Monday, September 19, 2011


I was silly to think that I could start posting regularly again while Mom was in recovery. Yes, it has been better than last time. I am taking better care of myself, and she is doing better herself, and there is no refinance going on, but I have been working on two major projects and trying to overachieve, and it just hit me all Friday where nothing was going right and I felt like I had lost all ability to cope.

Saturday and Sunday I forced myself to spend eight hours in bed--I was not able to really be asleep the entire time, but I was still at least partially resting, and it helped.

I do have much to write, and I will get to it, but I did want to post a little today about being grateful for my relationship with God. As I struggle with being relentlessly human, I am grateful that there is a way for repentance to work. I have a bad tendency to try and save myself, and then be forgiven and blessed. It's funny, because for all the things that Martin Luther got wrong, that's the one thing that I really relate to, is how it must have felt for him to realize that he did not have to save himself; it would be done through God's grace. I still constantly don't try and let it work that way.

Despite that, or because of it, I do know that God listens while I pray, and that He loves me, and I take great comfort from that. I am grateful for the answers that I receive. They are there. I am grateful that He has infinite perfection to cover my seemingly infinite shortcomings.

I'm not really sure when I will get it right, but I am grateful that I still accomplish some things even while I am not accomplishing everything. Imperfect people can still do good and understand some things and be loved, and that keeps this world from being one of despair.

I am not where I want to be, but I'm getting by.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Post Op

Today is the first day of school, which does not have a lot of meaning in my household, but it seemed like a good place to restart. More to the point, it is almost a month after Mom's surgery. We are not quite done with the disruption to our lives--that will take about another month--but still, things are better.

I am glad to say that I was not driven nearly as close to the edge this time. I have actually not written about that yet, but trust me, it's a good thing. The dogs dealt with it better, and I was more careful, which helped.

Also, Mom's recovery has been much better. I think there are a few factors in this. One is that this was the second knee replacement, so she has two good knees now, instead of one good and one bad. Also, this knee was never quite as bad, so they were able to get out of the surgery more quickly, which makes a difference. She did not really even go under full anasthetic, but they used a combination of medication and nerve blocks, and it worked well. Finally, it is warmer, lighter weather (not as light as a typical August, but still brighter than December was.) I think this has been a big help psychologically for her. Doing it the week of Christmas was convenient from a time off perspective, but it was gloomier in many ways.

That is not to say it is all hearts and flowers. There is still a lot of pain that is just inevitable. The patient will have two months of pain, and there is really no getting around it. Over time pain fatigue sets in, where you just can believe how long it has been hurting, and knowing it will be a few more weeks is not comforting. For one weird kind of bright side, Mom thinks this time is worse than last time, because she does not remember it hurting so badly. It did--she just blocked it out, and since none of us were on oxycodone at the time we all remember. So, she will probably block this out too at some point.

There are a few things that experience did not improve. In terms of getting a clear answer on taking the patient home, it was still just as impossible. I think they are afraid of giving a time and then having a complication arise. Still, we got her home roughly when we expected.

I thought about doing a guide to OHSU on the travel blog. Not that you would willingly vacation there, but if you need to go there you might use vacation time for it. It still doesn't quite fit, but here are some key things.

One is that I was surprised when the cafeteria was closed that first time. Well, even though it is on the floor where you check in, and where the waiting room is, that is not the main dining hall on Floor 9. Go to Floor 3 for that.

The other thing is that based on my experience, there are only four floors in the fourteen story hospital where things actually happen:

9 – Check-in and waiting
10 – Patient rooms
3 – Main cafeteria
6 – Pre-op/anesthesia

Okay, maybe part of my experience is that both times we have been with orthopedics, with the other floors being used by other departments. However, I ended up on one of the other floors (I won’t say which in case this reaches the wrong eyes), and there were no signs or windows—just long passages with a couple of people in scrubs scurrying off.

Based on this, I can only assume the other ten floors are used for horrible experiments. It’s so obvious.