Annual Jeep Post 2017

So here’s the annual Jeep post. I realize this really isn’t interesting to anyone but other Wrangler owners, but it’s useful to me for tracking changes I’ve made.

This year, the doors and top came off in early May. May 7th to be specific, as May 8th she had a date with a man in Dundalk for a few days to get spray on bedliner. I chose to get the RhinoLiner TuffGrip, and Four Sons Automotive in Dundalk is the only place in the state that does it. If I had wanted some of the other liners Rhino offers I could have gone to Frederick or Bowie, but if you want TuffGrip, you gotta go to Dundalk. It was very windy and breezy driving across Key Bridge at 8:00 AM on a Monday morning in early May in a stripped down Jeep. And it was both windy and full on raining during the trip back home a few days later. It was worth it.

The one thing I’d say is notable about switching over to liner instead of carpet is that the carpet is very heat and noise insulating, so your road noise level is going to go up a bit, and if you are taking longer trips, the floorboard is going to get pretty warm on you. Road noise never really bothers me, but the floor heat on an already hot day when you have the doors on can be a little toasty.

I’d been wanting to strip out the carpet and get spray on the bedliner for a few years now, because nothing smells worse than wet carpet in a car and I don’t want to deal with that. We’ve had the liner for almost 6 months now, and shmoo and I are both pleased with how it looks, wears, and the overall change.

Other changes I made this year were to not use a bed cover for the summer as I had previously and put the rear seat back in and then use a strap cage underneath the Safari top I use in the summer.┬áThis created a “safe” area to throw my stuff for going to and from work and allowed me to have an additional passenger it if was needed. I guess technically it would be 2 additional passengers but I never needed to cart 3 other people around at any point this summer. Overall, the strap/top combo gave a shaded cosy area that someone could sit in and wear a seat belt, so it wasn’t the worst place to sit, but if you are tall you would not have liked it. Having the backseat in also cut into available cargo room, but generally just folding/flipping it up would give us enough to get by with.

The foot pegs were used again this year as well. And I have to say, for such a small easy change to make, they are more than worth it. My left foot is noticably a few shades darker than the right one I used it so much.

We put the doors on for good this year on Saturday, and I gotta say, May 7-Sept 30 is a pretty good run for no doors. There is one exception to this where I had them on for about a week during that time, but as soon as I could, I took them right back off. The top goes back on this weekend, because it’s certainly time. It’s cooled off quite a bit and all the wind that feels great in the 80s and 90s is a little biting and chill in the 50s and 60s. I’ve held off as long as is reasonable, but I have to admit defeat to the change of season now.

I am pretty happy with the way things are now, and really enjoyed driving the Jeep all summer. Next year’s currently planned changes are to have some body work repairs done where the hood has been dented from a branch falling on it and some scratches on the sides above the rear wheels that go through the clear coat and down into the paint. I’ve hit the point where I’m very satisfied with what I’ve got, even though shmoo keeps demanding we get a snorkel,(You know, for reasons!) so now I want to focus on maintaining what I have and keeping it good shape.

In the meantime, I’m working on knitting up a steering wheel cover out of this because I think it will match quite well once it’s done!

Tits Off for Harambe! (or Hey, I got a breast reduction.)

So, I had a breast reduction on January 24th, and these are my observations/reflections/thoughts. I’m going to talk about the surgery first, and then at the bottom, I’ll have my thoughts on it as well as the reasons behind it. I’ve done it this way so people looking for information on having this done can find it quickly and easily, and people who just want my thoughts and not the details of the thing can just skip down to that. (This is much like my tonsil removal post, so if you didn’t find that entertaining in any way, you probably want to skip this one too.)

My pre-surgery research references:
I combed through the internet for the sane blog posts and articles from people who have had the surgery. I paid a lot of attention to sections that said “things I wish I had known before hand” and that helped a great deal in preparedness and expectations. To all those people, especially ones who posted photos of before, and after, Thank you. I will not be posting photos at this time, however a few years down the road, I can see adding some time lapse back in to this post, as the photos I found the most helpful covered a span of years.

Some of the links I found and used as my research:
https://www.realself.com/forum/13-before-breast-reduction-lift-surgery
http://www.prevention.com/health/10-things-you-should-know-about-breast-reduction-surgery
https://www.bustle.com/articles/59548-whats-breast-reduction-surgery-recovery-like-9-things-to-know-about-the-post-op-experience
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/i-had-breast-reduction-surgery

Pre-surgery prep recommendations:
1. Ask the doc for more than one post-surgical bra if you are required to wear one. If you have a second one, you can wash one while you are wearing the second, and just keep a rotation going. This is preferred.

2. Go ahead and have bandages/guaze and surgical tape on hand ahead of time. You’re going to need them. Maybe not right away, but you will need them. The best ones I’ve found to use also happened to be the most affordable ones I’ve found. You can get them here. Get at least two boxes when placing an order and even with paying shipping it’s still cheaper than the pharmacy/drug store. I ended up doing bandages on my incisions for 7 weeks afterwards and went through 3 boxes of these bandages. We put the leftovers in our first aid kit. I don’t have a tape recommedation other than find one that doesn’t make you itch or irritate your skin. I originally purchased Nexcare tape because their bandaid generally work for me quite well. Their tape made me itch, so on my second Jeffer’s order, I picked up some of theirs, and that worked better.

