Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Blessed Gifts". . .continued. . .

STEW. . .I've tried posting your latest comment. . .but. . nothing happens. . and I haven't a clue why not.

Here is your latest. . . . ;-)

Stew Adams has left a new comment on your post ""BLESSED GIFTS"": 

You are so descriptive and almost make the whole event sound like fun.
So happy to know that you are recovering. Slowly is better than not at all. And that you look at this for the blessing that it is. I know that you are a better Doctor because of everything that you have been through. 

My Comment. . . .
Sometime back I made a decision about this . . .I  have two choices. . it is going to happen so I'd better make the best of it.
Choice #1. . . I can choose to have a "pity party" - feel sorry for myself, whine and complain. . . .and drive people away. . . 

Choice #2. . ..Learn to live with it. . .see the brighter side of things. . like how blessed I am, how well the whole long surgery went, how well I am recovering and how wonderful people are toward me and with me.  I haven't felt 'alone' or neglected or any of that crap. . .on the contrary, thru all of this I feel very supported, encouraged, helped. . ..why not laugh at the funny stuff. . .even "ham it up" a bit. . .The positive side/choices all help in the healing and recovery.

The fact that I was home by noon-time the following day, after nine hours in surgery ending c, 5:30 pm, was a tremendous boost, encouragement. . .I was "doing great" otherwise they'd have kept me longer.

I cannot say enough about my surgeon. . .a young doctor with good experience, maybe mid-30s. . .hard to tell. . . .very very thorough. . .and the med-surg team who came to see me on rounds, about 6 am, all looking  great, fresh, positive. . these four who had been with Heather as part of the surg team. . .saw and knew what was going on. . .were all so positive when they checked me out and then issued my walking papers. . . even their unofficial comments about things were great, so funny too. . they could see the humor in some of the stuff that had happened. . .all just a few years older than I. . . just nice guys. . .and gals. ..2 and 2. . 

So of course Choice #2 was/is a "no brainer". . . .I felt like I'd been hit/run over by a fleet of heavy duty trucks. . .and at the same time I felt GOOD, ready to go home and get on with the recovery.

I am still taking it easy. . . a lot "easier" than I thought I'd have to. . . one of my close friends "in the profession" tells me it will take a good six months before I am really feeling all healed, done, ready. . ."rest and sleep when you need it. . as you need it. . .don't push, exert. . .if you feel you are being a sleaze, be one. . .a real slug.. . .just be a positive sleaze.

It has been almost a month now. . . I can tell you one thing: I do feel better every day. . .even during the same day:  I am getting well. . .healing is going on. . ..even in those seriously damaged facial nerves. . .lots of activity going on "under the surface"  I can feel it. . . mostly all the parts/areas of surgery are more or less "mine. . .my body parts" - they now 'feel' like me and not some stranger's. . .LOL. . .weird feelings at first. . . has been like a gradual "thawing out". . . coming back into service.

Facial paralysis is still there. . . leaving that to God and "Mother Nature". . healing takes time.  And I am learning. . . loads!

Now. . . I think it is now time to sleep again. . .my body has "rested up" from being in bed and I am ready to resume the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs ...ehyah.

You are all part of my blessings. . . 



GreginAdelaide said...

I had a bad accident some years ago, woke up to find I'd been someone else for 3 weeks, no memory of that time, still.
Worse still, I had one arm and one leg in casts and a metal fixture on my other wrist. But worse still, I had brain injury. I could not read....and worse still, my "good" leg would not move. I'd lost the use of it.

I was soon up and about on crutches, all within 4 weeks of the accident. I knew who and where I was, could carry on a normal enough conversation, but reading was no good. I could work out the individual words, knew what they meant on their own, but could not relate them to the other words. Frustrated, some days, maybe a week later, I started reading the words ...more like yelling the words, out loud. I suddenly understood, if I heard it I could understand, reading to myself, I had no idea.
So, some progress.

But, I was not depressed, I accepted my lot, was determined to get better and was glad I was as good as I was, I still had my humour, I could get about, so life was good.

