Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for the 'The Sympathy Season' Category

Oh, the gall…bladder

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

I am back at home. I am overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of so many of you. I thank you; my doormen who had to carry all the packages upstairs, curse your names. Also thank you for all the comments, calls and emails.

I feel a billion times better than I did when I went inside last week, but I’m still fairly exhausted and have only just about enough energy to hit power on the television remote. But I should be back to more regular posting soon. In the meantime mad props to Clareified’s rockstars: Jamie, Gib, Karol, Sabaka, G-train, Mary, Dawn 2, KJ, Pi, Elena and Jake. Thank you all soo much.

And also look forward to the introduction of Carlos. He’s coming.

I play backgammon good

Friday, December 21st, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Wow, I just played the craziest game. I had all my guys in my homebase, while my opponent still had four of his guys in my home base. I am emptying them out and have like 10 left when I roll double sixes, unfortunately, I have five guys in the six line, which left one vulnerable. My opponent throws the dreaded one and I get kicked out. He had his base pretty well covered except for the one spot. After three rolls I finally get in, but he promptly knocks me out AND closes up the one spot.
No move possible.
He gets all his guys around and starts dumping them out. I finally get in, and am racing back around to my base while he dumps out guys I have 7 left to his six, he offers me a double. I’m pissed off, so I accept it.
Anyway, long story, still long, when we are 4 to 3 him. I ROLL double twos to win by one!

Rollercoaster ride and I can’t stop

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

I was in such a good mood today. I have a job interview for a job I might actually want, I ended up getting a sweet deal from Whatever LLP I’ve been calling this place and I was planning a fun trip to AC or Turning Stone. I was tempted to blog about my happy happy joy joy, but I was totally like…nah, that’ll just jinx it.
Turns out, thinking about it was enough.
Remember earlier when I was kidding about my foot turning green? Yeah, so…not so much ha ha funny as in…my mother asking me to repeat that and telling me to get my black ass to the doctor immediately.
Her words.
It was bad, I’ve been put back in a foot brace and am back on fulltime bedrest. Lemon. Especially considering I drove myself to work this morning.
I was all miserable and cursing the fates on what I guess, will be my final car drive for a while…sucky, I didn’t even really appreciate it.
I came home and my doorman said I had a package.
I live in a really big building and as it is the season, a million other people also had packages. So he’s rifling and rifling and I’m getting worried that I’ve been on my foot too long and probably shouldn’t have driven and I’m about to tell him to forget it, I’ll come back tomorrow, when he says “Here ya Go!”
And hands me a little plastic white bag, with my favorite address label: Dawn Summers!
Yay…I ride upstairs and throw all the mail down and think…hmm…it’s soft and folded…clothes…the only clothes I asked Santa Claus for was….

If you support any other team...the terrorists win

HUUUGGGGEEEEEE GRRRIIIINNNN (Unlike certain other posers I become a fan and then wear the gear.)

Unfortunately, the bag didn’t come with a card or a note or anything, but I figure it’s someone that reads my blog, so I just want to say thank you. You have no idea how much it totally made my day. And I’m wearing it now and since I won’t be going anywhere for the forseeable future, I shall probably be wearing it all weekend and definitely for the game!

A Million thanks!

So my new bestest friend is Ari, though looks like I’m going to have to explain to her that New England is not Boston. New England is all of us.

And they call me colored

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Treatment turns man blue. I am currently undergoing a treatment which turns my foot green. At least I hope it’s the treatment.

