Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Self

We've all heard that phrase.  So, is getting in touch with your inner self really all that great?  Does it make you a better man?

In the past month I have had the privilege to visit our local hospital for different surgeries and procedures a total of FOUR times.  You would think by visit #4 that the staff would have all the answers and not really need to repeat the time-worn chants.  Especially when visit #3 ends and when visit #4 starts are less than 36 hours apart!  But, I digress.

Take for instance, the one nurse who came in and started the procedure.  Her first question was my name and birth date.  I rattled the answers back without thinking.  She handed me my gown and had me sit on the bed, etc. She never left the room but turned her back on me to get a document.  She turns back to me and... Yes, she asked my name and date of birth.  I told her but in the back of my mind I was wondering if she could see or was senile?  I mean, neither of us had left the room, nobody else had come into the room. Exactly who did she think was there?  I'm not Houdini.  But, to her defense, it was that way every time somebody came into the room to do something - I had to repeat my name and date of birth.  I truly considered getting a recorder to play and rewind as needed.

Of course, they played the same game over and over.  We've do an extended version of Twenty Questions which was closer to One Hundred Questions.  Each time I would reply the same since my marital status hadn't changed, as well as my medications, my smoking and drug abuse, etc etc.

By the last visit, I was bold. They kept repeating the same question - Do you have any allergies? Is there anything you're allergic to?  I repeatedly answered: Needles.

Did that stop them?  NO!  It was like a huge invitation and they'd immediately begin an IV in the back of my hand.  It felt like they were breaking a steel rod in half inside my hand. Okay, IT HURT!!!  What part of "Needles - Allergic!" didn't they understand?  Obviously I don't like needles but they ignored the fact. LOL.

With a total of four trips to the hospital for different procedures - first was a double scope AKA upper and lower GI.  Second was the right eye cataract removal which went really well since I was for all practical purposes, totally blind in that eye.  The cataract was so bad, all I saw when I used that eye was a milky-white blur and an occasional shadow.  Third trip was my gall bladder removal which had been bothering me since mid-July and I'd had several different checkups to validate and verify.  It took a sonogram which told us nothing, followed by another really fancy check with radiation. At least the result there showed that the gall bladder was working.  Since there was really no results, it was the need for the double scoping which started the visits.  Anyway, with the third trip, the gall bladder was removed and the culprit was discovered. It was the gall bladder eventho it was working properly, it was badly infected and causing all my stomach pains.  I was asked if the gall bladder pain was gone.  Hmm?  Let me explain it this way.  You have a stomach cramp.  Now I hit you with a baseball bat about six solid times.  Do you feel the cramps?  I will have to await the healing process to finish to know if the stomach cramps are gone.  I feel they are but with five incisions, who really knows?  Of course, visit four was quick on the heels of the bladder removal.  I went in on Monday for bladder surgery and was back on Wednesday for the left cataract eye surgery.

So, with all these different procedures, I have been the lucky one.  I have seen more of the inside of me in the last few weeks than I have in the last sixty years.  Did I really want to get to know my inner self?  Not really.  Am I a better man for it?  Well, I can see like a Hubble telescope.  My vision is crystal clear and just amazing.  When the swelling finally recedes, I'm sure I will feel much better and be a lot healthier.  Why?  To start, the doctor put me on a diet.  Some of the pictures he took had some nasty patches of fat and he said it was not good fat.  Hmm?  Is there such a thing as good fat?  So I am cutting back my intake of fat.  My FFF (Fish Fry Fridays) are now a thing of the past.  I'm still allowed my popcorn but only 3-4 cups - not the two gallon bowl I used to eat.  My days of being the garbage disposal are over.  I eat what I am allowed and no more.  If there are leftovers, so be it.  If not enough, then it gets tossed out.  I get more salad, less oil.  There are a few things I am going to miss, some very much, some not so much.  I'm suppose to drink 1/2% milk. That is NOT going to happen.  I have gotten to where I can drink 2% and I'm not going any lower.  Creams and gravies are a no-no on my diet.  As is ... OMG!  Chocolate. My food will be either broiled, baked or boiled - not fried.  Having had a boiled hamburger ONCE, I will grill my burgers since bland, gray meat is not on my eating agenda.  My culinary skills will be tested to make sure that my foods taste good but healthy.  I know I can do it.

I was restricted from the bicycle and treadmill.  Starting today, I am allowed to try them again but with caution and care.

We'll see where this goes.  Will I be a better man?  I certainly hope so.  I've seen my inner self and it was not a pleasant view.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. While you may struggle at first with the diet, I'm so proud of you taking control of your health - Step #1. You are lucky that you know what to do to keep you healthy Bob - so many people aren't given that chance. Take it and run with it! We're all here to support you. :)

  2. Saw the dr this afternoon - he says I'm doing well. My weight is down and he is very pleased with how many pounds I've lost. Nine. Of course, much of it was surgery bloat but it all counts IF I continue to lose. I plan to lose. We discussed the 'fat' issue and he assured me it will be a battle to lose it but I can win. It will take time. I didn't put this weight on over a 3 month period, I'm not going to lose it over a 3 month time period either. He said if I can reduce at least 3 pounds per month solidly, it will be good. We're talking upwards of 18-24 months. A long battle indeed.