August 28, 2008

IV Adventures

Not a whole lot of time to post--I just prevented Nathan from unloading the entire bin of plastic food here at Grandma's because "I'm almost done, and then we'll need to clean up so we can go bye-bye."

I think the crash I just heard from the vicinity of the living room had the unmistakable sound of lots of toys (be it food or toy kitchen pans, etc.) cascading onto the floor... It amazes me how finely-tuned one's hearing can become as a result of motherhood.

Anyway... I wanted to share this weekend's frustration. Sunday morning began with abdominal pain when I woke up, and it only increased over the next several hours. The three of us traipsed into the urgent care clinic so I could be poked and prodded. The gallstones I have were giving me problems. Since the pain continued and I didn't have the energy to care for Nathan on my own, I was admitted to the hospital and stayed overnight Sunday night in order to talk with the surgeon the following day. Silly me: I took only one book with me, which I (of course) finished Sunday night. All day Monday I felt extremely bored. TV... sleep... wander the halls (because of course I didn't sleep well on Sunday night due to restless legs syndrome kicking in)... feel frustrated with the hassles of having an IV in my left arm. By the time I talked with the surgeon around 4, I either wanted to head into surgery to have my gallbladder taken out or just go home. Argh.

On the humor front, I managed to create some problems for myself, even alone in the hospital. I went to get ready for bed Sunday night, casually assured the nurse that I would be fine and didn't need help, and started to undress.

Only after I started removing my top did it occur to me: the IV in my left arm would effectively prevent me from removing anything on top.

I ran down my list of options:
1- Sleep in the clothes I'd worn all day
2- Remove clothing as best I could and just let it hang on the IV line for the night
3- Try to detach the IV line from the machine myself so I could get undressed

If you know me, you can guess which option I chose! I examined the machine first, to see if it would be easier to detach the line there, but quickly decided just to unscrew the port from the line in my arm. No problem; it came off without any problem. I removed the necessary clothing, got ready for bed, went to reattach the IV line... and ran into my brick wall.

Trying to attach a bracelet one-handed is simplistic compared to trying to screw an IV line back onto a port inserted in your arm with just one hand. My shoulders slumped as I realized I would have to call a nurse in to "confess" what I had done.

Anna, the nurse, was gracious enough to laugh with me about my predicament once she came in and I explained what I'd done. She asked me what I do for a living; I told her I had a degree in biomed engineering, and she said, "Oh, so you must know how these machines work."

"Um, no..." I said, "I just lack all appropriate sense of fear when it comes to trying something new."

"Apparently you do; most patients are hesitant to do anything involving an IV machine!"

Well, I don't fall into that category. I'm more the sort whose husband tells her before leaving for the night that she isn't allowed to take a screwdriver and remove the back of the IV machine (which, I must say, is exactly what Trent did that night before leaving for home).

So... the moral of the story is that one should not attempt to attach (or insert, for that matter) IVs one-handed. Got it?

The really sad part in all of this is that I don't know if I'd choose differently if presented with the same choice today! God certainly does protect the stupid--I'm living proof!

August 18, 2008

Coming to Life

I finally have a reason for the nausea and general malaise that has plagued me throughout this pregnancy: an ultrasound revealed I have gallstones. How odd that such news would provide some relief... it's nice to have a reason for feeling so cruddy--even though there's nothing they'll do about it now. Usually they would remove the gallbladder, but they're understandably hesitant to perform any surgery that isn't absolutely necessary during pregnancy! I'll probably go in six weeks or so after our baby girl is delivered via c-section so they can remove my gallbladder using a laparoscopic procedure. The relief of at least knowing what's wrong means I can focus on other things, like dragging myself through the personal struggles of writing again! I received notice of another devotional collection that's soliciting manuscripts. My bargain with God is that I'll submit at least one piece for every solicitation that comes my way. There have been times I regret promising that. What is it about writing--about doing anything that is a true offering--that brings all negative internal criticism, every self-doubt you've ever had, and every negative memory of things not working out to the surface? I wrote one piece that fell short of the minimum length, then procrastinated for a month. Through force of will, I made myself finish the first piece and write a second one yesterday. I did some final polishing and sent them off just now--with a dreary voice in my head saying it's just a pointless exercise and I'm sure I'll receive a "thanks, but it didn't quite fit with what we wanted" in response. Argh. Why is it that something you're passionate about (language, writing, expressing thought and emotion) can become something you face with intense dread?

If you'll permit me some shameless self-promotion, at least I know I've been published twice already! Yay... Maybe there's more somewhere in the future.

August 13, 2008

More Surrender

My internet access is now sporadic at best (witness the near year between posts), but reading a friend's blog lit the desire to write a bit again.

Baby #2 is on the way--I'm 27 weeks, due November 12th. This pregnancy was difficult verging on impossible in the first trimester, but things were helped a couple weeks ago by learning that I apparently have gallstones. I no longer feel bad about feeling bad. Even people who aren't pregnant would agree that gallstones can leave you feeling miserable.

For now, I'm in the stage of, "I just want to feel like me again." I know my body will continue to resemble a stranger's and show me (yet again) that I cannot predict what it will do; I'd settle for feeling like myself a bit internally--energy-wise, attitude-wise, something me-wise.

It's easy as a stay-at-home mom to feel like you exist as nothing more than a response to the lives around you: take care of laundry, meals, daily discipline, cleaning, pet care and a motley host of other tasks. Somewhere in the midst of the melee, it's harder to care for yourself. I accept that, but what's harder is sometimes not even knowing what my dreams or fears are anymore. Dreams and fears for your family edge their way in until it's easy to discount yourself as a valued person with a unique worth in God's eyes--just as valued as any of your family members.

I guess it's another opportunity to think of the verse that talks about Christ "entrusting himself to the one who judges justly"--I need to trust that even when I forget who I am, God has not. He'll remind me when the time is right. Surrendering means confronting the fear that you'll never get back what was surrendered, after all.