Monthly Archives: August 2016

Immeasurable progress–GAH Wars

GAH! is what you say at a very high decibel level when your injured hip gets jerked, or moved or twisted in a way that causes excruciating pain.  About midnight, I got 15 mg of oxycodone.  This is supposed to be really powerful stuff.  Pain is about a 2 on a scale of 1-10, 10 (which I just established) being moving from gurney to x-ray table.  I get no breakfast because I’m having an operation.  They come in at 7 to do pre-op and stab me in the arm in the inside of my elbow.  Because of course, the other IV’s (now 4 of them!) are innies.  doh!  If I have to relieve myself, I have to use a bed pan.  Now let’s think about this…  I cannot move my bad hip, it’s still broken.  I cannot lie on my bad hip, it’s still broken.  This means that I use my massive upper body strength to pull up my good hip so they can JAM the thing under my butt.  It pinches, and I have to pull myself several inches up before they can get it where it needs to go.  GAH!  See, when I pull up with my arm, I bring my good foot in, and push up my hip with my good leg.  I can get higher this way.  They don’t understand why I just don’t lift my bad hip.  I’m still amazed that they don’t get this.  Michelle is really good at moving me around and making my pillows work and taking care of me.  She’s the PA nurse (so she’s not the charge nurse and doesn’t have an RN…)   She’s given me 2 pre-op baths. She’s very friendly, so it’s not as embarrassing as it could be.  Doctor Go comes in and asks me some questions and then pronounces me ok for surgery.  Yay!    Dr. Vicarious (not correct spelling to protect the innocent) comes in and explains the procedure.  Screws, and clamps that go from top of femur to knee cap will be put in.  I asked if he was going to put in a zipper this time.  This is 3rd operation on same hip.  He was not amused.  Maybe he will get it later.  So I had my “vicarious” experience.  It is now 9 am.

How many times can you do the Jeopardy Theme Song before you realize that when they say “soon” they don’t mean within the next 5 hours.  It is after 2 pm when they take me down to the ready room.  Remember all those innies that they couldn’t use to draw blood?  They don’t use them to put in the anesthetic either.  I have a new one in my wrist now.  GAH!   They’ve asked me a dozen questions, over and over and over again.  I think part of the anesthesia is enhanced boredom.  Finally they take me in, at least I assume so since I have apparently fallen asleep.

I awake with a very long bandage on my left leg which is now swollen nearly double.  I am extremely sore, and now it’s about 7:30. GAH!  Time for breakfast:  chicken salad sandwiches.  This is how you make a chicken salad sandwich.  1)  cut up chicken, add pickle relish and mayonnaise.  2)  find 2 slices of white bread.  3)  Use an ice cream scoop to drop the chicken salad on the bread, and add the top slice.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SPREAD OUT THE CHICKEN SALAD AS THAT WOULD GIVE IT DELUSIONS OF ESCAPING!  4) cut sandwich in 1/2.  5) deliver to patient  6) when the patient picks up the sandwich, the chicken salad sees it’s chance and makes a desperate leap onto the patient’s chest anyway.

I get 1 more shot of morphine.  I do not notice any difference in pain level.

I can still only lie on my back, and I have to maintain my L foot to roll in to lower the pain level.  Gah!  and Yay Animal Planet!

I don’t know what I weigh now because I have extra hardware and all that swelling.  Dang.


Immeasurable progress

Getting a broken hip is a very VERY inefficient way to lose weight.  It does tend to make you less hungry, and satisfies you sooner when you are eating…

I decided I was going to go to Orlando for a live event that would get me a professional speaking certification.  Left at 6 am on Monday, got to St. Louis about 7:30, then got to Orlando about 11.  Took the shuttle bus to my hotel–Marriott World Center and jumped off the shuttle with my 2 bags.  I took the revolving door and went in butt first because my hands were full.  When I got to the opening, I turned to get out.  It wasn’t the opening.  It was very clean glass.  About the time I was saying, “hmmm, this isn’t ri…” the following door ran me over and knocked me to the floor.  My leg didn’t work.  I knew I’d broken it.  I scooted out of the way and the security folks called an ambulance.  I could see the registration desk from my position at the door.  Sooooooo close.  Each new security person got to hear my woeful tale of how I ended up on the floor with a broken hip.  “How do you know it’s broken?”  “Because this is what it felt like the LAST time I broke my hip!”  I got a couple of selfies going into the ambulance.  I was transported to Celebration Hospital.  The name was curious.  Turns out it is a children’s hospital which might explain a few things.  Most of us picture Orlando and Miami and the rest of those places as a mecca for retired people.  The average age is 34?!  Where are the geezers?  Turns out, it takes a lot of millenials to take care of geezers.

