CommunityPam's House Blend

Thanks, everyone — see you all on the other side of the slice and dice!

Ah yes. Slice and dice day is only a few hours away. Some tidbits on my prep, for those who have been following things…

Photos: We had a great early Thanksgiving with my brother and his family — my sister-in-law Miranda and Mr. E, our nephew. And Mr. E is expecting a new brother in a few months — Mr. C! Anyway, we celebrated with non-traditional food — BBQ beef brisket, mac and cheese, caesar salad and scones from Foster’s Market, something here in Durham that Tim and Miranda miss dearly up in Delaware. I couldn’t eat much, but I had a taste of everything.

We took a nice long walk around the lake near my house with the doggies, and spent the evening playing Scattegories and making fools out of ourselves singing answers to 80s music trivia before turning in last night. My singing is godawful. It’s a wonder Casey and Chloe didn’t howl when I sang “Take My Breath Away.”

They left early this AM and we miss them already. Along with the constant pain from the fibroids, my  fibromyalgia has been acting up a lot today, and the diabetic neuropathy in my feet (permanent nerve damage; the good BG control hasn’t helped that at all) kicked my posterior after the walk yesterday. But it was worth it to have fun with family in the beautiful fall weather here. The trees are losing their leaves, but there is still plenty of color to enjoy.

The fun begins early

Kate and I have to get up early tomorrow (Monday) — we have to be over to Durham Regional Hospital at 5:45 AM for the 7:15 AM surgery. Of course I don’t expect they’ll have me out cold on the table and operating then; none of the surgeries I’ve had ever started on time. The fact I’m the first one in the queue is good though.

So since I have insulin-dependent diabetes and have spent the last month on a crash course of frequent blood glucose testing, 8-9 needles a day, a new injectable meds and juggling a very carb-restricted diet to get to a stable 8.0 A1C (average almost non-diabetic control), I’m quite ready to get this whole shebang on.

Watching my numbers

My major issue, given the above, is how I handle my oral and injectable meds tonight so that if there are delays, I do not have a hypoglycemic crash during surgery. As many of you know, during the last month this has been my major issue during this stiff regimen. Tight control almost always comes with higher risks of low blood sugar attacks that come out of the blue. And I’ve had them at night and at work (testing as low as 52; people pass out at 40), but I have been able to stave off passing out by keeping sugar-based stuff (Starbursts/Sweetarts) on me all the time.

So the deal is I can take all of my oral non-diabetes meds tonight; no Glucophage, only 15 units of long-acting insulin (Lantus), and no short-acting insulin (Humalog) tomorrow AM.

All of the painful, irritating run up to this — the increased number of needles, the low-blood sugar crashes, will all be worth it if I come through this healthy and no infections occur, the increased risk of infection is the biggest risk for anyone with diabetes when it comes to surgery. I’ll have to remain on this horrid regimen for several weeks post surgery until I am in the clear re: infection.

The state of health care today (in my case, anyway)

I am fortunate to have health insurance through my employer, but of course these days that doesn’t mean people are scot-free when it comes to the vagaries of the health care industrial complex. Some notable amusements:

* the 24-hour turnaround: I am having a total laproscopic hysterectomy, which means I actually get to stay in the hospital overnight, kicked out early on Tuesday (barring complications). If for some reason the surgeon has to switch to an abdominal incision, then I would probably be in another day or so.

* the pre-pay call for $: I received a call last week from the hospital; Kate took the message so I called them back, thinking it was about my pre-op appointment the next day. I call and it’s the financial accounting department for the hospital, asking me how I wanted to pay my deductible in advance. I could choose from installment payments or taking the whole hit on my credit or debit card, but it didn’t sound like billing you after the fact was an option. When I had my gall bladder removed a few years ago, I don’t recall that occurring.

Anyway, I chose to take the full hit now, figuring that if I kick it during surgery, Kate won’t be left with that bill.

Medical power of attorney/patient visitation – no prob

One think we don’t have to worry about the matter of patient visitation in hospitals; while the WH announced publication of rules prohibiting Medicare and Medicaid hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, North Carolina has had this in place for some time now.

Both Kate and I have been hospitalized in this state a few times prior to NC enacting legislation allowing patients to designate their medical proxy and visitors without restriction and have never even had our relationship questioned to prove whether we have medical power of attorney for one another. I do have to bring in my own medical directive information/living will with me tomorrow, but that’s standard procedure in any case.

Thank you to all the pre-surgery well-wishes

I’ve received many emails, Tweets, Facebook messages/comments and healing thoughts from Blenders in the PHB comments. Trust me, I do mean it when I say that all are appreciated – Kate thanks you as well. For those of you who do know me and have sent wishes of support, you know I’ll be in touch as soon as I can; much love and virtual hugs.

What’s up on the Blend while I’m gone…

I’m officially out of work for a month, but I’ll be back online to say I’m alive and kicking without my uterus as soon as I can. I’m not sure if there is cell reception in my hospital room, but Kate will bring my phone so I can Tweet, FB and text if I’m conscious and of sound mind (I know, that’s questionable) if there is service.

Well, all of the Baristas will be posting as usual; I’ve not asked them to do anything more than they normally would, after all, they have lives outside of the Blend, lol. You may see a few guest posts from folks who have asked if they can pitch in;

Most of you don’t know me personally, and to take the time to write something should always be acknowledged as important.

I’ve embedded tonight’s vlogging entry here for your entertainment.

It will be interesting to compare notes with fellow blogger Shark-Fu of Angry Black Bitch, who is having a hysterectomy tomorrow as well. Best wishes to her for a successful slice and dice and recovery.

My Vlogging series is here on YouTube. Related blog posts are here.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding