If I could get out of this wheelchair, stand up straight, and take a walk the muscles around the puncture wounds in my abdomen would be fit as a fiddle. At least that is what I keep telling myself. In all probability it’s my age showing a wee bit. To quote Chester A. Riley the main character in “The Life of Riley” series on ‘50’s TV “What a revolting development this is!”
I should be “Tip-toeing Through the Tulips” by now, but instead I am still bending and stretching with one hand holding the offended muscles. It has to be the fault of these legs that can’t do the walking that the Surgeons list of “to do’s” recommended. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
There has been some lovely/funny moments since I lost part of my anatomy.
When my beloved brother was alive he used every gift giving occasion to give me a bottle of Chanel No. 5. It wasn’t that it was always my favorite perfume. It was because it was a remembrance of our youth. The scent of Chanel brought back all of the hopes and ambitions of our salad days. When I was raising my son alone I thought of perfume as an extravagance that I could ill afford. My brothers Christmas gift of Chanel was always the highlight of my holiday and when I would spray some on myself he would lean toward me and say that I smelled like the ’girl’ that I once was. It became a tradition between the two of us.
Since he has died my loving sister-in-law has continued the tradition. She cries when she buys it and I cry when I open it. I always spray some of the wonderful scent on myself before I call her. We talk about how much we miss him and I can smell the Chanel and see his face laughing at the two of us.
This year she sent me a combination gift. Included with the scent was a bottle of body wash and a bottle of body cream. I hadn’t used either of them. It was as if I was saving them for a special occasion, although I had no idea what that occasion could be. Then the second day after surgery I wheeled myself into the bathroom and there sitting on the shelf were the two wonderful bottles.
I knew that I had found the ’special occasion’. I ‘washed’ the smell of hospitals and anesthetic off with the body wash bottle and replaced the smell with the body cream bottle. It was the most wonderful bath. My spirit was re-newed and the scent of Chanel floating in the air was so wonderful that I almost moaned with pleasure. I will always be grateful to my sister-in-law for those wonderful bottles. She gave me my sense of me back.
Scott has always been one my beagles favorite people. He can hear Scott’s car a block away. He usually stands at the door talking to Scott before Scott gets out of the car. But the two weeks before my surgery changed that eager attitude a bit. As I told you before Scott is the one that accompanied me to all the hospital visits I had to make before the surgery. The unhappy beagle had to stay home when we made those trips. And a beagle NEVER forgets. He doesn’t quite trust Scott like he once did. Now when he hears Scott’s car a block away he walks over to me and plops his body across my feet. He says hello to Scott, but without the full enthusiasm of his prior hello’s, and he makes certain that Scott is fully aware that I am HIS Pennie and I never again will go anywhere with Scott while he stays home because he has my feet trapped. It’s funny as all get out watching him watch Scott’s every movement.
Scott knows how to get back into the ’trusted buddy’ category though. Every time he comes to visit he just happens to have some special treat in his hand. The beagle is a push over for a treat. You can see the indecision in his face as he mulls over leaving his position as the guardian of my feet, but hey, when a treat is offered what is a beagle supposed to do. I predict that Scott will soon be back in total favor, because it’s becoming obvious that feet guarding beagles can be persuaded to forgive if you use a liver smelling treat.
It’s been months since I have been able to eat anything that even resembled something with fat in it. I call what I ’could’ eat my white diet .... rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, and low fat cottage cheese. The things I could eat that had some semblanceof color were tuna washed in water over and over, sardines washed as many times, and selected vegetables. I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight on my white diet, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I lost the weight primarily because I lost interest in eating.
The other day my son walked in the house with a vanilla shake. It had tons of whipped cream on top. It was a totally fat laden thing that he held in his hand. I instantly started salivating. It has been four months since I have felt cold ice cream in my mouth. When he handed it to me I sat for a bit and admired its beauty before I put the straw in my mouth and took a sip. It tasted a bit like heaven. I waited a minute or two before I took the second sip ... no pain! It was absolutely blissful in my mouth. I was only able to drink a little of it, my system isn’t used to fats in an overload, but what a wondrous thing a few sips of fat was!
The family has fun laughing at me. I don’t like meat, but when there were hamburgers on the grill I wanted one more then I have ever wanted a salad, when chili was cooking on the stove all I could think about was the flavor of those beans, when my son went to the rib joint and brought back a passel of ribs for the group I watched everyone eat and drip bar-b-que sauce and wanted one for myself .... FLAVOR .... I can have flavor back in my food. All I can think about when I see them eating things that I have never particularly liked is that I could eat that too if I wanted. The family thinks that is hilarious. They keep teasing me that I am becoming one of them - a meat eater!
And the most wonderful thing is:
The Surgeon has released me to my regular doctor. I never have to see his scalpel wielding self again.
The beagle and I are now free to roam together again. We might even ask John to join us if he stops eating all the junk food. He took full advantage of my days of not being able to reach the pots and pans. He got on-line and ordered every junk food item available. He’s had a great time during my recovery. No problem with his gallbladder ..... he’s eaten enough fat to feed an Army of Junk-afat-aholics. You should see the smile on his face!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY