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November 17th, 2006 — 11:36pm

I had my second ankle surgery today, and amazingly, it when far better than the other one. My throat is a little sore and I’m still a bit “out of it,” but more or less everything went fine….except when the physician giving me the primary physical noted that my heartbeat was slightly elevated and that I needed to have it looked at. But honestly, all that has to do with is sheer nerves. I would imagine that anyone’s heartbeat would be a little irregular prior to surgery. No matter how minor it is, there’s no telling what could happen in the operating room. For the past week, I’ve been plagued by nightmares of waking up in the recovery room minus my left foot, while the nurses tried to explain what had happened. If anything could cause an irregular heartbeat, I would say that is more than sufficient.

Having now undergone four ankle surgeries, I have the entire system down:

First the arrival at registration where they ask for anywhere from two to four hundred dollars up front, depending on one’s insurance, and the woman prints off the initial plastic bracelet. It has my full name, age, date of birth, the fact that I’m female (if that wasn’t initially evident), and my doctor’s name.
Then up stairs to the family waiting room, where they ask you who you are with and give you a rundown of the situation. If the doctor has anything to tell you, he may come out and talk to you prior to the surgery.
Then you go back to pre-op, where a nurse goes through your entire medical history: allergies, heart disease cancers, etc, and then makes you take a pregnancy test, regardless of what you have to say. Then you strip down to your underwear into that oh-so-ugly hospital gown that I’ve never managed to tie in the back by myself and once you’ve changed, your family or whoever you brought with you is allowed to come back and sit with you. The most nerve-racking part about the pre-op part is listening to everything else that’s going on around you. There’s something discomforting about hearing ALL the nurses complaining about just how tired they are or how ready they are for the weekend to come. It kind of gets me worried and all I can think about is how I would go lax on job, especially when I didn’t want to be there (hence the rapid heartbeat). It’s also unnerving listening to the nurses go over the same questions with other patients just a curtain away from you. Why do I know that the guy next to me is married, has had ACL reconstruction, a hernia operation and a vasectomy? Because he was loud and proud with all of his information. I suppose I am the type of person who just does not want to know about everyone else’s problems…Anyway, normally once the nurse leaves to grab my parents, I take that opportunity to pray, because really, you have no idea when you will be able to do it again. I didn’t today though. I guess it slipped my mind, as shocking as that seemed, but I did pray in the room just prior to surgery, as well as sang church songs to myself.
Once your family greets your in your beautiful gown, you get a moment to hand them any valuables, like the cross I never take off for example. Though now that I think about it, why would they need to make you take off something like a cross prior to surgery? I would think that if there was anywhere that I would need one, it would definitely be during a surgery where there’s no telling what would happen once the anesthesia knock me out cold.
After some time with your family, the nurse takes you back to the “other” pre-op area, where everyone is exceptionally clean and wearing scrubs and those surgical hats. Here is where you meet some of the nurses that will be in the operating room with you as well as the resident and the anesthesiologist. A nurse will administer the IV drip, which for me, has always hurt badly and even hurts more than my freshly operated foot following the surgery. From my own horrible past experiences with nurses taking blood, I know it is absolutely necessary for them to put the IV in my hand rather than anywhere else. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of nearly passing out while nurses dig around in my arm searching for a vein that had just slipped out of sight, that the claim was just there a moment ago. One time, the initial nurse tried, then another nurse, the one of the doctors in the area and then finally they had to bring out a nurse from the neo-natal ward to administer my IV. Needless to say, I want to do everything in my power to keep from having, yet another disaster in pre-op.
The nurse starts the IV and the finger heart monitor, and you start to meet the others while you wait. Today, my heart really began racing when my doctor asked on which foot we were operating. Now, every nurse, doctor, whoever, you will meet prior to entering the operating room will look at your plastic bracelet and constantly ask your name, date of birth and on what they were operating, so this was not unusual for my doctor to ask me this, but when he looked at my x-rays and then looked back at me, I admit I got scared. He’d been given the information for my right foot and there was a bit of confusion, since my surgery time had been changed about four times before today. Fortunately, everything got straightened out, but seeing that the expression that not everything was going as planned in your doctor’s eyes, does tend to cause a bit of stress.
When I met the anesthesiologist, I was given this anti-nausea patch behind the ear, because I had also had enough for vomiting profusely due to the anesthesia. Miraculously, it has worked perfectly up to the moment. Should I ever have to go through this again (and hopefully, I won’t), I fully plan to ask for this patch again. Today was the first time, I’ve come to 11:00PM the night of a surgery and still feel fine, sans vomiting! (Oh, damnit! I missed Law and Order!)
Anyway, then comes a bit of a wait depending on how many surgeries your doctor has in front of you and the prep time required for your own. Sometime in there, they give you a little something to relax you a bit and before you know it, you are being wheeled down the hall into the operating room.
The operating room has never failed to be overwhelming for me. First of all, it is so bright in there, it is nearly blinding. It’s also freezing and regardless of how long those hospital blankets that they keep coming at you with are, you will definitely feel the cold of that room. The nurse and the resident will wheel your bed right next to surgical bed and have you move yourself over the stationary bed. Then, the spread your arms out across these posts that slide out from the surgical bed and they come at you again with the warmed blankets, while sticking you with the circular disks they use to measure your vitals. Once they do all this, (someone took my glasses, but I really don’t remember at which point) they come at you with the face mask.
Now, for the past surgeries they’ve asked me to count backward from ten, but for this one and the one I had in September, they just placed the mask over my face and I was out within five seconds. I prefer not having to count because the lower you get before passing out, the more stressed you get that the anesthesia isn’t actually working and you’re going to feel the whole thing.
When you wake up in the recovery room, you know that some time has passed, but it does not register immediately. It feels like you just closed your eyes for a second and then ended up in the recovery room. I’ve had all types of experiences waking up in the recovery room, from kicking people the foot that they just operated on, to feeling it absolutely necessary to get out of that bed. What is always a constant for me, is the thrashing. I wish I could explain, but when I wake up like that, I just thrash my head from side to side until I can get a grasp on my bearings. This time there was just a little thrashing, but the last time, I actually had a few nurse holding me down as I struggled in the recovery bed and attempted to rip the oxygen wire they had going under my nose from my face. The last time I also discovered I had a type of sleep disorder, where I nearly stop breathing while I sleep. They kept having to wake me up to get my oxygen back up over 90. This time, they had to wake me a few times, but it was not nearly as bad the previous.
When the nurses are satisfied with your vitals, they ease you into a wheelchair and to the post-op area where they help you get dressed and give you a little something to eat, since you haven’t had anything to eat since 8pm the previous night. Your family greets you hear and they give you any pertinent instructions before easing back into the wheelchair and to your car so you can be driven home. I’ve always had issues staying awake for any length of time while in post-op, because I really can’t sleep prior to surgery. I just feel like there’s something else that I’m missing or forgetting and sleep never occurs.


I’ve gone through this surgery thing far too often and quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Hopefully, this will be the last aside from something like childbirth….

Oh well: Here’s praying!

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A moment.

October 30th, 2006 — 6:42pm

Yesterday, I sang in the Mass Choir for the first time. It was fun and we sang a lot of the songs I have loved throughout the time I have been coming to this church. I like the idea of singing in our choir. It feels like I am literally praising God (wow, that sounds corny), and I feel so good afterward.
Anyway, I’ve always wondered what is about that song “Stand.” It’s so emotional, no matter who leads it or which choir sings it. It always gets people to their feet and I had to fight back tears; not specifically happy tears, but just highly emotional. Then, came the altar call and I had to grab a tissue afterward. I looked around and half the people in the church were dabbing their eyes. I cried, not because of the song, but because during the prayer, I truly came to realize what our pastors had been saying for quite some time. At that moment I realized, every day with Jesus really is better than the day before. It was just an interesting moment for me, and it made me cry.

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Church? Join? The?

May 14th, 2006 — 10:05pm

I joined the church today. I had been preparing myself to do it without tears during most of the sermon, but I took one look at my mother’s sobbing face and I was done. I am simply too emotional. It took Grandma’s sigh after asking me whether or not I had joined the church to make me do it. Once I started thinking about it, I realized I really did not have a reason to keep making excuses of why not to join. Every time I would attend, I would make up some kind of excuse to keep me from approaching when I truly felt this need within me to go up during the call to join. Each time I went to church and we got to that part of the service, I always felt this tension.