A week later my leg suddenly started working and form that moment on there was not one second of self doubt. I recovered, eventually, it took over 18 months before all symptoms had left me, but as far as I was concerned, I was back from the day I became aware again.

So, I am positive that a positive attitude is essentially healing. Stick with it Justin, however much it improves, however much you are left with any effects, you are back, now.

But, I know I don't have to tell YOU that!

JustinO'Shea said...

Very interesting, Greg, and quite unusual phenomena. . . In all of this did you have/receive medical care and advice? Sound like you handled all this "on your own". . .did you?

As far as telling ME anything, friend, there are several ways of acquiring info and actually learning therefrom. . .what I learn from 'academia' and those very important actual/ factual experiences.

If I limit or am limited to only one then my education is limited and limps. "We need two wings with which to fly. . ." LOL

GreginAdelaide said...

No, I had no therapy, no advice, no professional guidance. In fact the accident was 4 weeks before one Christmas and the hospital was keen to get me out to a "mental hospital" for brain injury care before Christmas, which they did. I only spent a week there at most, fortunately a good friend was a psyche nurse and he managed to talk them into letting me go home to my parents over Christmas as my Ma had been a Registered Nursing Sister so I'd have good care. The leg started to work while I was home so I declared I did not want to go back...and didn't. I escaped. I'm sure if I'd gone back I'd have become too depressed at the surroundings and would have had my condition ground into me.
Good friends and family were my therapy, a few days later, my best mate and I went on a road trip for a few days to get away from all the smothering care, he'd been in the accident with me and was sporting a broken shoulder joint, so we were a couple of crocks, but that trip, in the summer heat, was the best therapy we could have. Love and determination was all I needed.
Not looking for medals, not bragging, but it all just seemed to logical and natural, positive attitude and determination to make the best of my lot was all I needed.
It is perhaps the Aussie way too, the way we were brought up.
Independence, determination, self help, accepting help and love from others, no self pity, no automatic reliance on everyone/someone else for our own well-being, taking responsibility for our own selves... that is perhaps how some of us were brought up....perhaps more the norm here at the time I was born in a rural farming clime?
Hmmm..... more thought required.

Gary Kelly said...

Not to be outdone by Greg's experience, I must admit JustinO when I read of your experience I thought "Jeez, this bloke got off pretty lightly". But decided against blowing my own trumpet. However, now that Greg has, and you found his account interesting, here's mine.

The cancer op took 10 hours, after which I was placed in an IC single room with a 24/7 nurse. I was there for a week. The following two weeks were spent in a general cancer ward with 3 other patients (all snorers). I had one visitor - a bloke who delivered a wireless modem. Other than him, no visitors.

I refused most of the food because I couldn't eat properly. None of the catering staff reported anything unusual so I lost a heap of weight without the medical staff noticing. By the time I was discharged I was down to a little over 100 pounds and barely had the strength to walk. How I managed to get from the hospital to the train station I'll never know, especially carrying a back pack.

I arrived at Taree after 5 1/2 hours on the train - collapsing at one point when I tried to buy a drink in the dining car. People freaked but no one offered to help me back to my seat, so I did it myself.

Getting to a taxi from the station was a struggle but at least I was home.

The next month or so was spent sleeping in a chair with the light on because I was so disoriented. I'd wake often during the night wondering where the hell I was.

After that came the radiation treatment and yadda, yadda. That meant driving myself 100kms there and back on a regular basis. But somehow I managed it all on my own. Word eventually reached one of my brothers and a nephew but no one showed - just a few emails asking how I was doing.

As Greg said, it's the way we were brought up - independent, self reliant, no self pity. I never thought anything of it at the time. Then I read your account about the support you received from friends and family hehe, and realized how much of a contrast there was between your convalescence and mine.

So, for what it's worth, that's my story. BTW, it ain't over yet. I'm still waiting on the doc to go ahead with an operation on my lower gum to remove exposed bone that's preventing the fitting of dentures. Still gummy, I'm afraid.

JustinO'Shea said...