3. Get your prescription filled ahead of time and have it near where you will be recovering so it doesn’t have to be filled or located after surgery. You’ll thank me for this. You’re welcome in advance.

4. Take a pillow for padding between you and the seatbelt for the trip home. I live less than 5 miles from the hospital, so it wasn’t a huge ordeal for me, but if you have to drive for a longer amount of time, you’ll want the pillow for sure.


Actual Surgery related notes:

    1. The marks they make on your body for the reduction are a lot like a Tailor’s marks for corset contstruction. I found this an interesting correlation. Afterwards, it was amazing to me to see how far down my stomach the marks went because the new smaller boobs were so much higher.

    2. Standing Prep. I was awake in the OR. I stood up on some paper, naked as hell, and got swabbed down with cold cold iodine. Then shuffled over to the table, and got up on it and laid down so that I was placed exactly how the surgeon wanted me to be, then they knocked me out and proceeded. I’m not an exibitionist so this was a little awkward, but I quickly got over it because I was going to be unconcious with these people anyway, so it’s not like they weren’t going to see me at my worst as it was. And honestly, I don’t much care if someone went home and said “OMG this fat lady got surgery today and I saw her naked before hand” because if that’s the highlight of their day, they have other problems.

    3. Catheter. It turns out they give you one because of the amount of time you are under. Plan accordingly. The nurse I was talking to about this unexpected bonus said the same thing happened to her for her C-section. You may not care, but you might, so you plan accordingly if you do.

    4. Sleeping arrangements. Recliner recommended and if you don’t have one, you need a lot of pillows. Sleeping sitting up more than lying down is needed for proper drainage, at least the first few days. After that drainage slows down or stops and it’s not as big a deal but you can’t really sleep on your sides yet either so I slept in the recliner for almost a month afterwards until I got the all clear to sleep on my side some because if I had slept in bed, I would defintely have tried to sleep on my side.

    5. Speaking of drainage, Shmoo’s entry for this list is that “Drainage” means blood. So when they tell the person giving you after care there will be drainage and to change the pads as needed, they mean blood.

Recovery related notes:

    1. Your boobs are going to look like a train wreck right after surgery. Healing takes time. Don’t panic.

    2. One side hurts more than the other, and from the start I’ve had more mobility in the less painful arm (my right). The side that hurts less and has more mobility seems to be draining more, but I have no evidence or subject matter expertise to support that’s the difference.

    3. Speaking of sides… the sides of your body will heal at different speeds. No shit. My doc says this happens with facial reconstructions and such as well, even when it’s an incision going across the mid-line of the body, each side will heal at a different speed. In my case, my right side healed faster.

    4. Everything is really tight right now. My skin especially. Gravity appears to not be a thing for my boobs. From everything I’ve read, it will take some time for them to “settle” and look less like little square shaped skin sacks and back to more natural boob shape. And by time, I mean months.

    5. Do not buy bras in advance. You don’t actually know what size you will end up being until all the swelling has gone down and some healing has happened. Surgical bras should be worn at least 2 weeks if you need one (I was told a sports bra would have been more than enough, but I also got lipo under my arms to get rid of the sideboob that would have been left behind otherwise). I’ve been told and read that the longer you wear the surgical bras (1 to 4 months) the better your boobs end up looking. Also, underwire bras are out for a bit for sure. That wire would be right on a seam/scar. Some people can’t wear an underwire bra up to a year afterwards. As it currently stands, I may never wear one. My incisions feel like I am wearing underwires all the time right now. Additional pressure on those scars as they keep healing would be super painful and likely make me nuts.

    5. If you are prescribed Opiods for pain for after surgery, go ahead and get some Correctol or Seneca etc. You’re going to need it as long as you are on the Opiods. You won’t notice you need it for about 2-3 days, and then you’ll suddenly need it a lot. It turns out, the cells in your lower intestine/bowels respond the same way the cells in your brain do to Opiods. So your body says, “hey, shouldn’t you be working?” and the cells say “nope! we’re good”, and that keeps going until the body says “HEY! YOU NEED TO POOP NOW! NOOOOOOW.” and the cells are all “Nope! it’s all good.” But it’s not. It’s really not.

    6. Your nerves have to remap and regrow. This causes a lot of really wierd sensations. Not a damn one of the stories I read in preparation for surgery mentioned this. So let me say it as loud as I can. IT IS GOING TO BE WEIRD FOR YOU WHEN YOUR NERVES ARE ADJUSTING TO YOUR NEW BOOBS. One nipple is super sensitive and any time anyone comes near it and like.. you know, walks into the room, it twitches and gets hard. The other nipple has no feeling at all directly in the center, but the areola around it has feeling. The skin on my boobs is constantly having odd sensations. Sometimes there are itches in places that just don’t exist anymore because my brain can’t interpret where the signal is coming from correctly yet. Sometimes my brain tells me the nipple that has no feeling is desperately itchy. It’s not, it has no feeling, and there is no way to communicate this back to my brain in a way that makes the itchiness go away. My chest often feels like it has a massive fever in the areas affected by the surgery. It’s not hot to the touch, but the the skin has this buzzing burning sensation to it and it’s super super senstive. It’s like when you are coming down with the flu and even the hairs on your head hurt and the breeze from someone walking by you irritates your skin. That is how it feels, for hours at a time, and this goes on for weeks. NO ONE MENTIONED THIS!!! It’s not like this would have been a deal breaker for me, but it would have been nice to know in advance.

