Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Status report -- or -- There's no such thing as a straightaway on the road to recovery

I am five weeks post surgery as of tomorrow.

This past weekend, having cut down from six Norco tablets a day to four to three, I decided it was time to quit cold turkey. I'd been here at work -- sort of -- for parts of two weeks, unable to focus, unable to concentrate, unable to complete even simple tasks.

This was entirely unacceptable: OK, so I never could focus or concentrate -- but I'd always been able to complete simple tasks. If they were simple enough.

So I stopped with the meds. I figured I could control any lingering pain with Advil or something along those lines and I didn't think I'd find that there was a whole lot of pain in any event.

And I wanted to be at home when I did this.

Because there are all sorts of detours and dead ends on the road to recovery, at least in my case: Every time I do anything new my body reacts. And it reacts in the only way a body mostly deprived of its colon seems wont to do. Yes, I had to be at home.

And in the course of this project, Older Daughter came in for the weekend. She brought me this belated birthday present:

Yes, a book about baseball, Sox and the City -- by Richard Roeper, the guy most of you outside Chicago are most likely to know as the junior host of Ebert & Roeper, the syndicated movie review show.

I know some of you are tiring of my incessant yammering about baseball -- but, bear with me a minute or two and I'll expand the scope of the discussion. Promise.

Roeper's book illustrates the difference between memory and research. Oh, he shares his memories, and I'm thoroughly enjoying them -- but he's actually looked up all sorts of stuff I just kinda sorta remember.

Emphasis on kinda sorta. And it's already had an influence on what I've written here.

For instance, in my Opening Day post this week, I was going to try and justify my brief 1969 flirtation with that North Side baseball club with the Sox losing their flagship radio outlet (WMAQ) and having to cobble together a string of suburban radio stations, each with a weaker signal than the next. But fortunately Roeper's book reminded me -- before I hit the "Publish" button -- that this disaster happened in 1971 -- after I'd recovered from my moment of weakness.

And Roeper made a passing reference to the 1999 Sox/ Cubs series, citing Sox shortstop Mike Caruso's 8th inning home run "in the deciding game of the series" -- on June 13, 1999. I'd recently told a story here about Oldest Son's 1999 grammar school graduation -- where I got clobbered by the grandmother of one of Oldest Son's classmates because... well because she knows I'm a Sox fan and the Cubs lost that day. And I thought that this happened on the day the Sox swept the series. And indeed the Sox did sweep that series! But Oldest Son's graduation was Saturday, June 12, 1999. The Sox clinched the series that day with an 8-2 pasting of the Cubbies... but the sweep hadn't yet happened.

(But that very nice grandmotherly lady did hit me: I didn't confuse that! I still give her guff about it....)

So memory and focus and concentration are much on my mind these days as I continue down this road to full recovery -- but I think it's safe to day -- if I may borrow the memorably infelicitous phrase used by former Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson III when launching a campaign -- "The sap is rising." My head is beginning to clear -- and I have hopes of completing simple tasks in the near future....

But I still think Long Suffering Spouse will give the surgeon both barrels when we see him next Monday. But we'll talk about that -- maybe -- next week.


There's another reason why memory, focus, and concentration are so much on my mind these days.

I recently got an email from a publicist plugging a new book, Carved in Sand, available today from HarperCollins.

Ms. Carter (that's the publicist's name) was kind enough to send me a review copy and I've started in on it... although it did get bumped by the Roeper book... and I think I'll enjoy it more with a clearer head.

And maybe figure out how to clear my head still further in the process.

I'll be getting back to you on this.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

you had me all through the pills curmy, but then on to the sports thingy, sigh... lost me again. is that you picture? i know it's not. i'm sick again, believe that? sick sucks, but i am going on my cruise monday or bust... smiles, bee

Shelby said...

be well and make that doctor pay for his keep.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I agree with Shelby!

Linda said...

Why are men always in such a rush when it comes to things of a medicinal nature? Granted, I know that it sucks to not be able to concentrate or do simple tasks or focus or ... uh, what was I talking about??

Oh yeah! Medications! That's it! Advil is a great OTC drug but it is only Advil after all and can't possibly replace the power of a prescribed pain reliever; perhaps instead of going cold turkey, you might want to take it down a little slower than just switching from Norco to Advil. Of course, that's spoken by someone who doesn't tolerate and/or like pain very much!

But still, like the tortoise and the hare I sometimes think that slow and steady really does win the race and just remember, we're older than we used to be so we heal a bit slower, too.

Okay, enough preaching - enjoy the baseball season and the books!

Where fibers meet mud said...

... just a thought... sometimes those meidicines that put you out for the carving take a good 6 weeks to leave the system (aka the Liver) and in the meantime make a person quite confused and half-minded! Just my experience with the medicines that allow for the carving of the human coil... hang in there Curmmy... it will snap back along about week six!

Anonymous said...

don't be too hard on yourself. you had a MAJOR surgery.


Patti said...

I agree with Linda, "fibers" and May - you need to be a "patient" patient after having major surgery.


sari said...

I like the baseball talk, just so you know.

Feel better soon, at least you have some good reading to get you through. I'd just be playing my gameboy, ha ha.

Amazing Gracie said...

I went back to work not quite 3 weeks after my gastric bypass and in parking, wiped out my side view mirror. We had very narrow parking spots in a parking garage and backing in was the best way to go. I'd been doing it for years!
I think the quality of the work I produced for the next three weeks of just about that quality! A wreck!
I really shouldn't have been driving, due to mental and physical limitations. After all, I'd been incised from stem to stern and was wearing a "corset" to keep everything where it belonged. I suppose I was trying to prove something. All I proved was, I was too dopey to drive and try to shove paperwork around.
Take your time...