Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I still am recuperating. I'm more tired than I'd normally be on a workday at this time. I haven't biked yet, and probably won't for the rest of the week at least. I have tomorrow off (the hospital asked for a follow-up appointment, so I moved my RDO), and I'm glad.

This isn't the first time I've had surgery - I had three wisdom teeth removed one summer in college - but I'm repeatedly surprised at how it effects me. I mean, I've been in very little actual pain over the past week. I've had a sore back and shoulders off and on - and that surprised me, considering the cuts are in my belly, but I'm not used to sleeping on my back and I've been slouching a lot and a friend pointed out that the abdominal muscles hold up the rest of my body, so who knows - but when I'm sitting still or lying down, I don't feel uncomfortable. And when I am in pain, they've given me percocet for it. Sunday could have been a completely normal day, except for the fact that some of the time I spent reading was in bed.

And I've also been getting tired easily over the past week, and failing at NaNoWriMo is annoying, even if it's for a reason that genuinely no one could predict, as is not being able to take care of myself. But still, occasional and well-managed pain and minor fatigue and annoyance seem like insufficient reasons for the change in my mood. Particularly in the first couple days after the surgery, when it was the worst. I just had a really bad mood, internally. Fairly serious depression for a couple days. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I think I felt worse than the pain and tiredness and frustration explain by themselves, as if healing itself takes something out of me.

Which, when I put it like that, is obvious. Of course it does. I still have three wounds in my belly. I have spent several nights in a drugged pseudo-sleep rather than natural restfulness. Why wouldn't I expect that stuff to effect my mood? This is one of several reminders I've had recently of how complicated the body is, and how despite the amazing stuff science can do, most of medicine is really just blunt instruments. It feels kind of humbling. Chemotherapy is poisoning one part of the body more than the rest. Psychiatric medication are mostly uppers and downers with different side effects than recreational drugs. And surgery like this is cutting out an organ that's gone bad, and patching up (literally patching) the holes long enough for the normal healing process to take over.

Monday, December 03, 2012

On Nov. 24, I got back from a nice long Thanksgiving vacation with T.'s family in California. I hadn't been able to do too much writing then. When I went to bed on Sunday, Nov. 25, I had about 32,000 words written. The goal for NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words written in November. So I was behind, but it wasn't insurmountable. On at least two days and probably more, I had written over 3,000 words per day, and even then I hadn't been trying all that hard. If I could do that on every day remaining, I could meet the goal with time to spare. On Monday, Nov. 26, first thing in the morning, I found a 2,000-word file I had misplaced, so that bumped up my word count quite a bit with no work besides a little editing to fit it into the right places.

Then, around 10:30 a.m. that day, I got appendicitis.

I first noticed some abdominal pain around the right side. It wasn't all that severe, but it was really weird, a little like the nausea of a flu and a little like a muscle cramp but not exactly like anything I'd ever experienced before. I gave it an hour to see if it would get better, but it only got worse, so I went to the nurse's office in my building. They told me to go to a hospital. One of my supervisors was kind enough to drive me. The ER people gave me tests for several hours, and I was in surgery that night and spent the night there. I took it easy the rest of that week, staying in bed or in front of my computer or the TV. Thursday and Friday I went into work for a few hours. Thursday was fine. I worked about half a day, and I feel like I could have stayed longer but it was convenient to leave with a friend rather than take a bus and metro home. However, Friday, for whatever reason, took a lot out of me and I had to go home in less than two hours.

There's something else I still find really crazy: on the same day I developed appendicitis, T. sprained her shoulder. She had visited me in the hospital, and afterwards she was walking outside somewhere and slipped and fell hard. In addition to scrapes on her hands, she could barely move her right arm. At the time she didn't think too much of it, but on Tuesday after I was dropped off she saw a doctor and got sent to an emergency room herself. So she spent last week recuperating as well.

Needless to say, I didn't finish the novel. I was in the hospital, or on the way to or from it, from before noon Monday until after noon Tuesday. The rest of the time, theoretically I could have been writing, but I didn't. I spent a lot of time sleeping, or reading while lying down. Everything I did took while recuperating - cleaning the kitchen, and we did the laundry, and I did some editing for some friends who are looking for jobs - took longer than usual, and I was doing more stuff than I probably should have while recuperating because T. was recuperating too. And, of course, it was hard to concentrate on the story while dealing with all of this.

Well, maybe next year.