    7. You will very likely reject some of your internal stitches. It seems to be pretty common with this surgery. The internal stitches are supposed to dissolve and be absorbed into the body. But! If air touches them, it allows bacteria to find them. Bacteria really like the material the stitches are made with, so they are attracted do it, and then it hangs out there. Your body wants nothing to do with this, and proceeds to evict that shit from your body, as it should. This means your incisions take longer to heal, because your body isn’t trying to close off an incision when it’s trying to kick something out of that location. Once the stitch gets to a point it has been evicted (or removed by your doc, or possibly you in between visits) it’ll proceed with closing up the that lingering incision site. At 5 weeks post surgery, I still had open incision locations where I was rejecting stitches, and was still doing wet to dry bandages twice a day until the incisions closed over (at around 7 weeks out).

Mental/Emotional observation type notes:

    1. I was an H cup. I am now a large C/small D cup. (Not sure which yet, because I’m still in post-surgical bras and sports bras, and will be for a while.) I am totally satisfied with the change. I told the Doc I wanted a C or smaller, and he did his best. It turns out you have to keep enough breast to keep the nipple viable or it dies or something to that effect, but he was able to take more off than he originally thought, and I was pretty happy about that.

    2. Suddenly having a much smaller breasts is a bit of a mind-fuck. Your body perceptions and what you think/feel about yourself changes. I am still the same person I was, but now I am not weighed down by what society has taught me about women with large breasts. I’m getting a lot more eye contact from men, and I’m no longer an obvious “easy” sexual target. I’m just me, and that’s pretty fucking awesome. You don’t realize the day to day crap you put up with until it’s suddenly just not there anymore.

    2. My body profile is less balanced. My stomach is more obvious. Not that it wasn’t obvious before, because hey, I am fat and you could all see that, but it’s more obvious to me now because I don’t have ginormous boobs sitting on top of it. I am OK with that. Honestly, I feel like a kid again. My boobs haven’t been this size since around 7th grade. You know how you felt super free as a kid in the summertime running around in sprinkler in your underwear? That’s a lot what I felt like in my first shower after surgery. I know visually I have boobs, and I can feel them and see that they are there, but they are so much smaller and so much less in the way I feel like they aren’t there and it’s AMAZING.

    3. Healing takes time. Everything I read made it seem like after a few days I’d be chomping at the bit to be moving again and after the 2 weeks, it’d all be back to normal. It wasn’t. Maybe it’s because I am 42 instead of 22. Maybe it’s the amount of tissue I had removed. Or maybe it’s because I have RA and healing is always slower for me. But from everything my doctor has said, I am progressing normally. So anyone who says it’s not big deal, tell them to suck it ’cause they lie. It has taken 7.5 weeks for me to recover “fully” from this surgery. By fully I mean, I can lift my arms over my head again easily and without pain (though it still pulls a little). I can lift more than 10lbs. I have been cleared to exercise and swim again. I can wear (sports/sleep) bras that aren’t my post surgical bras, without discomfort. I don’t think “damn, my boobs hurt” 100 times a day from nerve pains or incision irritations. I don’t need to wear bandages and replace them twice a day. Sleeping in the bed as opposed to the recliner doesn’t make me uncomfortable.

    That’s not to say there aren’t still some things that are quirky, but mostly, life is normal. The doctor’s office doesn’t even take the post surgery pictures until 3 months after, so if you really wanted a time frame for full recovery, that’s likely it.

If I had to do it over again, would I? Yes. In a heartbeat. If you live near me and want the doctor’s name, hit me up. He’s not internet saavy, so don’t expect a lot of fancy tech anything. But since I was paying him to fix my boobs, and not to internet all the things, I am just fine with that. He’s good at what he does; he’s honest and up front with you even if you don’t like what he’s got to say. He worked well with both me and shmoo, and that’s a pretty high standard from any angle.

Jeep Update, Summer 2016

jeepfront2016

This year’s summer jeep update took a bit longer to get to than last year, for a number of reasons.

We went camping on Memorial Day weekend this year and the hard top stayed on for that. Then the leftovers from tropical storm Bonnie (that hit while we were camping in the Outer Banks) made it rain for another week and a half straight, so it was mid June before the hard top came off.

Then, there was some bimini top drama. I had ordered a new safari style bimini top for this year because I wanted more shade in the back of the jeep, and better protection from rain blowback because I always keep the windjammer at least halfway down. (For those who don’t know but want to, the bimini is the roof panel, made of cloth. It’s only the roof and nothing but the roof. The windjammer is the “rear window” like panel.)