What was holding me back? I could get crazy by saying it was the devil, but of course I won’t given that sometimes I question “his” existence. Talking with my mother on the car ride home, I realized there is just so much that I don’t understand about religion. There’s no reason for me not to just join that which I innately believe.

There was a point when I thought that maybe I wouldn’t join, “not this week,” I said to myself, but there was this point during the service….everyone was laughing and I felt good in church, for once. I actually said to myself, “I love church.” It came out so easy and natural. It was then I knew I really had no other excuse except a sense of late teen/early twenties rebellion, and I’ve been saying I’m past all my peers and all of that in itself.

Oh well….

I actually want to go to church next week, but what gets me is superstition. My family has always had this superstition about how one begins the new year, meaning where one is during when the new year approaches, is how one will live the entire year. I rang in the new year in church and now I’ve gone and joined the church. It wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t until after I’d joined that the thought occurred to me.

All I’ve got to say is “how interesting.”

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Bye Bye Bartleby

February 20th, 2006 — 4:09pm

Some time last night my Beta fish I had had for almost two years, Bartleby, died. Apathy followed not because “it’s just a fish,” but mostly because I felt everyone in the world would think such. It wasn’t until earlier this morning that I realized how often I unconsciously looked over at his bowl and smiled by seeing him and a real sadness overtook me….

This morning, I had an appointment with this “therapy” thing OSU offers….complete waste of time. I went with the hopes of getting info on how to stop procrastinating and tips on making myself a better person. I could teach a class on what must be done to be a “perfect” student, accomplishing such is the real trick. I left the office angry at losing that time I will never get back again, and once I got home (and glanced once again at the fish I took for granted), tears fell. Not for a long time, just long enough for me to come to realization that I’m all alone in this world. Though not actually; there are friends and family and what not, but to know that there’s no one in the world I can talk to about what truly ails me is quite the tearful thought.


Tonight, I will give Bartleby the second (the first died tragically two months after I brought him home) a proper flushing and tomorrow I will attempt to find a Bartleby the third who resembles the second enough to make me forget that anything went wrong today….at least, that is the hope…

Bye Bye Bartleby Irving Trish Fish II (April 2004 – February 2006)

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Is failing at failure a sign of succeeding in life?

February 17th, 2006 — 1:38pm

Neither of my two goals were accomplished nor was any real degree of progress made upon them. However, I did manage to not only put hours into studying for my Immunology exam, I also gave myself a brazen head start on an upcoming paper for General Microbiology. Albeit, I had originally thought the micro paper was due today and that thought had only occurred to me at 3 o’clock this morning, causing me the kind of stress and panic that manages to shave years off of one’s life, the fact remains that the paper is more than half completed and it is not even the wee hours of the morning preceding the paper’s actually due date.

So now I sit typing (making this hour twenty-eight since I had last slept) and wondering: my goals of finished books and lost pounds may end up arbitrary factors in my life, thus making them failures by and by, and thus, last night I failed at my failures. And yet….by failing at failure I have managed to thrust myself one step further to graduation, a good job and a successful life.

I suppose today’s real question should be, How does one define success? True, a dependable job which followed a successful collegiate graduation would be a measure of success to my family and peers, but what about myself? What does Dorienne think of the plausible successes lying ahead in her path? Are they really successes or are they failures convincingly hidden in a veil of the probable happiness perceived for me?

Perchance at a later date, when the rehabilitating splendor of REM sleep has once again graced my presence, I may revisit these thoughts and questions. For now, however, I shall end with three lists: one of things I ought to do, one of things I could do and another of things I will most likely end up doing.

List One – Should Do:

* Clean room
* Do dishes
* Return books to Health Sciences Library
* Follow up with Limited Brands interview
* Follow up with Anheuser Busch interview
* E-mail Biochemistry professor
* Call Mother
* Achieve a good night’s rest

List Two – Might Do:

* Place library in bookbag for ease of returning them tomorrow or Monday
* Call friends I have not spoken to in a while
* Achieve a good afternoon’s rest
* Go to opening of Sky Bar and drink until I cannot remember which card I used for a tab

List Three – Will Do:

* Update website (
* Edit a chapter of A Ten Minute Speech
* Play The Sims
* Fall asleep early in the morning and waste most of Saturday sleeping until 3pm

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