7 Day Post-Op Chest Surgery

I am doing well. I went in today for my second post-op appointment. It’s been a week since I’ve had surgery! I can’t believe it It’s gone by so fast. Each day has been different. Yesterday was my hardest day yet and that’s because I didn’t take any pain medication. I was like, how do I know if I’m still in pain if I keep taking them. That was a mistake. I needed to taper off. When I saw my surgeon today she told me that I’m only a week out and that it’s normal to still be in pain and that right after surgery it was about staying ahead of the pain but now it is about only taking it as needed.

The highlights of the visit were 1) my drains were taken out! Woot! So I can walk much easier 2) my nurse was really nice and had pretty green eyes 3) I was able to tell my surgeon, thank you, and that I’ve very happy with the work she did.

My Aunt and Uncle have been troopers. I am so lucky to have them in my lives.

Besides resting and watching Parks and Recreation and The Office, I had a visit from a friend yesterday that I haven’t seen in awhile. It was nice but a tad too long. I was knackered when he left.

I am knackered now. Today was a full day of travel and my first time going out to eat since surgery. Going to go to bed early.

Until next time..



Post-Op Care

Things are going well for the most part. Yesterday we drove back down to my Surgeon’s for my 1st post-op appointment. I got to see my chest for the first time. It was a bit gnarly but the surgeon and head nurse were super enthusiastic about it and one of my friends said it will look damn near perfect in a few months. I don’t know about that. I know that it takes a year or so for the chest to settle down. Most guys I’ve seen on youtube, well, their chests look better as the years go by. As funny as it sounds I’m really interested in seeing what it looks like 2 years from today.

My Aunt isn’t feeling well today so I’ve been on my own. I wasn’t feeling well this morning. My stomach was hurting, I needed to take a pain pill but I felt like I was going to throw up but I needed to have something in my system to take the pain med. Ugh! I rang the bell that my Aunt gave me and rang it on and off for 5 minutes. She came and asked me what I needed and she ended up bringing me apple sauce and filling up my cup of water. I asked her to open up my med bottle for me because I struggled with it the night before. Then she said she was going back to bed. That was 4 hours ago 😦 She must really need the rest. I hope she feels better when she wakes up.

I got super hungry about an hour ago and got in a terrible mood because I was hungry and didn’t think I could do anything about it. I am a creature of habit. I usually have tea or hot water with lemon and a pinch of cinnamon in the morning. I can’t reach the mugs for tea. I can’t reach the bowls or the microwave so I can make instant oatmeal, I didn’t want any more apple sauce or crackers. But I figured something out. I very carefully got a small pot out of the lower cupboard, placed it on the stove and filled it with water from a red solo cup. The oatmeal is on the bottom shelf in another cupboard so I had to squat carefully to get it causing a small amount of discomfort. The result is that the oatmeal is cooking! In the same cupboard that the oatmeal on the shelf nearest my mid section there are a can of prunes. Now normally I would ignore them but for the past day and a half I’ve been drinking prune juice and eating a few prunes so I can stop being stopped up. So right now they are necessary and my brain has been tricked into thinking, “oh good, relief” when I see them. ha ha

The pain has significantly decreased. I’m down to taking one pain pill every 4.5 hours. I am going to try to stretch it out tomorrow to 6 hours and hopefully won’t feel a need for them by Sunday. I have 5 more days of antibiotics.

I’ve been feeling all sorts of things. Early this morning, like around 2am I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and I can now appreciate how flat my chest is. I also had this feeling of relief and freedom and space in my body, in my head. I am post-op. It’s a trippy thing to be able to say and really at this point indescribable in terms of how I actually feel.

Anyways, today besides the adventure of getting food in me and getting what comes in out of me, I’ll be going for another walk with my Uncle and watching some TV. I may watch some Parks and Recreation or The Office. I want to keep it light.

Hope everyone is having a Happy Friday or Happy whatever day of the week you are reading this!


Graduation Hiccup

So…I petitioned to graduate with the A.A. in American Sign Language Studies and it got denied because I didn’t have the labs for my ASL language classes and the Fingerspelling class that used to be offered has been replaced with the one I just finished in the fall. At the time that I took the language classes the labs weren’t a part of the program. I’ve known at least 3 people who have had the labs waived in the past. I emailed the Chair of the Department early last week and he said they are no longer waiving lab classes (as of Spring ’14) and recommended that I make an appointment with the Dean to explain my situation. I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the Dean on Friday afternoon.
The Dean is super nice. She spent 45 minutes with me, making calls, getting forms, contacting a couple of Professors. Unfortunately for me, a VP for the school district made a blanket rule of no more waivers. This affects the ASL Program, Interior Design Program and Architecture Program, maybe more. The Dean signed a form for me to substitute the fingerspelling class. I have to turn that in to the evaluations office this upcoming week. She also made it so I can take the lab classes concurrently. So, late afternoon on Friday, I signed up for labs for ASL II, III, IV TWTH and ASL I lab is MTW. The labs are one hour each. It’s super inconvenient and really (not being dramatic here), life changing. The thing is I had to make this decision quickly. l I feel I have to do it. I’ve come too far not to finish. If I don’t do it, all that I that I went through last fall would be wasted. It makes me sick to think about how fucking hard the past 5 months have been. I think I’d also feel bitter about not getting the degree. So that’s that. Housing, I don’t know what I’ll do. I am staying with a friend this week. I’ll figure it out as I go along. Prayers up.
Friday morning I had an appointment with my surgeon for Chest Surgery. The next appointment was to be a 1-hour pre-op appointment and the next thing would be surgery. I started this process last June, many Dr’s appointments, and letters, phone calls, insurance things. I’ll have to push surgery back to May. I’ve been needing/wanting this surgery for almost 6 years..so that’s how serious I feel about finishing this degree. I have to.

edited to add: This is a response to a friend who wrote me: Evan, check the student handbook. There is usually something about graduating with the requirements under which you began the program.

Trust me, I’ve been through it with the Academic advisor for ASL, the Chair of the Department, and the Dean. The VPI (Vice President of Instruction) for the Community College School District has said no under Title 5 Regulations. My advisor emailed the Vice Chancellor of our school district. If I want to graduate with this degree I have to take the labs and this just came to a head Friday afternoon. You have to know that I’ve done what I could in this circumstance. It’s unfortunate.

Maybe I need to explain better. In 2010 I declared the American Sign Language Interpreting Major. My catalog rights are from that year, 2010/2011. There were no labs offered at that time. Starting 2011/2012, the program was split into 2: American Sign Language Studies (no interpreting classes) and American Sign Language Interpreting.
Starting fall of 2011, labs became part of the program, which meant that every language class required co-enrollment with the lab from that level. I had finished with ASL IV in the summer of 2011 before the labs were part of the program AND right before the American Sign Language Studies major was created.
Over the next few semesters I know of a couple people who were able to get the AA in ASL Studies who were able to get the labs waived. Apparently as of last Spring, the VPI declared that district policy says that no classes for any degrees in the district would be waived. This blanket rule affects many students from many majors.
I can use my catalog rights from the year I declared but I’d need to take the 7 interpreting classes required for that degree and I wouldn’t need the labs or I can use the catalog rights from 2011, take the labs, and get the ASL Studies AA, which doesn’t require that I take interpreting classes.
I want anyone reading to know that I wouldn’t subject myself to the nightmare of searching for a place to stay every day of the week or postpone having surgery (I want to cry just thinking about that) if I hadn’t exhausted every possible solution. I had to make a decision I can live with in the long run. The semester officially starts today. This is it.