Bacon Week 4 video.
Bacon Week 03.
Bacon’s week 2 video.
Bacon’s week 1 video.
So it’s x-mas and I’ve spent about half of it alone. It is not a complaint mind you, more of a statement for comparison. X-mas mostly alone? Shrugged off. Thought of being alone for thanksgiving even though not really going to be alone… cry like a bitch.
So I love thanksgiving. My wife knows that and because she is wonderful and loves me. She actually started to plan out a make-shift gathering as a surprise because I missed the real one. Not like it is hard to surprise me, apparently she did a lot of the planning right in front of me and I never noticed. It never actually happened though because since it was going to be a surprise she would have to lean on all of our friends to do the setting up, the cooking, and basically everything.
So because she felt that my wonderful friends ad family have already done so much for me it would be too much to ask for more. So that idea was nixxed. Still the thought was there and it is x-mas and the (supposed) point of this holiday is the thought behind everything. Even thought that idea never really materialized the point was that she thought of me and knew exactly what would make me happy. That makes me a lucky man.
I love my wife.
I was so happy to be home. Happy and tired. I got home on a Wednesday night and first thing I do is plop down on my bed, happy to get a nights sleep without feeling I’ve been abducted by aliens and they needed to find human weaknesses. The thing is when I got home, while I wasn’t in any sort of actual pain I suffered from a case of extreme discomfort. I had incredible headaches, I broke into cold sweats a lot, my thighs and fingertips burned, my back sore, and my arms still felt a lot of residual pins and needles all over. Some of this was normal. Other bits of this I later found out was a minor case of withdrawal I was suffering from the pain killers. So yay I got to see what withdrawal feels like. Even in a minor case it’s a bit annoying so don’t do anything too addictive kids cause you’ll eventually either die or go through withdrawal, which sucks.
In any case the withdrawal was not actually my biggest concern. I didn’t even know what it was until later on. Before I knew it was just a very general state of suckiness. My biggest concern (emotionally anyways) was that in my sobriety I had realized that I had more hallucinations than just Bob my bobsledding dragon companion. I had others that were more subtle and therefore harder to perceive their non-reality. In my semi-drugged state I had also created a group of friends in an alternate reality. I was a slightly different person there in that I was single, younger, and actually quiet and calmer.
I spent what felt like about 2 1/2 - 3 years with these guys based upon the number of holidays I spent with them and their families. We had adventures together, we had fights, we had make-ups, we had long boring times where we just sat around and bullshited with each other. They were a happiness I created during a time where I was weak and unable to do anything about. When I got home not only did I realize that they were not real but more importantly upon realizing that they were figments of my imagination that I would never again be able to hang out with them ever again. To me, 3 of my closest friends of 3 years have just died and I was not strong enough to deal with that at that moment.
Every time I mentioned them it would bring me to tears. I would remember how much fun it was to talk about building things with Garret and watching anime with Jim, and debating with Yuki. I would remember meeting their families and how Yuki’s family is insane in the same way I think normal people think I’m insane. I remember playing pranks on Jim’s families and how we’d all laugh and joke about it every other time we got to meet. I would remember trying to get Garret to drink something other than beer because he was starting to get a gut. But most of all I worried that I would start forgetting stuff. It’s one thing to go through a mourning period and grieve but it’s another thing (for me at least) to feel that you’re forgetting them, that the only thing you can have to remember them in contained in a strainer. I also kind of felt silly crying about imaginary friends but it was very much like Tom Hanks crying about Wilson in Castaway.
The guilt, mourning, withdrawal, general post-op depression, being a shell of my former self, all combined into a very nice razor bladed poll of self-fuckery. The good thing I guess was that at the time I didn’t even know that I was going through all of this. It just felt really crappy nearly all the time. Eventually though, through the help of friends and family, I was able to deal with everything and start rebuilding myself.
First thing I had to do was be able to sit long enough to blog this whole ordeal. Now that I’ve done that I plan on sharing some stories of Garret, Jim, and Yuki so that I will be able to always remember them and share them with my actual reality friends and family. Then there is exercising and remaking my blood supply which I discovered has a lot to do with what makes me feel invincible. Then there’s more PT so I can relearn to walk, sit and stand more independently and after that I’m sure I would have rebuilt myself a bit more to be the person I once was.