I spent the extra money to get the nicer Besttop Bimini top, and then it was on backorder, and then it got here, but it didn’t fit the jeep quite right and I didn’t understand why. I had read up on the top, I know I got the right version, etc. etc. (Jeep Wranglers are like Lego for adults. Just as pricey, and certain sets don’t work with other sets.) It turns out, what they don’t tell you is that they designed this for soft-top users, and soft tops have a door surround. And this fancier top hooks into the door surround. You don’t have to have the door surround, but if you don’t, it allows all the water ever right into the jeep. So I went back to my old bimini top (that only covered the front seat) while we figured out what we wanted to do. I had to decide whether to sink more money into the surrounds and knobs for this top, or if I just wanted to send it back and get the cheaper Quadratop safari bimini that would be like my current 2 seater one, but longer.

jeeprear2016

After some discussion, shmoo convinced me I wanted the door surrounds. He really liked the way the Besttop fit into the channels of the door surrounds and felt like that would be better water protection. It was a hard sell for him. I resisted for several weeks. I figure if you are going to take the top off, you’re going to have to deal with some water problems, that’s just part of owning a jeep and making choices like having no top. But I also like having a dry ass when I arrive at work, so he managed to talk me around.

While waiting on the surrounds to arrive, we also did some spot painting on the jeep’s rack where it had rusted. We scraped, rust-primed, and then painted the spots that needed it and finally, Finally, FINALLY took off that wooden valence. Upon removal, I promptly notified Bruce it had been removed. :)

nomorewood

The jeep has also had some other work done on it since last summer as well. New bumpers with a wench. New wheels & tires. The old rusty rock rails removed and new side steps put on, and it’s been lifted, so it’s SUPER TALL now as well. I’ll be honest, I could do without the super-tallness, but it was required for the wheels I wanted, which remind me of daisies, but in a subtle way.

I’m very happy with it now (not that I was unhappy…). I still don’t have the spray on bedliner, but there’s always next year.

Topless, The Official Welcome of Summer

I know the calender disagrees, but we officially consider it summer once the top comes off the jeep.

I have hard top and I didn’t start taking it off until last summer, which was the first summer we had a garage. Last year it was difficult, took forever, made us cranky and sun-burnt, and took several days. This year it was easy. I did everything we did last year in less than 3 hours, and that includes cleaning it all before putting it on, and then cleaning out the inside of the jeep. Some of that was just having done it before and knowing how to do it now without having to read pages of instructions, and some of that was just better prep and wiser decisions.

It’s relatively easy and affordable (in jeep terms, because after-market stuff is pricey) to get your jeep to look this way, so I am listing everything I’ve put on it/done to it here. Basically, everything we’ve done is available on quadratec.com, and that’s where we’ve gotten it all from, but it’s been over a period of years, not all at once.

Bimini, Windstopper, and Bed Cover set:
If I had this to do over again, I’d pay the extra twenty bucks for the Bimini Plus top, and it’s possible that in the future I’d buy the plus top alone, but this is a great set. When I originally priced this out not long after getting the jeep several years ago, it came up to around 600 bucks, and this “QuadraPac” is $230.00 and includes all the little geegaws and windshield and tailgate channel crap you need because you don’t have it if you have a hard top.

SunScreen:
Even when I take the bimini off, I like a little shelter from the sun. We are pale people who work inside with computers and sometimes extended trips in the sun can hurt you if you forget sunscreen. The jeep might be moving, but it’s like you’re sitting still in the sun.
I have layered this sunscreen under the bimini top so it’s already in place if I take the bimini off. All I have to do is fast the side wraps and snap the two out front snaps and I am good to go.

The Rack:
We got this rack used from a friend who had a 3rd kid and traded their 2 door in for a 4 door. As much as I like having a rack and I like this one in particular, I think it’s insanely priced and it wasn’t super easy to install.
The friend we got it from is the source of the wood on it also, because his wrangler was a soft top and said the wind noise was an issue, but the wind deflector for these garvin wilderness racks doesn’t come with the super expensive rack and it also is rather pricey for what it is.
He did however spend the money on the hi-lift jack mount for the rack (also stupid high for what is two brackets and some bolts):

Hi-Lift Jack:
Because you want to be able to change a tire if you need to and wranglers are pretty tall for normal jacks.
And the handle keeper helps keep vibrations and rattling down once it’s mounted.

A hardtop and door storage rack:
Seriously, it’s pricey, and shmoo said the assembly was a bit of a bitch, but it’s so worth it because you don’t end up shoving your top and doors around the garage and constantly fighting with them when they are in the way. This was easy to put the hard top onto, it holds the freedom panels and the doors securely so they don’t bump and rub each other, and the two rolling racks are designed to slide together to take of less foot-print. The only real problem I have with this rack is that it didn’t come with the cover it’s pictured with, and that’s another $165.00 if I decide to get it. But, when I ordered this back in early March, Quadratec did throw in some quick release mirrors with it, which work better than the old cheapie “I took the doors off and just need mirrors to be legal” mirrors, and they fit over the rack side mounts, which was a concern.

Future plans? Oh yes, I have them!

