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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home Again

Ah, the joys of my own home.  My own smells, and those of my cats, bring a comfort that trumps any amount of sterile bed sheets and rubber mattresses.  They give those out to everyone, right?  It pleases me to no end to say that after 4 days at John Muir, I am back at my house and doing well.

Friday was sort of a blur.  I was treating it like a chore I didn't want to do but had to, like taking out the garbage, or flushing.  So I didn't really think about it too much, and I tell you, that all caught up with me when they were prepping me for surgery.  Once that gown was on and I was laying in that bed, the tears found their path and came freely. I was scared shitless - not of one thing in particular, but just going through the whole experience.  The entirety of surgery scared me.  One of my surgeons came in and saw this and asked if reality had just set in.  I replied, asking him if it was that obvious, and he smiled, kindly.  It was a nice break.

Then my Anesthesiologist came in, and he looked exactly like my friend Brad which was simultaneously funny and excruciatingly terrifying.  Brad is a good man and all, but I wouldn't want him in charge of my pain threshold.  Anyway, he went over some of the drugs he was going to give me, and then listened as I suddenly had fears for each one.  The first, he said, was sort of like having a couple of beers, and that drug actually worked along the same neural pathways as alcohol.  Finally, something I was prepared to experience.  Shooting me up with the chem-beer, we were off to surgery - after several tear-filled hugs for Taren and my brother Paul.  By the time I got to the surgery room, I was pretty lit.  I remember looking around and commenting on how cool the room looked, then FakeBrad said something like, "I'm going to just give you oxygen - " and then I was out hard.  No counting needed.

I remember coming around in the recovery chamber to the sound of the nurse asking me to stop cursing.  Not quite sure why she would ask me that, I wondered aloud what the fuck I was saying.  Apparently there were children in the room with me, or something, and my swearing was bothering everyone, as it was loud and without merit.  I tried to tone it down and just come out of my cloud as best I could.  As for the passage of time, I knew something had happened, but it didn't feel like one second I was awake and the next I was awake again.  There was a definite gap there.  According to the nurse, in addition to my swears, I was waking up talking about German Pilsners a lot, and then when my surgeon came to visit, he said I was trying to hold a conversation with him on the subject and merits of IPA.  I'm such a cliche.

I'm running out of steam, so I'll save the boring, introspective stuff for later.  But being wheeled into my room after I woke up and being surrounded by most of my family was a really lovely thing to experience.  I felt I was clear-headed, but my short-term memory was affected, so I was semi-aware of what was happening, but I couldn't - and can't remember the things I said to anyone, save for what they tell me I said.  That was all very interesting.

So yes - I made it.  I made it out and I'm pretty much pain-free.  Thanks to all for your comments and well-wishes, and I'll write more later.


  1. The waking up and talking beer is quite priceless! Glad you are doing well JP!

  2. JP, enjoy your cats and try to relax. I hope you don't let this experience turn you into some vegan weirdo. No offense vegans...

  3. You'll be drankin' before you know it.
    Hang in there, get better, and see you in GR. The pup is coming too and wants to buy you a beer.


  4. Getting caught up on this all at once. Glad you're past the surgery. Heal quickly and get on with living, good sir.