Friday, November 06, 2009

"Oh, she was a surprise!"

Yesterday I had my first visit from the Home Health Care nurse. It took her an hour to change my dressing and C-bag. Dude, P could have done both in 15 minutes. It was really painful, beginning with the removal of the dressing. It's never hurt this much, and it does not help that my skin is very irritated. While the wound vacuum accelerates the healing process, the tight seal contributes to the irritation. I can't believe that I am looking forward to the twice a day torture of a wet dressing (twice a week with the WV). The best part is when the nurse said, "It's a good idea to watch someone do this once or twice before you try it, but I did not have that benefit." WHAT? Lucky me to be her first WV dressing change. Apparently they do not send a wound specialist until the second visit. Hoping that Monday goes a lot smoother.

The nurse and I spent fifteen minutes going over paperwork downstairs. When I opened the door, SS was next to me, and throughout the paperwork. I asked Abu to entertain her while we were upstairs, and Abu had SS look at the big frame of pictures of P, JJ and me. SS was looking for her mug (her favorite activity) and as we were going upstairs I reminded SS that those pics were taken before she was born, so it was only the three of us. It's what we tell her.

In the middle of the dressing change, Nurse C said "So SS is not your only child. Where is her brother?" I told her that JJ is an adult and lives in another city. Nurse C had a big smile on her face and said, "Oh, she was a surprise! That has happened to a lot of my friends, they get the kids out of the house and boom, they get pregnant." I was a tad stunned, but she seemed sincere. I did not laugh because it would really hurt me, and because I was afraid that she would hurt me if I laughed. I did tell her that SS was not a surprise, since we had to go through piles of paperwork and security clearances for the Chinese government to grant us the privilege to adopt her. The funny thing is that we have SS's referral pictures (those belong in SS's room, but were moved while Abu is here) on the dresser where she had set up her equipment.

Our little midlife surprise.

This reminds me on an incident at the ER that I neglected to mention (that whole pain thing). The ER MD came to check on me after giving the diagnosis, and asked if I had any questions. I asked him if diverticulitis is genetic. He said that there might me a genetic component, but not to worry, "Although I understand you being anxious about passing this on to your little girl." If he only knew how grateful P and I are that SS is not saddled with the genetic mess that is the combination of our DNAs.

Since SS has been helping around a lot lately, we were looking for a way to make her feel included. I am not cooking, doing the laundry or grocery shopping. Well, our diligent SS found a niche for herself. She is my bathroom escort, talk about me moving up in the world. I gained 11 pounds between admission and discharge. Talk about major fluid overload. I feel and look like F@t B@stard. The diuretic pills are working, so SS has plenty of work to do. I let her know that Mama needs to use the bathroom, and she "helps" me stand up, holds my hand and leads me to the bathroom. When I get done she helpfully points towards the toilet paper, then after I wash my hands, she dries them for me, and escorts me back to the living room. Completely silly, but it makes her feel needed and included. I hope I'm not violating child labor laws.

Me? A surprise?

Well, I am exceptional in every aspect, so maybe I was a surprise in that way.

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