I need a tire cover, and I’ll probably crack and just order one that I am OK with, since the one I feel in love with is someone else’s custom wheel cover and I am not sure I could get our cat to co-operate.

Larger plans include having the carpet ripped out and spray-on bed-liner put in, so that when the rains happen, it’s just not a big deal and any water that gets in the jeep will just roll right on out the drain holes and there won’t be stinky carpet afterwards. It’s ideal having this done in the summer after I’ve already taken off ALL THE THINGS so I don’t have to pay someone else to remove/put back ALL THE THINGS.
I’ll pull off my soft-top stuff and remove my E-kit and tools before we take it to the bedliner place, and then all they should have to do is remove the seats and rip out the carpet before tackling doing the liner, which will save me some money.

After that I feel like I’ll be done until next year, when I’ll try to convince myself that I NEED this cargo netting somehow.

Who’s down with UPP….P? (yeah, you know me!) – Tonsillectomy at 40.

So, I meant to post this in April, but it’s better I did not, as I’ve needed a bit of distance on this one not to make it a crazy person post, and honestly it still might be.

On April 20th, I had a UPPP and tonsillectomy. I don’t recommend getting a tonsillectomy as an adult. At all. That being said, I’d do it again.
This post is about my experience thus far, and you may want to stop here. Also, it’s REALLY long (I mean REALLY!!). And probably has typos I haven’t found yet because it’s too damn long.

——-

Still reading? Let’s begin!

Why?
I have sleep apnea. For those of you with sleep apnea, my last sleep study number was 109.
CPAP was not working for me, despite a year of trying off and on. I could tolerate the CPAP up until the full pressure came on (so around 45 minutes, an hour if I was pushing and trying really hard to not give up) and then it was just a mess of coughing and sputtering and misery. Additionally, along with the usual adjustment crap of a sore chest and face acne and blah blah blah, I’d start getting sick almost every time I went back to trying CPAP. It got really old really fast. The trying to use it during the day when relaxed tricks didn’t work, aromatherapy didn’t work, it got to the point where just thinking about CPAP stressed me out and kept me awake all night.
Shmoo was having none of this. He loves me, he wants to have a long life with me, and me dying of sleep apnea induced heart failure or complications thereof were not something he was going to tolerate, so I went to the ENT.

Who?
I love my ENT. He’s a practical man who has innately understood how to communicate effectively with me, which I’ve found is a rare thing with doctors, so I am totally going to keep him. (If you live near me and need an ENT recommendation, hit me up, I’m happy to pass along his info.) Even without looking at my sleep study (but I did tell him it was bad and that the records would confirm it when he requested them….) he told me what my options were if I wasn’t going to do CPAP and didn’t try to talk me into or out of my choices. He was upfront about how absolutely shitty it is to have a tonsillectomy at 40, how much pain I was going to be in, and negotiated effectively with me about how much time I was going to need off afterwards. (He was totally right too!)

What?
The procedures I had done were a UPPP and Tonsillectomy. So basically, he removed some of the turbinates (or nasal concha according to google) in my nose, my adenoids, a good chuck of my soft palette including my uvula, and my ginormous tonsils. This is normally done as outpatient. Because I have sleep apnea, and apnea patients are prone to bleed and have more issues after this surgery, I got a one night stay in the hospital as well.

And here’s how it went down as I remember it…

I showed up at the hospital on Monday morning April 20, at 7:30 AM. My surgery was scheduled for 8:40. I got to put on a fabulous hospital gown and sit on a stretcher while they prepped me. I got an IV. They took my blood pressure and it was stupid high. People came and talked to me and wandered off. My IV had to be changed because it was the wrong kind because I was staying over-night. The girl did it in a hurry because the surgery team was waiting to haul me off. They popped some shit into my IV with warning to kiss my people bye quick, because I wasn’t going to remember anything else after this. I don’t remember shmoo kissing me on the forehead and leaving.

I woke up at some point later hearing people talk around me. I did not open my eyes, so everything was black, but they were talking about my blood-pressure and how stupid high it was and how it needed to go down. I am almost positive this was after the surgery, but I wouldn’t put money on it. I was pretty out of my head. I woke up in recovery and opened my eyes to see family there waiting on me to come around. I told them my blood pressure was a thing and dosed back off. Then I’d wake up, and doze back off. This went on for a while, possibly several hours.

Around noon? or so, maybe later, they got me to my hospital room. I was very happy about this new hospital bed because the stretcher was making my butt sore.
I remember being asked about my pain levels a few times. I know I answered 7 once. Then 4 or 5. Then I remember another 7. Then it was evening, and I was more alert. I started eating ice to help numb my throat. I tried an orange sherbert but it was too thick so I went back to ice. I got pissed off at the hospital gown and no one answering if I could take it off, so I took matters into my own hands and changed into shorts and a tank top I had brought with me. This made going to pee with all my attached accoutrement SO MUCH EASIER. Wrestling with that huge (because I am a fatty) hospital gown was a fucking disaster when trying to pee and not piss off the IV monitor.

