A pause in my life

A law of blogging: the more you have to blog about, the less likely you are to have enough time to blog.

My life has been very full with work and preparations for surgery. The surgery has now happened and I have recovered to the point of being out of pain with no pain pills required. I will be out of work on medical leave for three more weeks - a pause for some reading, some knitting, and some thinking during the glorious days of May.

This past week I went to Fletcher Allen Health Center in Burlington, Vermont, and had a laproscopic hysterectomy. As usual, immersion in the alternate culture of modern medicine was an interesting experience. Every hospital is different, and FAHC is my favorite one so far.

The hospital is a full fledged teaching hospital, rife with med students and residents, but without the underlying feeling of stress that I sense at Strong Memorial Hospital, the other teaching hospital that I know. Every contact that I had with every level of staff was friendly, polite, and kind. The courtesy wasn’t just given to me, either. My roommate was recovering from cardiac bypass surgery, and didn’t seem to completely understand her care. She also was impatient with the pace of her recovery, fretting that numbness in her leg now meant she might lose the ability to drive. I listened as staff explained and reassured over and over, and never once heard anyone lose patience with her.

Then there was the menu. Instead of a xeroxed piece of paper on which you circle the most attractive (or least unappealing) choice, there is room service. Seriously. You pick what you want from a standard menu, phone in your order, and a half hour later your meal is delivered to your bedside. The choices include pecan crusted trout, seafood risotto, vegetarian lentil soup, mushroom ravioli, roast turkey, cream cheese brownies, and homemade pumpkin custard. My roommate didn’t like the choices, her comment was “the menu never changes.” I was sad that I was only able to try a few of the items. My verdict: quite good for institutional cooking.

The pace of my recovery is amazing. Be operated on one day, go home in relative comfort the next. I have three small incisions on my belly that are sealed with a clear glue. The internal work is also sealed up, and I’m not using any pads. Now that I have stopped taking the narcotics, my thoughts are clear. I’m sleeping well. I’m eating well. I’m feeling pretty darn well.


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