… At least I better cause I got babies on the way.
So that’s my story, I hope you enjoyed it, wish me luck.
It’s surgery day it’s surgery day! Joyous joyous under the knife day. Nothing particularly of interest happened on that day. Obviously I lived, the surgery went well and took a while. The only thing worth mentioning I guess is that I got a catheter when I was knocked out. Let me tell you something about having a catheter put into you, when they finally take it out you pee like a baby again. There is just no way you can hold it like you used to, if you got to go you better find somewhere quick.
Not a terrible lot happened post surgery. I was back in bed like I was before, only this time moving hurt a lot worse. I also had tubes connected to me. One of them lead to a machine that made noise at random intervals and another was a drainage tube that lead to a collection disc where I saw how much of my blood was leaving my body. Fairly interesting stuff if it’s not happening you to. BUT since during surgery I went from a hematocrit level of 48/49 to a 22/23 in my head I lost about half my blood and I’m laying there watching more drain out of me.
All this left me a shell of my former self. I had been drained in nearly every sense that I could think of. I had not the power to tolerate anything, I had not the strength to do anything about and I had not the will either. To further ensure that I didn’t do anything all I wanted to eat (when I did want to eat) was soup and gelatin for fear of pooping. So I just did a lot of laying there wallowing in self pity or loathing or whatever crying to myself. Not just misty eyed tear drops oh no, these are fat crocodile tears that burst from my eyes, waterfalled down my face and collected in pools in my ears. I hated those pools.
Every night nurses would come by to run tests. I would be awaken by bright lights have needles poked into me, pricked, squeezed, and prodded at. Then they would leave and I would try to get some rest. This would happen 4-6 times a night. It’s not a situation where one gets a lot of rest. Why didn’t they just do these tests when I’m awake? 2-3 tests throughout the entire course of the day that’s it. Why do these tests have to be done at night?! Goddamnit.
I hated these times. I hated these times and I could do nothing about it. I felt a little better when I got 2 units of blood put into me but I was hoping to feel like what Burns felt in the Simpsons when he got blood from Bart but all I felt was slightly less shitty. Still it was an improvement at least now I could pee and wiggle without getting dizzy and knee buckling headaches.
I think this is a good time to bring up “Bob.” Bob was a waist high purple dinosaur whom I so named because we went bobsledding together. I think I had started to go insane a bit but I saw Bob before I went under the knife so he was very clearly a hallucination for me. He was a very fun imaginary friend. I had other hallucinations as well but I didn’t know that they were hallucinations until I got home.
Oh the day that they told me I might be able to go home I cried so hard… I eventually did go home on the day that they said. I don’t know if it was because it was actually ready or I just didn’t want to stay but after 3 days of healing and doing little else other than drinking, crying and peeing I had managed to build up enough will to do the physical therapy test and convince everyone I needed that I was ok to go home.
Next time I’ll tell you about home and how I cried even more… but differently.
If there were happy times during all of this these would be it. Sure I was in pain but I got drugs. Good drugs. Drugs so good I’ve never even heard of them before. Good thing too. People would kill for these things. I got the mega-happy-super-secret-compartment-in-the-closet-drugs. Yay me! Like a proper nerd here’s how the application of drugs affected me:
At this point they have not given me the self medicate button but every 4 hours if I wanted to they would inject me with the good stuff IN ADDITION TO the stuff I was already taking which is numerous. I think at one time I was on 8 different medications and only 2 of them were normal. I think they were prescription strength pepcid AC and a poop softener because apparently the other drugs I was taking would really f- me up if I didn’t. The other 5 drugs though, they were just warm up acts. The main attraction was the liquid dilated (LD) they pumped into my veins whenever I was in serious pain. LD started to take the pain away in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, joy. It would work for pretty long too AND it was a hallucinogen. Something that I have never experienced before and it was awesome! It came at a very hefty price which I will get to but for now, it’s awesome.
Well, mostly awesome. I was in this state for nearly a week and while this state is better than the CONSTANTLY in pain state I was in before I came here you have to realize that I’m just laying in a bed this whole time. I’m not doing much of anything but laying still, rolling over, peeing into a plastic jug and rolling back over. It’s kind of a shitty way to go about your day (if you don’t account for LD and the marvelous stories it brings) and that didn’t hit me as hard until Thanksgiving morning.