When the night nurse came on, I asked her if my IV was supposed to hurt. She said it was not, and that meant she’d need to remove it but she needed to put a new one in first before removing the old one, but first she’d try flushing the one that hurt. It didn’t flush. It turns out, that fucker was bent. So IV number 3 was put in, and IV number 2 removed. And then, because my blood-pressure was still an issue and she really couldn’t see why (I looked comfortable and relaxed, I wasn’t distressed, etc etc), they gave me additional pain meds, and took me off of the IV. An hour later, my blood pressure was fine.

During this time I also had a heart monitor on a finger, and some compression sleeve things on my calves that were supposed to simulate walking around and prevent blood clots which they were incredibly worried about for whatever reason. I took the compression sleeves off after a while because I found them irritating and stupid, and they interfered with me going to pee, which I had to do constantly from all the IV fluids and the ice I was consuming. When the night nurse came in and found me standing up stretching my calves by doing lunges and walking around dragging my IV pole around, she agreed it was fine to quit doing those if I really wanted to, and I did. She also brought me orange jello and it was FUCKING DELICIOUS. It had a flavor and slid right down my throat without bothering it. It was heaven. As it turns out, I was also supposed to be on some oxygen cone thing on my face, and should have been all along but had removed it when I got transferred to the room. So I cooperated and put that back on since I didn’t have an IV drip anymore and finally went to sleep around 3 AM. Poor shmoo slept on the little couch in the room.

The next day I finally got cut loose to go home, the only hiccup being that my doc had done the paperwork already the previous day so while we thought we were waiting on something, we were not. We finally got that sorted and I got the hell out of there around noon. My doc had thoughtfully prescribed my meds the week before so I got them filled before the surgery and they were at home waiting on me. I promptly took them and slept, eating/drinking only cold, icy things or cool things for several days. That whole week is basically one day in my memory. Then there was the weekend, which I also mostly slept through, and then I did a week of WFH. That Friday (May 1st) I had my post-op follow up and was cut lose to go back to work, start eating more things, but no orange juice, no scratchy dry foods like chips, and no gym for another week. (My healing was a bit slower than it should have been, but we expected this due to my arthritis issues.)

The next Monday saw me back in the office, but not talking as much or as loudly as normal, and then early Wednesday morning(day 15) I had some bleeding that I could not get stopped, and had to call the ENT office’s emergency line. My doc was the one on call (thank goodness!) and he had me go on in, because apparently bleeding at day 15 just isn’t common and he wanted to go ahead and cauterize.

So 6 hours and 3 IVs later, that’s what had happened. I remember a bit more about the 2nd surgery, and while it wasn’t a horror story, I am still a bit too close to it to want to rehash it here. (As of writing this, it was only 5 days ago, so… yeah.)

I went home and both shmoo and I slept it off. When leaving the hospital Wednesday morning, I really thought I’d be back at work the next day. I was an idiot. Thursday morning I quickly saw I was fucked because just the thought of trying to get dressed was overwhelming, and called in. I slept the rest the day. I think I spent a total of 6 hours awake on that Thursday, and had no trouble sleeping that night. The overall result of the 2nd surgery was that I had to be careful with foods again for a few days, and it extending my no heavy lifting and gym time for 2 more weeks.

It was a lot of pain, and a lot of discomfort.
I am still tired/weakened, but I can tell I am getting better each day.
I have no uvula (it will grow back/be replaced by my soft palette at some point).
While I have found that anesthesia and common post surgery meds don’t cause me problems, it appears that IVs do not get along with me at all. That’s ok, I don’t like them much either.

————-

If you’ve made it this far, you either really interested in this experience or you are thinking about having this surgery as an adult, so I want to list some observations and food tips below that might be found helpful.

Thoughts.
It was totally worth it. It might not be for you, but for me it was, despite all the shit I’ve talked about above.

The day of the surgery, even with all the internal swelling from said surgery, I could already breathe better through my nose. I immediately saw an improvement in my snoring and most likely my apnea (I’ll do a study again in 3 months, so this is all anecdotal right now). Before, if you slept in our house, you heard me snore. Now, you have to be in the same room, and that’s IF I am snoring. I am still so fucking tired all the time, and odd things trigger coughing fits right now, which hurt. Yawning hurts like a bitch. Sneezing is surprisingly not the most painful thing. In fact, it’s a bit easier post surgery than it was before. I still sneeze super fast and hard, but it doesn’t seem to be tearing out of me near as much.

Advice.

1. Sleep in a recliner. Seriously, if you don’t have one, beg/borrow/steal one before this surgery, you are going to want it. I am still sleeping in it half the time now. It really makes a huge difference to be sleeping more upright and a huge stack of pillows just doesn’t help you do this as effectively.

2. Listen to your doctor when he tells you it’s going to suck, be painful, and be much harder to recover than you think. He’s telling you the truth. Take your meds on time. Set timers if you have to, even for the middle of the night. It’s much easier and more effective to stay ahead of your pain level than to get stuck behind it.