I had no desire or intention to start a "can you top this?" segment in my blog. Simply reporting my recent experience and explaining my absence.

BTW, the word "interesting" can have many connotations and is sometimes a semi-polite word for something else. LOL

Sharing experiences in a public blog has its risks and/or drawbacks. . . and perhaps serves as a learning experience as we go along in life.

Certainly I am a learner: I have learned from this and will incorporate that new info into my MO.

Cheerios. Au revoir.

Gary Kelly said...

Of course you didn't have any intention of starting a oneupmanship competition, JustinO. It's just that when you expressed your professional interest in what happened to Greg, I thought I'd post my story.

What makes yours special, of course, is that it happened to a young man who leads a healthy lifestyle. No one expects a young bloke like you to become seriously ill. Old blokes like me get crook all the time. Par for the course.

Anyway, I think I should have stuck to my original decision not to post my story. Too late now tho.

JustinO'Shea said...

It is all OK. . .you know. . as they say in French "Nous faisons notre possible. . .We do our possible." hahaaaa

At the time of your difficult medical journey you did keep us informed. . "the mild version". . bit by bit. . Reading the current you told us some unfortunate details - like no one helping, falling and people didn't move to help you up. .not even the so called "family". . awful. Walking to the station, witwamth a backpack heavier than you. . seemed so barabric to me. Compared to that I did indeed have it easy.

As noted my own experience was so much easier. . .even in the hospital short stay there was nothing wanting. . .One of the secret fears on the backburner about healthcare USA are seniors less well cared for? Is there the "secret attitude" well, he is old, "had his time", made to feel like a burden? If that is present seniors have years of practical experience assesing the "status quo" and can be quite sensitive to the poorly disguised disrespect and sometimes neglect. . .and so become more or hyper-independent, withdrawing rather than evoking hurt/neglect.

In my psych studies on aging our profs made a great deal of the "hidden' or even unintended "violence" inflicted on the old, the elderly. . .too often unconscious.

Frankly, Gary, in reading your narrative last night I was appalled at some of the things that happened, to which you were subjected. . And I thought, "My gawd, even in the Land of OZ" !!!

I've just assumed OZ was so much more "civil". . .maybe I am wrong.

And Greg, I asked or tried to ask delicate question about your experience, when I inquired if you did this alone, by yourself. . .You see, in my professional opinion -- just from what you said, and not knowing any circumstances -- what you went through without any medical assistance/ intervention struck me as neglect. . .but not knowing the circumstances, insurance, etc, I didn't say so. That was what was behind my comment of "interesting". . .I was appalled, frankly.
I do not criticize anyone. you or your family,. . .how old were you when this happened? In our country way too many adults and children go without medical care, etc. due to lack of insurance and the abysmal insurance business, etc.

And hopefully "times do change". . .but I wonder. Insurance forms/reports of payments made, etc, are beginning to come in. I look at the costs! Without insurance of some kind, people cannot afford this: they "go without".
When I write of gratitude for my recent experience, and can joke about things, it is because in many ways I "come from privilege" [I HATE that term, but it is a reality. . I have good insurance and in our family the finances are there. . if that is "privilege".] My socialist bent tells me this ought to be present for everyone. . for ALL, old or young and in between.

All of this, Gary and Greg, lies beneath my reaction and feelings on this topic. . and yours especially. . since you are not just a statistic. . you are "friends and neighbors" and my strong sense of justice covers you also. LOL

I hope I keep on learning and never lose sight of what daily living shows and teaches me. . . that as I mature and modify my idyllic "Knight in shining armor" off for justice and right, I do not lose the fire and drive I feel vis a vis such matters of justice and equality. . "All for One and One for All". . .;-))

p.s. going slowly but I am looking at/for a clinical position away from the IvyTowers of Academia. . .I think it better for me to take my passion "out on the streets".
Since I cannot smile I am thinking of finding a nice big smile picture, glue it to a stick . .and hold it up, under my nose when I want my smile seen. Maybe too add the letters L-O-L. .ho ho ho.

ciao ciao. . . justino