The most painful thing about a broken hip is not the actual accident.  It is moving the patient around to find out what damage has been done.  At the hotel, they had to move me from my sitting position to the gurney.  About that time, without an xray or any other type of diagnostic machine, I could have told them EXACTLY where the break was  (at a very high pitched and high volume utterance I might add).  They rolled me to my good hip, then put a sheet under me.  They then tried to lift me onto the back board.  YEOWWWWW! I wasn’t sufficiently high off the ground when the jammed the back board under me. They got me to the gurney by way of the back board and then into the ambulance where I spent a very bumpy 15 miles getting to the ER.   It is now just after noon.  About 2 pm, they took me to the x ray room.  They were going to have to move me from the gurney, which was a foam mattress on wheels, to a smooth, slick table.  There were 2 tiny technicians.  I was aghast.  I said, “I weigh more than the both of you put together!”  They laughed and replied, “No you’re not!  We’re professionals, you have nothing to worry about.  Why I’m 105 and she’s 113.”  Now I’m seriously alarmed.  “You just proved my point!  I weigh more than the 2 of you put together!”  They smiled sweetly and grabbed the sheet I was lying on, told me to hug myself and pulled me 1/2 way on to the table.  I flinched!  Massively!  Hands and legs flew out so I could catch myself.  It was excruciating.  My bad leg remained in the air (I really don’t know how!) and I couldn’t relax it enough to get it to the table.  I kept saying, “I can’t put my leg down!  It won’t go!  You have to put my leg down!”  One grabbed my ankle to stabilize the leg.  (Bad idea!)  That really hurt, because there was no support under the knee and the leg was locked in panic.  I couldn’t relax it.  They got me moved  on the 2nd try.  It took an additional 2 or 3 minutes to get my injured leg down onto the table, and I finally relaxed it enough to uncramp it. They get all the pictures and now they have to move me back to the gurney.  I’m not enthusiastic.  So I’m thinking to myself, “Self?  This is Orlando!  Don’t they do about 100 hip surgeries a day here with all the boomers?  Why aren’t they better at this?”  There are about 300k hip replacements every year, and then there are broken hips and knees as well.  But apparently not at the Children’s Celebration Hospital.  Now they move me back to the gurney and it was slick, efficient and nearly painless.  I am surprised.  They roll me back into the ER.  The ER has decided to send me to Florida Hospital Orlando, their sister hospital that focuses on orthopedics.

They decide to do a CT scan before I go, and they have 4 big guys move me this time.  I asked for a forklift.  The CT scan table is shaped like a curved mattress sort of a tube to go into the scanner.  Once again, extremely painful going over.  Yes, again I am asked to hug myself.  Again I flinch and the leg goes up.  They tell me to relax my leg and if looks could kill, the CT machine would have been a ooey, gooey mess.  I feel a bit shocky and dizzy.  It takes a while for the pain to settle and I feel all crookedy on the table.  The curve on the sides is most uncomfortable.  I whine like a puppy.  The scan is finished and now it’s time to move me back.  NATURALLY when they move me back, I don’t clear the edge of the mattress on the gurney and it folds up on me.  They have to jostle me to straighten out the mattress.  I am practicing my Lamaze breathing so I don’t cry.

About 6:30, they come to get me to move me to the other hospital.  I have had 2 shots of morphine since this process started this morning.  At the ER, the nurse came in to establish an IV.  “Your veins are very deep!”  Meaning you’re too dam fat for us to find any blood supply.  She poked and poked and poked to no avail.  “I’m going to leave now, and cry a bit and get someone in here that knows what they’re doing.”  So male nurse comes in, and determines that I need the 22 gauge needle (which is small!) and finally taps in.  Takes some blood.  Then, when I get over to the Ortho hospital, they decide I need 2 more…one in each hand.  Those, they explain, are “innies”  that we put meds into you with (and it takes an average of 2 nurses and 4-6 pokes per IV). They come back to withdraw more blood.  They have to start a 4th IV! Because you cannot do outies with an innie IV.  Argh.  In comes Kathy, my angel of mercy tonight.  I ask her if I could have something to eat since it is now after 9 pm and have not had anything since leaving my house at 4:30 that morning.  She gets me 2 chicken salad sandwiches and informs me I will have nothing after midnight so they can operate tomorrow.

Woohoo!  I’ve lost 2 pounds!



I am a person of integrity.  I do what I say I’m going to do.  I tell the truth.  I don’t use truth as a weapon, and if someone needs to have some course corrections, I don’t use bluntness but careful guiding and care for the person to make adjustments in their growth.  What you see is what you get when you meet me.