Walking upright towards Bethlehem

Thursday, December 13th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

The big difference between being sick and being in recovery, besides the obvious physical changes, is that when you’re sick all you do is think about the past. Birthday parties, graduation, passing THE BAR, trips you took, people you loved, the dreams you had…pretty much anything but the crippling the pain and ominous anxiety of your illness or the healthy future you barely dare to hope for.
You drown in your memories. This post from April, pretty much captures my mood all Spring.
I think that’s where the phenomenon of “your life flashing before your eyes,” originates.
But when you’re recovering, the past is the last thing on your mind. There’s nothing but the future. The what I’ll do whens. What I’ll do when the hole in my foot heals, or when I get off my twelve pills a day regimen. Before I got sick is replaced with when I get better.
The odd thing is, it’s infinitely more terrifying.
I had surgery…surgeries really…over the course of three months in late Summer and early Fall.
The days before I went in for my operations, I drove around Brooklyn, spent time with my family and friends, went to church, rode the ferris wheel till I was dizzy, dined at my favorite restaurants, played insane amounts of poker and Scrabble – essentially gorged myself on the chicken soup for Dawn Summers’ soul. And then the night before I was admitted, I emptied out my powder pink Addidas duffel bag- the one I spent forty dollars on two years ago because obviously the reason I wasn’t going to the gym was because I didn’t have a cool gym bag.
I packed four full suits of clothes, my Scrabble workbook, two pairs of pajamas, the 1000 page fantasy novel I’ve been reading for almost a year, a hardcover book about Australia, my ipod Nano, a spiral notebook, an unopened box of black pens, underwear, socks, a portable DVD player and season four of the Simpsons. I cleaned off the polish on all my nails, removed my jewelry, except the gold crucifix around my neck and I climbed into my own bed. I recited old prayers from memory until dawn. I had tried to get the first surgery slot of the day, but I ended up being assigned the second slot – which is all the worse because you’re still up at the crack of dawn and checking into the hospital by nine, but you get to sit around in flimsy hospital attire for the entirety of that number one slot’s procedure.
I forgot to fill out my health care proxy form, probably because I knew that regardless of what I wrote on that form, God help the medical staff if they failed to do everything in their power to keep Joyce Summers’ only child alive.
I sat in the waiting room, signing promises that I had not eaten in three days and liability waivers in triplicate.
The admitting nurse called my name and I grabbed my clipboard and pink duffel bag and headed inside. If I had a different sort of parent, here, I suppose, is where we would hug. As it is, I got a nervous “stop dragging your coat on the floor,” before I disappeared behind the automatic faux oak doors.
The admitting nurse weighed me, asked my height and confirmed my allergies. I went through a spate of questioning, including the bizarre “what is your sexual orientation?”
“We had an incident once where we were operating on what we though was a woman and then we discovered on the table it was a man,” she explained apologetically.
She handed me a stack of my very own paper wardrobe, complete with paper panties.
Now, I’m not quite a never nude. There was my birth and showers, obviously, and wild crazy dance parties for one that no one ever really needs to know about, but for the most part, I like clothes, the more the better. The longer the sleeves, the thicker the fabric, the more layers, the comfier I am. Though, I do like pajamas. What a funny word. Hey, it’s also a Scrabble bingo. Pajamas.
She asked me if I had a bag to check.
I pointed to the Addidas bag.
She picked it up and promptly dropped it to the ground.
“Girl, what do you have in there? I don’t think that’s going to fit in the lockers.”
She told me I’d have to leave it with my mom and went out to the waiting room to find her. My mother spent forty years working in a hospital before she retired last year, so when the nurse came back they were busily chatting. I caught a piece of the conversation which was something like “patients think they’re moving in here.”
My mother took the bag from me and the nurse suggested she also take my chain, rather than have me store it in the locker. I then went into the dressing room to suffer the indignity of paper underwear.
I went into the room of other similarly situated poor bastards, where they took my blood pressure, did last minute tests and I swore yet again that I hadn’t eaten in days. I was then told that the patient scheduled ahead of me was canceled and that my surgery was being moved up.
I was ushered to a hospital bed and an IV was strapped to the top of my left hand and I was having a rare procedure, so a gaggle—herein defined as six nine year olds in ill fitting white coats— introduced themselves to me and asked for my permission to watch.
“Uh, sure.”
A fellow asked me to be part of a study. The anesthesiologist came by to reconfirm measurements and start the drip. Then, my surgeon, who I’d only met once, came by to “say hello.”
Which, I still think is odd.
I was wheeled down a hall and transferred to the OR, which looks nothing like the cool spacious sets on Grey’ Anatomy. This was a tiny room, just large enough for an operating table and a huge fluorescent lamp hanging from the ceiling…think more police interrogation rooms on Law & Order. I was asked to climb from the wheeling gurney to the stationary table in the middle of the room. In short order I was adding the indignity of half crawling, half being lifted in paper clothes from one bed to another. And that is the last thing I remember.
I didn’t wake up from the anesthesia that day. I was put on a respirator and moved to ICU. Something, though it still remains unclear what, had gone wrong. I did eventually wake up, of course. My mother was there, a small comfort when hooked up to machines and being instructed not to talk. I didn’t feel anything at all though. I was taken to my room about ten hours later. I shared a room with the daughter of an African diplomat who was dying from a disease that I figured was cancer of some kind. I gathered she had been there for about a month. I was her twenty-first roommate. My mother spent the next couple of days trying to get my room changed after she and African diplomat’s wife got into an altercation over the heat. I was freezing half the time and her kid was sweating the other half. Precipitated by whichever mother got a hold of the orderly.
My arms were still hooked up to IV and morphine drips and apnea machines. I couldn’t leave the hospital bed. I spent the days suffering the indignity of watching a 20 inch crap TV with basic cable. Essentially a recipe for all you watch Law and Order episodes.
We had lights out at around 11, so if I couldn’t sleep, I listened to my ipod and tried to shut out the whirrs and beeps of a hospital corridor at night.
I had evidently developed some kind of elevated blood sugar condition because I was finger tested within an inch of my life every few hours and given insulin shots. After a couple of days they came to remove the catheter and the morphine drips…thankfully not in that order.
That began the great bathroom watch of ’07.
Having to give daily reports of my…er… functions…quickly reformed my definition of indignities and suddenly that TV was a veritable luxury.
The time passed quickly. I would talk to my friends on the phone or text. I did not however, open that duffel bag once after taking my pajamas out on the second day. I did not read. I did not study. I did not watch The Simpsons.
I was treated extremely well by the staff. Some combination of fear and love of my mother, I suspect. A few of my floor nurses still call the house and one of them desperately wants me to meet her son.
After my last operation was complete in mid October and I left the hospital for what I hope would be the last time until Tom Brady Jr. is born, I started to think about the future for the first time in a long time.
I’ve been healing well, barring the minor setbacks that are to be expected when one lets Fisch “cook.”
I have near full function in my right foot and the pins and cast have come off my right foot. I have to change the dressings on my wounds and elevate my leg as often as possible, do physical therapy and wear sneakers that Jordan says look like clown nurse shoes, but I now have two relatively normal feet, relatively normal digestion, super strength and x-ray vision.
And time.
I suppose.
What will I do with my life? What will I do when I grow up? What does the future hold?
I don’t know yet, but hopefully, when I’m better, I’ll find out.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

