Friday morning I had the TAU. I LOVE anesthesia. I barely remember anything past being rolled into the operating room feet first. There was initially some confusion as to whether I should be in this small area head or feet first. The OR RN confirmed with the doctor that I ought to enter feet first. Swing me around. I was fine with the change. I liked watching the real workings of an OR. The next thing I remember was watching the Dr. squeezing something clear from a syringe into a pretty blue port on the IV tube, about shoulder level to me, that intersected with an equally clear and flexible tubing feeding liquids through a needle inserted into a vein in my right hand. La-la Land! I was a HAPPY woman.
The procedure must have ended because, at some point someone said “Anal”. I was coherent enough to recognize I was back in the pre-Op/Recovery area. Anal is good. My son confirmed this later in the day. The doctor spoke with him (thank god-because I have no idea what he said to me in the Recovery room. Blah-blah-blahaahahhahhahahahhahaha…
My son said he believes we caught it early. I don’t know if “early” is a stage. But, I’ll take it. I feel very positive. Potentially (baring bad news on the pathology) I will only need a six-week course of chemo and daily radiation. This is SO gonna drive up my BioDiesel fuel cost.
The chemo/radiation docs (one of each you may recall) said “some people” are able to continue to work through their treatment. I am pretty sure I am not that physically or emotionally strong. Yes. I am a wuss (How the hell do you spell woose/wuse/wuuse/no ‘e’ at all???) to hell with the spelling I am one.
My son drove me home, helped me to my chair where I ate quite groggilly ate my Five Guys cheeseburger and fries. With a rotund tummy, happy attitude (Yay drugs!!), and a couch a few steps away I was lead to my couch, made sure I was comfortable and asked him to please take my dog. It was clear (not that anything was actually clear at this point) I was not going to be able or stable enough on my feet to walk her.
Saturday (Damn it is JUNE already!?!) I went to my regular Torah study and services feeling fine. My son brought my dog and car back and we drove to a restaurant for lunch. No sooner had I gotten to the counter to order than I began feeling like I do when I haven’t eaten for a LOOONG time. I was beginning to shake. I knew this would stop as soon as I got a little food into my tummy. With this belief I sat down at our table.
I had ordered a side of guacamole and chips to be brought out IMMEDIATELY and they were. I dove into the chips swooped up some guacamole and began chowing down. After a few guacamole filled chips and water I thought, “I ought to be feeling better than this. I have had enough food to start taking the edge off. I don’t understand why it isn’t working.” And it was not working. Instead of stabilizing my glucose levels I felt as if I had suddenly lost ALL energy. This was not at all like my normal glucose crash. In fact, I didn’t believe it was related to my glucose levels at all. I tried to eat, slowly. Taking care to appear to be fine so as not to scare my son.
It didn’t work. I became so sweaty I was mopping my brow. It was not at all hot out Saturday. It was most certainly hot inside myself. I was an oven. I told my son that I was in trouble. The look on his face was initially a bit irritated. He had plans for the day. He was hungry. He did not yet, comprehend that I was in trouble. I kept trying to take a nibble here and a nibble there. After about five minutes of this I realized I was going to have to go home. If I could have I would have laid down right there on the concrete floor and gone to sleep. I was that tired. It was as if every drop of energy I had was being used to keep me semi-upright in my chair and my chin off my chest. My son recognized rather quickly then, that I was in trouble. We asked for and quickly got “go” boxes. He put all our food into them. I didn’t even have enough energy to pick up my fork at this point much less my plate. Had I tried to I am pretty sure the plate and all the sloppy beans, eggs, tamale, and sauce would end up all over the table and my clothes. I told my son that I was not safe to drive.
I cannot remember the last time I ever felt like that. I have driven through, near blizzards along the Turnagain Arm to get to Indian or Girdwood many times, through fevers, and chills, and hives from head to foot with my own two pre-schoolers and my neighbors two same aged +- kids to my allergy doctor. I am pretty sure I have driven while running a 103 degree temperature to pick up the kids or take them where ever they needed to be.
My son grabbed the now full “go” boxes trotted off for the car and drove it from half-a-block-away parking spot to one in a parking lot right behind the restaurant (that I never knew existed). He came back inside helped me up and made sure I was hanging on to his arm. He guided me back to the car. He said I was “clammy”. He had already checked my pulse inside and determined it felt strong. Which, I thought was really weird since I suddenly felt so incredibly weak.
He asked if I had my colorectal surgeons number. I was too confused to find it in my phone when I spied a pamphlet I had gotten from his office a couple of days previous lying on the passenger side floor between my feet. I considered making him pick it up. But, he was pacing back and forth calling 9-1-1 and they apparently suggested he call my doctor. The pamphlet weighed a ton. I was able to hand it to him well, sort of. I pretty much dropped it into the driver side seat and said “Here.” It was what I had hoped. My doctor’s office numbers. He called, got the “answering service”, explained the problem and must have been told to wait for the on-call doctor’s return call.
In the meantime I am getting weaker and weaker. I drank enough water. Hell, I had two eighteen ounce bottles of water at shul and two glasses inside the restaurant. I was plenty well hydrated. I could barely hold up my head. I told him to just head for home. I had my phone on my right sweaty thigh and his on my left. He kept feeling my arms and my forehead remarking how “clammy” I was.
I felt his phone vibrate and heard the ring. I was able to pick up the phone and give it him. While driving he answered the phone. It was the on-call doctor. I have no idea what they discussed. I do recall hearing him say, “I don’t know of one in the area.” I was pretty sure he was talking about an Emergency Room. Whether he heard me or not I have no idea but, I did say the name of the closest one. Didn’t matter. He took me home. Got me into the house still talking to the doctor. All I wanted was the couch. Just, please, let me get to the couch. I don’t recall how long it took to get from the restaurant to home because, I kept falling asleep.
He was able to park the car half-in-half-out of the garage. There is not enough room in my tiny garage for the passenger to get out of that side of the car and walk into the house. The car has to be far enough out of the garage for the passenger side door to open. So, he got me out of the car. Made sure I was holding his arm and more importantly made sure HE was holding my arm. Got me to the couch where I fell into it. It took about well, I imagine, two seconds before I was asleep. I think he must have watched me sleep for a couple of hours. I woke up enough at one point to let him know I was ok and he could go. I am so grateful to my son for his care, consideration, and consistency at being with me through this unplanned event.