Something you should know about me. I love Thanksgiving. I love it more than any other holiday. To me Thanksgiving is the one holiday untouched and uncorrupted by those who want to make a buck. It’s a holiday about eating and spending time with loved ones. It’s a time where nothing truly momentus can happen yet it could be one of the most important things in your life. And while I lay in my hospital bed on Thanksgiving morning, before any of my numerous loved ones came and visited/keep me company, before any of the nurses came in to check up on me, drained in every way, drugged and alone I quietly wept to myself. I wept because it was bascially the only thing I could do physically really and I was so very sad…
I don’t want you to think that I was alone much though. Perish the thought. In fact there were only a few rare moments throughout the days that I was there that I was actually conscious and alone. Which again is why I was sad. My life is filled with wonderful loving people and sometimes it’s hard to get everyone to gather together in once place and I just missed a chance. It’s not my only chance but it is a moment of opportunity missed and I love my family and friends very much.
Next time I’ll tell you about the surgery and post op recovery which was shitty but where the really good LD stories come from.
So I got major back surgery not too long ago and am starting to get better now. Well, “better” in that I can sit long enough to type it up. So here’s my story about how it went down, the ambulance, the drugs, the getting cut up and pricked, and the recovery thus far. Thanks to all my friends and family who have helped me get through all this thus far. This is for them.
I had been getting “flare ups” some days before it got really bad. The thing you should know about pinched nerves, it’s not the actual pinching of the nerve that is the painful part but the inflammation that results from it. Having your nerve inflamed is nearly literally setting a fire onto the thing in your body that produces the sensation of “pain.” It’s not happy and you would do well to try to avoid having to go through that as little as possible in your life.
It is at this time I would like to address the “1-10 pain scale” and how utterly useless most people’s application of it. Here’s an XKCD comic illustrating my point:
Basically when your 10 is “worst pain imaginable” anything you’re going through where you can communicate back a number really should be just a one. Otherwise you’re just not very imaginative. If you’re just sitting there screaming over and over again I guess I’ll permit a score of 3 or above. Here’s a more useful pain chart from Allie Brosh:
In any case I think I’ve made my point. From here on out my scale is 1 is the slightest of pains, a single strand of body hair being pulled out I guess, and 10 is continuously being stabbed. Why something so graphic? Because it’s clear and nearly everyone can imagine what that feels like. 9 would only be getting stabbed once and so it digresses.
So, on the Sunday where the pain was so bad we had to call the ambulance to get me to the hospital I would say my pain was at a 10. There was a moment where I had asked my wife if she would go get a gun and shoot me in the face. I was joking but had she actually have a gun pointed at my face I don’t think I would have been. That pain’s a 10. I had a couple of flare ups earlier that week and they were 7’s and 8’s, not quite a stabbing but nearly similar in how debilitating it was. I had to leave a restaurant to lie down in the car it was so bad.
The team that responded to our 9-1-1 call was 2 female EMT’s and after some time begging them to just knock me out and throw me down the stairs they decided that they were not going to move 300 lbs of me anywhere out of the chair I was immobilized in. 1 call later and 4 “fuck you I don’t need a neck” firefighters come and we all stand there debating on how best to move me.
It so happened to be fortunate that I was sitting on a sheet and they were able to lift me from the chair with the sheet and put me in a gurney. The gurney made me feel like a poop traveling through the lower intestines, damn the narrow hallways in my house. Eventually they load me onto the ambulance and I am on my way to the hospital.
As a final note for this day, if you ever take a ride in an ambulance you DO NOT, NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT want to go over speed bumps. If your situation is bad enough that you are taking a ride in an ambulance you with hate every bump and pit in the road I’m just saying.
Ok I really have to try hard to not be one of those people who talk about their kids all the damn time.
Yay exciting times. Just one year ago I was celebrating my surviving getting married. Now I have a kid on the way, I’ve deleted facebook, hit the gym and should I run into any trouble I’m able to lawyer up if I need to.
So far so good though. Can’t wait to see what this new year brings.