Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Pre-op Odds and Ends


Hello, Internets.

I’m writing to you now because, following an hour of trying to get the Bean to sleep, I have closed his door and told him I will be back in an hour.  I am so not ready for him to be done with naps, an electron microscope wearing bifocals could not perceive my readiness.  It isn’t as if he’s sleeping through the night, you know. I should take the opportunity to rest myself, this miserably cold and wet Monday being “spring” break and all, but something about his refusing to sleep, even when it’s not a refusal filled with crying and so on, really pisses me off.  (It’s possible the anger is just a cover for my anxiety that he will never sleep properly, ever.)  To quote my favorite line from that book that made a splash a few years ago, “how is it you can do all these other great things, but you can’t go the fuck to sleep?”

I’m tired in part because while the rest of the household has recovered from what sure looked a lot like the flu, I seem to have gone for the bonus round: a secondary sinus infection.  I’ve never had a sinus infection that I know of; I had no idea they sucked this much.  On Wednesday, still quite fluish, I woke up feeling that a puffer fish had irrevocably lost its temper in left maxillary sinus.  By Saturday, it felt as if some extremely enterprising person had thoroughly, diligently, almost lovingly bashed in each of my teeth individually with perhaps an andiron, before moving on to my ear canals.  After the Book of Faces assured me that measuring pain in hours of fitful sleep per tab of percocet was not normal, I got over the extreme reticence engendered by a childhood living with doctors and called mine, even though it was a weekend.  Amoxicillin has been applied, and I feel approximately one trillion times better, though frankly my teeth and ears still ache a bit.

The aching is now minor enough that ibuprofen would likely do the trick, but alas, pre-op instructions forbid it for seven days prior to surgery.  This irritates me a bit, as plenty of actual science indicates that the risk of bleeding in surgery does not, in fact, increase with NSAID use, and that even if it did, a week is about seven times as long as the effect on platelets lasts.  (Aspirin, which permanently changes the platelets, is different, which is why people take it rather than ibuprofen to lower the risk of bad sorts of clotting, like strokes.)  The anesthesiologist at my pre-admission testing appointment suggested I take my percocet.  While it’s nice to have permission, that’s not terribly compatible with taking care of a toddler.  I felt lousy enough on Friday that I decided they could live with six days of abstinence, but in fairness, I feel much better today.  So I will just bitch to you.

ANYWAY.  All that aside, the pre-admissions testing people were very kind.  I had forgotten how very nice nearly everyone at that hospital is (exceptions for the jackass anesthesiologist at the Bean’s birth and one of the post-partum nurses).  They are doing something very, very right in terms of creating their institutional culture.  I decided to stick out my neck and ask for a sweet drink for my blood draw — having forgotten, in the haze of illness and panic about that morning’s classroom observation, to bring my own, despite repeated reminders from Sugar.  They didn’t have anything on hand, but one of the nurses asked around and secured a donation of a few jellybeans to go with a cup of water.  Better than nothing.  I certainly appreciated it after the other nurse engaged in what I can only describe as a kind of strip-mining approach to phlebotomy.

excavated vein

The Bean is out of his room now, and I suppose I should make some lunch for him to not eat.  In fairness, he does do some pretty great things.  Like make up broom dances and go for flying lessons while I literally lie on the couch and eat bonbons (because I couldn’t chew anything else).

broom dance

after dinner flight

Forgive all the filters; it’s the scourge of our age, I expect.

His regular, beloved sitter is, luckily, available to be with him on Thursday, when Sugar and I must leave for the hospital at five in the A M.  The good news about the hour is that it saves you a long rant on the magical thinking inherent in telling all patients to stop eating at midnight the night before surgery, regardless of their appointment time.  Plus the attendant rant on how long it ought to take a stomach to empty after a small cup of water (hint: less than 12 hours).  I doubt I’ll get much sleep the night before, and even my new! improved! nerves are not so steely that I’ll really want to eat at that hour.  With luck, we’ll be done early, too, and I’ll get some rest before Sugar returns to work on Friday.  With even greater luck, the polyp is what’s causing the sharp and  scarcely-intermittent cervical pain I’ve been having (perhaps it’s trying to chew its way out?), and will go with it into the medical waste bin.

7 thoughts on “Pre-op Odds and Ends

  1. Sorry to hear about the painful polyp, and I hope the surgery goes well on Thursday! On the Bean sleeping issue, my oldest boy gave up naps at 3 and started sleeping better at night. Actually, he stopped fighting the 8pm bedtime… He did still wake up tired every day. His tantrums are the stuff of legends. When we finally figured out he was allergic to dust mites and subsequently covered his mattress and pillows and removed all stuffed animals, THAT is when he began to sleep well all night long. As a bonus, the tantrums stopped once he was getting enough sleep!

    Um, anyway, Bean giving up his nap might not be the worst thing in the world. Maybe he will start sleeping at night!

  2. He may not sleep, but you clearly have the cutest toddler in the world.

    I hope that you’re feeling in tip top shape from head to cervix soon!

  3. Every now and then E. skips a nap and I immediately panic. I hope your Bean is also just in a passing phase. He is just gorgeous, you know.

    Good luck with the op!

  4. Good luck with the procedure. I hope you get lots more of the jelly-bean-finding staff and fewer of the jackasses.
    Also, I love the flying game! And Tadpole (at 37+ pounds) still loves it, even if my back is no longer a fan.
    In terms of naps, I hopehopehope that this is just a phase for your Bean. Our little guy started refusing to take them when he was 3 1/2. He still sleeps at school many days, but it has been months since he napped at home. Roo spent a tough summer fighting with him about them, and we finally just had to accept our fate. But then we discovered the joy of Playaways. See, our local public library has mini video players pre-loaded with various kids’ shows (Sesame Street, some awesome old-school Mr. Rogers, etc.). So now Tad hangs out in his room for an hour and watches his shows so his moms can catch our breaths (or nap). We’ve been pretty anti-screen-time up until now, but we figure that 3 hours a week of Mr Rogers isn’t going to stunt him too much. Also, we re-installed the baby gate in his doorway to keep him in there until we’re ready to let him out.
    Will be thinking of you on Thursday.

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