3. Foodwise, have some things prepared for post surgery.

  • Be sure you have access to ice chips/crushed ice.
  • Buy a shit-ton of popsicles. I bought about 5 boxes of the Outshine fruit ones. I have one box left right now. (You don’t want ice cream. I was told that modern ice creams are too thick so they just irritate your throat instead. Also dairy makes your mucous thicker, and that was something I personally did not want.)
  • Go ahead and make up some jello. Several different flavors.
  • Coconut Water. shmoo picked some up for me just because, and it was wonderful for the first week.
  • Instant mashed potatoes. Get a few bags/packs, and then mix them up with extra water when you are ready for something not straight liquid. I also added jarred gravy for flavor and extra fluid.
  • I got a juicer, but it was too strong/thick that first week, so it didn’t work like I planned. I also did gazpacho around day 5, and that was pretty good because I was still on cold only foods.
  • Humidifier. I had a cool mist one, but I ended up buying a warm vapor/mist one week 2. The cool mist bothered my throat week 2 and just agitated me.
  • Lots of tea varieties that you really really like.
    -Week two when the scabs started coming off, my throat was a lot more raw and cold things stopped being OK.
    -Coconut water also burned my throat for several days around that time, and I had quit eating again.
    I lived on luke-warm tea and a shit ton of honey for about 3 days that second week.
  • Once warm is ok, I found taking a hot shower helped with my throat pain levels substantially. Specifically if I had just woken up. In the mornings I’d wake up, take my meds, start tea, and then go take a steamy shower and let the warm water hit on my throat on all sides and breathe the steam in deep. HUGE DIFFERENCE.
  • This list is of course not comprehensive. You might have different instructions than I did, and you’ll probably heal differently.

    I was told liquid diet the first week, so I ate jello, popsicles, italian ices, coconut water, and beef consume/broths (once I was ok with any heat in my food, which took almost all of that first week). Then very soft foods were ok as time went on, but I was not supposed to eat things that encouraged my scabs to fall off. I’ve heard that other people are told to do horrible things like eat dry toast and potato chips. I think I would have killed someone about that sort of shit.

    4. Timeline wise… Day 1 hurts. Day 2 is a little better, but you are going to hurt for several days and it will suck balls. Seriously. Then you’ll start getting better, and then your scabs start falling off (day 5-6-7) and it’s super fucking painful all over again, then it’ll be better, and you can likely come off your pain meds.

    5. Try not to freak out about the shit you go read on the internet for what other people are experiencing for the same day you are on. Everyone’s experience is different and generally the only people who post on those forums are horror stories. People who have good experiences don’t generally stop to bitch about it on the internet, they just go on about their lives.

    6. Don’t think you are going to do jack shit while recovering. You won’t. You are going to sleep. You might try to watch TV, or read, or futz around on you-tube or whatever, but you won’t, you’ll just fall asleep in the middle of whatever you thought you were going to do. It’s probably for the best, so don’t fight it, you need sleep to heal, so sleep.

    Also, don’t think you are going to be able to recover from this surgery and do something important like watch your kids (if you have them). That’s not going to happen unless you just like to make your life a living hell. It’s not good for you, or the kids. Don’t do it.

    7. Finally, set up someone to be your communications agent. Let everyone know before-hand that X person is who any information will be coming from and that’s who all questions should be sent to, because you aren’t going to give one flying fuck what anyone has to say or what they want to know, you are just going to be resentful that these people who care about you won’t leave you the fuck alone for a few fucking days and FUCK THEM YOU JUST WANT SOME SLEEP AND PEACE.

    I know this sounds hostile, but seriously. You’ll be drugged, in pain, and cranky as all get out. Make it easier on yourself and everyone who cares for you by appointing the poor bastard who is going to be around you most as your communications agent, and let them deal with all that while you rest. (I totally did this for my second/emergency surgery and don’t regret it a bit. I wish I had thought to do it for the first one.)

    And that’s all I got. Personally, I feel this is more than enough, so I am stopping now.
    ~Laura

    First FO of the year.

    Though the cat is an undeserving bastard, I cranked this out today while watching the Packers and Lions play at the pub.
    Pattern is from knitty. ( http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/PATTdimsum.html ) I’ve also taken a bit of leftover white stockinette from where I changed up the Naughty Reindeer hat and used the sewing machine to whip up several more. They aren’t pretty, but the cat was stealing them from me as I made them, so they must be a hit.

    Ingenious.

    First, I promised a picture of the Shmocks.
    4086|400
    Done with Blue Moon STR med weight in Loch Ness, Basic two at a time toe-up, plain foot, short row heel, and 4×1 ribbed cuff. He wears them, and asked all on his own about how to wash them, so I am guessing he likes them. I think they look a bit funky and am not sure what the hell I did to make the wraps so bulky, but they’ll be hid in his Doc’s most of the time, so it’s all good.

    And now, the good stuff.
    I have been aware of turtlegirl76 for a while now. After all, there really aren’t that many knitblogging turtle lovers out there, and the intartubes makes us more interconnected. But I don’t read her blog regularly, and in fact, I only stumble across it now and then, read a bit, and then continue on my merry way. But yesterday while perusing, I saw something that made me think, “Dear God! She’s fucking brilliant!” So, I am pointing you there today. Specifically I am telling you to click on her free patterns link on her header and then scroll down to number 5. Row Counters. Simple, easy, no brains involved row-counters.