Grit is the determination to get things done.  You set out a plan, you take the path, you finish what you start.  When things look hopeless, I don’t give up the task, I continue until it is done.  I believe in my learning system and know that if I apply this system, there isn’t anything I cannot learn, regardless of the subject matter.  I know some people that will say, “I hate math, I’m no good at it.”  I look askance and I think to myself, “No, they are not good at math because they don’t want to be.” So I coined the word, Integritty…full of grit

I am also extremely curious.  If something catches my imagination, I will make it a point to learn as much as I can about it.

Why this long introduction?  I was on my way home from rehearsal last night, and reflecting on the accomplishments I had achieved over my life.  (It was a 1 hour drive…)  And it came to me that most of the accomplishments that had given me the most pleasure were shot down by those around me.  When my hubby was in college, he couldn’t walk into a math class.  Why?  Because the other students would boo when he walked in.  He was so good, that he did all his math homework in ink.  He saw problems solved in his head before anyone else had a clue on where to start.  He was the same way in computer programming.  When he did something amazing, he got praise and adoration from his teachers and fellow students.  When I was in college and I did something amazing, I was accused of lying or cheating.  When he got perfect papers in math, he got A’s.  When I got perfect papers in math, I was brought in to the professor’s office and asked point blank if my future husband had done my homework.  When he aced the calculus test, his teachers glowed with pride at the mention of his name.  When I aced the calculus test, they checked me for a copy of the test, or hidden answers written on socks or sleeves.  When I had to take the piano proficiency test, we had to play the Star Spangled Banner and My Country ‘Tis of Thee without music.  I played the required songs with multiple arrangements in several different keys.  I played them as I heard them in my head.  The teachers told everyone that I had memorized 5 different versions of each piece.  Memorized?  There aren’t that many versions, and certainly not in that many keys.

In another instance, I was the 1st person in the history of the college to test out of 2nd semester sight singing and ear training.  They had me listed as “dropped” from the class. Do you want to know what the final test was?  They played a Bach Chorale and gave me a starting note.  I had to transcribe the melody and the bass line for the piece as I heard it, and they allowed me 6 repetitions of the song.  After 2 times, I had both parts written, and as I had 4 more times to go through it, I filled in the rest of the notes.  Then I analyzed the chords.  I hadn’t studied the “Picardy 3rd” in theory class yet, so I identified it as a Major I chord.  They checked my work, then came in and accused me of having memorizing the chorale before the test and writing it from memory.  I assured them that I hadn’t even played this chorale before, let alone memorized it.  I also asked them how difficult it would have been to know in advance which piece of music they were going to ask me to transcribe  and find, learn, and memorize it in the 3 days I had before the test.  They grudgingly allowed me to finish the semester without taking the course.  I didn’t find out until much later that instead of passing me, they had me “excused” from the class.

When I took the Series 7 exam for securities, I was in a class by myself.  Literally.  They handed me 13 binders and I had to complete 22 chapters with chapter tests, and 13 final tests and a green light test without benefit of class or teacher.  I did that.  I passed the series 7 test the 1st time I took it.  Later (about 10 years) I took the Series 26 exam for principals in securities.  I signed up for the test, then studied the material for about 2 weeks.  I figured I might as well take the Series 65 for Managed Accounts that would make me an IAR a couple weeks later.  I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not advisable.  I should study for my 26 for at least a month before taking the test, and I should not study for the 65 until after I had passed the 26.   I nodded and ignored him.  I had already studied for the test and I had to just wait for my test date, so I started studying for the series 65.   I took the 2 hour, 100+ question test for the 26 and passed it on my 1st attempt 7/23/2012.  Then, I took the 4 hour, 100+ question test for the 65 and passed it also on my 1st attempt 8/10/2012.  Both tests were completed in less than 1 1/2 hours each.  I was asked if I had taken a boot camp.  I was asked if I’d ever taken the test before.

My frustration is that as a person of integrity, and a person with “integritty” why the 1st conclusion people come to when I do things is that I am dishonest, that I cheat, that I lie.  The 1st assumption is that I, being the person they perceive me to be, am not capable of doing something that is not within their expectations, and that if I do anything very very well it proves that I have done something outside the rules to accomplish it.  This perception is so prevalent that I don’t dare give anyone an inkling of what I am capable of.  I think I am a good teacher, but I’m probably not.  I think I am a good musician, but I’m probably not.  I think I am very very good at understanding money, but I’m probably not.  What I’d like is to do something really well and have the reaction, “WOW!  That was amazing!  You are so GOOD at this!” instead of, “Wait, you did what?  Naw, you must have cheated, you lie–you have done this for years before you tried it in public.  Who are you trying to kid?  Nobody can do that, so you didn’t.  How’d you pull it off?”  My husband is one of very few that knows I don’t cheat or lie or exaggerate.  I can count on one hand the others that think this.  It is a lonely way to live.