August, late-August, where-in-the-world-did-you-go-August. It's been cool - during the day, it's cool and sunny and not too humid, and at night cooler - near cold. Last night, the fire alarm went off at 2am and I was standing outside for 20 minutes while they tried to figure out how to shut if off (faulty smoke head or somethin somethin - why it's not faulty at 2pm in the afternoon, I'll never know), and it was so cool - 65 degrees - that I near tossed it, I was shivering! The cool clean air reminded me of Venice - and how we often woke early early in the morning, like 4am, to catch busses to exciting places and so on. They say rain tomorrow and Thursday - I see her, Fay, making her way up through Virginia and I'm happy for cool and wet weather for a bit.
Thanks to all who read and posted / emailed their thoughts my way... it has been a very a-typical few weeks for me. The short of it is, after my appendix came out, they put staples in the wound - to help close the skin. Well, my skin had other ideas - like trying to grow into the staples, so those had to come out, and were replaced by these "Steri-strips", which had an adhesive which further irritated the skin, and have been replaced by the foolproof and mostly icky process of cleaning and dressing the wound twice a day. It goes something like this, now: *remove clothing, remove binder (yup, I have to wear a fashionable white polyester girdle), remove tape and surgical pad (and screech in terror at how painful it is to tape and retape abdominal skin), remove gauze pads, pull wet (now dry) gauze from wound, get in shower, rinse and clean wound, get out of shower, dry, put new wet gauze in the wound, put new dry gauze on top of the wet gauze, tape new surgical pad to gauze, lie on bed for a few minutes thinking and relishing that it's now over (for now), reattach binder, re-dress, walk around all day; rep from * to end. Icky, I know - I keep telling people that I feel a little like Alice in that Tom Petty video where I'm made of cake and everyone's eating me - ie, when I look down and see this gaping hole in my abdomen. (Note: the process wasn't always so civilized - the first few nights it went something like: *remove clothing, shed tears of fear and discomfort, remove binder, shed tears of fear and discomfort, remove tape and surgical pad, shed tears of fear and discomfort, remove gauze pads, shed tears of fear and discomfort, pull wet (now dry) gauze from wound, shed tears of fear and discomfort to the point of crying like a little girl, and so on). It's the first moment in my life, really, where I've felt that maybe I couldn't be perpetually single - that having someone here, even just to hold my hand, would have made a huge difference.
With all that said, I have been very blessed in this entire thing (and I use the word "bless" sparingly otherwise, in everyday language). Friends have rallied to walk with me (to build strength), work delivered bags of groceries, family came down to stay with me, friends have picked me up at the hospital, friends have sent emails of support, work has been very flexible with leave (don't get me going here, even if I had not taken a sick day for 13 months, I wouldn't have had enough time to carry me - but, for the most part, mainly the people that matter and sign off on stuff, have been very helpful and understanding), and on and on. Even today, when I opened the $35,000 hospital bill and saw how little I had to pay out of pocket (a couple hundred bucks), I told myself how incredibly blessed I was - to be still alive, and to have had it get here the way it has.
Truly, I look back on the experience and can't believe it. I can barely remember being in the emergency room, having the catscan, and talking to the doctors. I can barely remember waking up in the hospital post surgery, talking to the nurses, or craning my head to watch that TV. There are moments I remember more clearly - coming to my room and asking the nurses to raise all the blinds (and open the windows, which they couldn't and wouldn't do), walking up and down the halls of the hospital to strengthen my body, being discharged, and so on - but overall, it's like it was all a very manageable dream. It's been great to have so much great support from everyone - a real wonderful moment.
Life's good - I'm at work this week, working mostly full days, and eating whatever I want (like veggie chili, brown rice, and a brownie I had for lunch today). I'm finding that extra protein in my diet - protein powder in a morning shake, beans and nuts in the afternoon, do a lot of good to manage my energy levels successfully - all good.
I've been knitting only slightly - working on a scarf that's long overdue (and cold weather is coming).
Anyway, I have a wee bit of editing to do before bed and an article due pretty shortly in September, but wanted to send a mass update out. Greener pastures are on their way, more to report when I can and am able. Meanwhile, apples are almost at the farm-stands! Yum!