many unknowns to it, and I really hate unknowns. I mean, I guess that’s part of what makes me good at my job? I like to have a plan A, and a plan B that covers the big things that could go wrong… and then a plan C and a plan D that cover all the little things that could go mildly wrong.Ā (Hi, my name is Laura, and I am a bit of a control freak.) It is really freaking me out that the doctors don’t know exactly where the problem is, and that they’re basically going to fillet me open from wrist to armpit and then figure it out once they get in there. What if they can’t fix it, and they’ve cut me open for nothing? I really like my surgeon and he came across as very competent and confident, but you just never know…

And then on a much-less-substantive note, I really hate having the next few weeks totally up in the air. I know that I won’t be able to drive while I’m on the meds, so that I’m going to be stuck home unless my friends come take me out. (And in case I can’t type this later, let me add a huge thank you now to my friends, who are truly amazing and have already offered to do just that as well as bring me anything I need.) But I have no idea whether I’ll be functional and having a productive time reading and cleaning my apartment and doing all the things at home that I usually am too busy leaving my apartment to do, or whether I’m just going to be so hopped up on Vicodin that I’m drooling into my pillow until 2015. I’m sure any therapist would tell you that I’m transferring my anxiety about the surgery’s success over to this little couple weeks of recovery time that I feel like I can control… but it is really driving me nuts to not know exactly how to prepare. (Dear doctors: thank you for further stressing me out me today by calling me with mixed reports on what time I need to be there and what time my surgery will actually be. Can’t I even plan on the timing of this thing??)

Preparation so far: bought a memory foam mattress topper to make my bed comfier, bought a DVD player for my living room, bought new eyeglasses (since I won’t be able to put contacts in with just one hand), maxed out the number of books I have checked out from the library, stocked up on some Amy’s frozen meals, and tonight am starting the first of several crockpots of different soups to stock my fridge. As wonderful as my friends are in offering to bring me meals (on wheels!), I would really like to be as self-sufficient as I can rather than putting any kind of burden on them, especially at the holidays (which is why I originally looked into hiring a nurse instead of relying on them).

So – what prep steps am I forgetting? Don’t worry, I’ve already thought of melodramatically writing “DO NOT CUT” all over my right arm the morning of surgery, like future-amputees do. Better safe than sorry, right?

Apologies for the manic nature of this post… hopefully I’ll be a little calmer after the surgery is done and I’m (thankfully) sedated.


10 thoughts on “The Countdown Clock is Ticking”

  1. Ah I haven’t read your blog in so long (bad blend) so I didn’t know this! Good luck with it!!

    I’m feeling the same way about work prepping to leave for Kenya. I don’t know when/if I’ll get internet there and it’s KILLING me. Although, it will be good for me.

    Sorry your no-work reason isn’t fun, though! Good luck!

    1. Your Kenya trip is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to see all the pics and read all the stories, even if it’s not till long after you’re back šŸ™‚

  2. Hi Laura! Good luck with your surgery!! As a total control freak myself, I’ve struggled majorly the past month after falling & severely braking my arm. I had a plate & pins put in and just got out of my cast yesterday. I know the lesson I was meant to learn from it & am doing all I can to accept it so the universe doesn’t give me a second opportunity to!!! Hang in there & have a wonderful holiday! I miss your happy face at FW šŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Missy!! I am hoping to be back in Dallas in January and hope to see you at Flywheel then šŸ™‚ I’m glad your arm is recovering!

  3. Any kind of unknown is so scary, I hear ya. I think it’s important to remember that we can get through big scary things and on the other side it won’t seem so big and scary.
    When I was 21 I slipped and broke my arm. I was living in a city without family and had a friend drive me to the hospital wherein I stayed for FOUR DAYS awaiting surgergy and then had my left arm casted from shoulder to wrist. And? I got through. And now, looking bad, it’s not near as bad as I thought it was – and I got a bionic elbow out of it too! WHEE.

    1. You are so 100% right. I can already see that recovery is going to be long and painful but the surgery itself was sooooooo much better than I thought.

    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie! I’m home and fairly comfortable, which is great. Am going to try to post tomorrow though typing is very slow!

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