My little sister Smokey sent me my first get well card today. It was very cute, although frightening by the sheer number of animals which graced the front of the card. But her note made me laugh particularly the part were she writes “I know the novelty of the surgery has worn off and all your friends have forgotten you, that’s where I swoop in with this card!” Ooh speaking of which, I saw Superman II yesterday, because pearatty tried to ruin my childhood by telling me that Lois and Superman do it in that movie and I was all nu uh. And she was all yah huh. Well, I am happy to report that besides falling asleep after some crazy game where they hid all their clothes, there was no funny business at all in the movie.
But I digress, and just wanted to thank everyone for their soups, and visits and phone calls and get well cards.

All Quiet on the East Coco Front

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

All Quiet on the Western Front was my favorite book when I was 12. Yes, I was a creepy, sullen macabre pre-teen, who memorized passages about gory battle death and would recite them for you stone-faced and unprompted. What of it? In particular I loved the description of how the soldiers home from war felt so displaced in civilian life that they longed for the comfort of the warzone. They wanted to go back to hell. I share this for no other reason than I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my past in the last few months — but I suppose especially in the past weeks of convalescence in the ECB. To my credit, I planned for this surgery way better than the one in August. I watched no TV for the week leading up to my operation, so that a good 30 hours were stored on the DVR, I brought my Buffy comics and a boatload of books, installed some games on my laptop and stoicly faced the future.
But then there were complications, something about bad reactions to the anesthesia, and brittle tendons and pain killers not getting along with my other meds, and ill-fitting casts and four days of pure dreary darkness and miserable sobbing, where not a remote control button was pressed nor a page turned. All stoicly handled, of course, as is my way.
And once the medicines were figured out and the right leg stabilized in permanent non movitude, there were the days of incessant giggling and fascination with the word ‘word.’ In fact, I wrote a whole post about it, yet to my surprise could not find it anywhere on the blog the next day. Which was too bad, because I had some crazy graphics and animation scripted into that mamjama and I think there was a prologue written by Jimi Hendrix too. Just sayin.’
By the time I was fully back to normal, I realized no one even noticed I was missing, my blog even managed to provide itself with content while I was gone.
The world goes on though, I suppose, each one plodding along life’s journey, not me though, I’m in bed watching TV and keeping my head down.
So far, so good. All quiet.

Not so random thought

Monday, October 22nd, 2007 by Dawn Summers

If my life were a movie, I would have just finished the montage scene that involves making a ball out of rubber bands, tossing balls of paper into the wastebasket and sticking sharpened pencils into the ceiling. My neighbor is about to ask me to watch her troubled latchkey kid for her any minute now and I fear Drew Barrymore may be playing me.

Out of the hospital…

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

and feeling like death.

Overheard in the OR

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Nurse: Well, we’d like you to stay here for a little bit while we watch your blood sugar levels.
Patient: Okay
Nurse: We need you to eat something, we have apple juice, orange juice, crackers…what would you like
Patient: Um…I’m doing Atkins…do you have diet coke?

Nurse: Do you have any allergies
Patient: Yes. Aspirin, Iodine, latex, anesthesia, AND ephineprine. (Emphasis mine…chick is allergic to the thing that counterracts the effects of allergic reactions!!!)