    Seriously. Go read. Download her tutorial and peruse it. I’ll wait.

    So now that you are back… Neat, huh?
    I made some last night.
    I plan on making more.
    Should I ever find myself in a swap again I will most definitely make some of these to give.
    Hell, I may make some to give to random knitters I see on the street.
    I like them that much.
    4083|400

    Shmom the Fabulous!

    Yesterday, the sweater shmom made for shmoo arrived. She decided that it would be cool if she did the knitting and I did the finishing. That way I could have some part in the making of the sweater without actually making it. I thought that was a really cool idea.

    Since she has no blog for me to point you towards, She knit “Lucky” from Knitty’s men’s (August 05) issue. It’s a mistake rib stitch pattern. And oh my people, mistake rib is SO STRETCHY! The sweater even fits me, and I am at least 4 inches wider than the chest size stated for the size we used. She used KnitPicks, Wool of the Andes, in Maple Syrup. No idea how much, probably whatever the pattern says.

    So she finished it up, did the neckline but left everything unseamed and sent it to me. I have sewed the pieces together, and I love it. Hopefully I can get a picture of the model wearing his sweater sometime soon, so you can see it as well.

    As for the pattern, I want to say she said it was easy and went quickly. I can say for sure it wasn’t hard to seem at all. I think it will look great on shmoo!

    And of course, I have decided he needs a new hat to go with his new sweater. 3 braid cable and rib. And stripes! I am making it up as I go along.

    I am using the leftover skeins of Maple Syrup that I have already joined and balled. I am also using leftovers. Brownsheep Prairie Silk, Guilder Green and Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Chocolate Souffle, size 8 needles, 96 stitches.

    And now, on to the felted bag! This thing is an albatross. I have washed it 3 times already, and it’s not shrinking down enough. It’s way to tall. It’s more of a flat tall bag than a shorter wide bag like I fell in love with.

    Seen here with the strap I am still struggling to finish, this bag is just not what I envisioned. I am already planning and making changes in my head for another one, more like what I wanted. At least if it doesn’t turn out right, I won’t have been following a pattern of someone else’s making. In the meantime, I’ll keep washing at this thing, finish the strap, decide whether or not to felt it, and put it on the gift pile until it tells me to whom it should belong.

    Yesterday I worked on Danica some more. Entrelac is so… easy and oddly satisfying. The scarf looks mostly the same as the last picture I took, so I won’t post another ’til it’s done. In the meantime, my shmoo still needs that new matching hat! :)

    On a slightly knitting related side note, I have a World of Warcraft toon named Entrelac, it’s our banking toon so it’s in the main city most of the time. Yesterday someone messaged me and said, “Your name is a knitting term, did you know that?” My response was, “Yes, in fact, I have another toon named ‘Intarsia’ as well.” This person proceeded to ask if I knit, I said yes, then they asked if I was British, not sure why….. *shrug* She(?) asked if I spun as well, I said no, and she said she did, and that she loved spinning and dyeing. That was about the sum of our conversation, but I thought it was funny.

    Live Dangerously, Don’t Swatch Hat

    Mr. Woolly models the hat.

    Pattern: Live Dangerously, Don’t Swatch Hat by Susan Lawrence.
    Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, color 225, less than one ball.
    Needles: Swallow Casein US sz 9 dpns, purchased from The Knitting Zone. (picture below)

    Modifications: None. However, I did use the k2 p2 suggested rib for the body of the hat.

    Swallow Casein Needles, made from skim milk! How freaky is that?

    Laid out under a “Reveal” lightbulb so you can see the colors clearly.

    Check out that I-cord edge!

    Thoughts:

    I made this hat for a young man I know, whose birthday is this month, though I am not sure exactly when. He has another gift, but since his brother was the recipient of the Bobby Socks, I don’t want him to feel left out in the hand knitting department. Honestly, I don’t know if he likes hand knits or not. Hopefully he’ll like the hat.

    The pattern was really easy, and it was neat doing a hat from the crown out instead of starting at the bottom like I normally do. I also learned a new technique, the I-Cord cast off. I really like the edge it makes, despite my confusion as to what to do when I got to the end of it.

    I still don’t LOVE Noro Silk Garden like everyone else who has used it seems to LOVE it, but I don’t hate it as much as I did. I really do like the way the colors shift, but it’s no Lamb’s Pride.

    Bri sniffs at Mr. Wooley

    Turtleneck.

    Pattern: Dog Turtleneck
    Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, Lt Orchard Peach
    Yardage: No idea, less than a skein
    Needles: Addi Natura circs in US 6, Brittany Birch US 4 dpns
    Modifications: I didn’t use that froofroo fake fur stuff, I shorted the leg cuffs by 1.5 inches and the collar by 1 inch.

    Sometimes I give in to the urges of having a cute little dog that likes to wear clothes. This took about a day and a half. I am considering making another, not using the garter stitch at all. I think ribbing for the entire thing would be better, especially because Daisy is so big in the chest for such a tiny thing. It would also be more flexible in general, and I think she would like that better. At least now she won’t be shivering when she goes out on the porch.

    The serious pose is at the top, the cute pose just below, followed by the “I am bored with this now” shot. :)