Prepping for a Shit Show
Good early morning! Since I can’t sleep, I figured it is a good time to write.
I successfully made it through surgery and wanted to take this opportunity to chat about the day of prepping prior to surgery. I will follow up with an additional post abut the actual surgery and recovery (thus far), but if I wrote about it all at once, we’d be here for longer than you probably want to be. 😉
Wednesday, December 9th was “Prep Day”. Funny thing is, I feel like I had been “prepping” for this day for almost a year. Since I learned about my BRCA1 status in January, not a day this year has gone by without thoughts of surgery (and the changes that will occur) consuming a part of my brain space at some point. Since my original surgery had gotten postponed due to fucking Corona sneaking its ugly existence into my home, I tried desperately to keep my socially isolated self super busy in an attempt to decrease the stress I knew had the potential to consume me. Thankfully the Cricut we had purchased to occupy my recovery time was a life saver and provided me with a new obsession and possible future business….stay tuned for future Tallulah’s Diner merchandise.
In typical 2020 fashion…how I planned to spend my day of prep and how I actually spent the day were nowhere near the same thing. The initial plan was to spend the day shopping down near the hospital, then spend the night in a hotel, so we were close by for an early morning surgery. With Covid cases rising and contractors needing an extra day to complete installation on the 4 sets of French doors we were having placed, Jim and I decided it best to stay home. Since breakfast in our own kitchen wasn’t an option, we headed to Bob Evans to fill out bellies before my cut off time of 10am. The restaurant follows all Covid protocols. I mention this because, unfortunately, not all establishments in rural America follow these rules. The annoyance and sadness this brings runs deep, but I will refrain from tackling this topic for now. Breakfast out now seems like a novelty and me and the boys had a nice meal filled with humor and good eats.
After breakfast, we made a quick run into Walmart to grab my gallons of Gatorade. Okay, maybe not gallons, but I am not a fan, so every bottle felt like it was four times its size. We returned home and to stay away from the contractors, I holed up in the dungeon, I mean basement for the rest of the day. This was day 3 of being secluded in the domain that is ruled by Jim and Jacob. Normally I race through the basement as quickly as I can, so spending three days down here was a fete in of itself. The basement and garage have always been Jim’s territory, and so, well…I will just leave that there. 🤣.
The contractors finally finished their day around 5:30 pm and we were able to emerge upstairs. The doors are beautiful, but I didn’t have much time to enjoy their splendor. I was on a mission to get my room cleaned and still had to complete the one thing I dreaded more than anything…an enema!
If I haven’t mentioned it previously, let me shout it out now…I have the BEST husband I could ever ask/dream for. I may not know much, but I believe my 14-year-old self was pretty smart when she told her bestie this was the guy she was going to marry. That 14-year-old made that declaration more than 30 years ago. I often say we were young and dumb, but damn, that 14-year-old was brilliant! Sidenote…that bestie I mentioned…. still here, still by my side….and amongst all the shit 2020 has brought to many. .it has brought her a gem…literally…she got a diamond engagement ring 2 weeks ago and I am thrilled she has found someone to share this circus called life with! It is proof that joy and light CAN be found in these hard times.
Sorry…sidetracked. Back to my man. As soon as the door guys left, he armed himself with a bucket of germ-killing water and set out to clean our bedroom. He understands that a clean and organized space is important to me. Since most of my recovery time will be spent in our room, he was determined to make sure it was tidy, cozy and clean. I need to give a shout out to his assistant…our son Jacob pitched in and together they had my bedroom and the first floor looking respectable in record time. Their tackling the heavy cleaning provided me with time to organize my thoughts, gather my necessities for the next day, write a blog post and conquer my fear of that stupid enema!
Being a member of a couple FB support groups, it is interesting to see the different opinions and protocols for hysterectomies. Some don’t do any bowel prep, some do. For me, it was not an option. My doctor explained to me, that since so many organs are packed in that space, there is always the risk of nicking something you don’t want nicked. An enema helps to make that particular space less swollen, which means it’s less likely to get punctured accidentally. Made sense, but I still dreaded it. In my mind…
- 1 – it was going to feel uncomfortable…nothing should go IN that space.
- 2 – I had it in my head that as soon as the nozzle was inserted it was for sure going to pop an existing bubble of wretched feces and I would be covered in my own filthy waste.
- Can you see why I didn’t want to do it?
But the time had come, there was no avoiding it…I had to do it! I had to conquer my fear and push through! I gathered my supplies 1 Fleet enema, 1 puppy pad (instead of a towel….who wants to deal with a poop covered towel) and a small garbage bag to discard said puppy pad as soon as possible.
I laid the puppy pad on the just mopped floor and raised a gratitude prayer up to God that I didn’t have to do this on a hotel floor, followed the directions….and…..guess what! It wasn’t so terrible. I did not explode. In fact, I had ample time to get up off the floor, sit my behind on the throne, text several people who were reaching out to wish me well and let nature take its course. After a few minutes, all that anxiety I felt for forever literally got flushed away, I got my shower, took my Xanax (the doctor would only prescribe one for the night before surgery) and I crawled into my bed. We needed to be on the road by 3:30 am to arrive at the hospital in time.
I have not been a good sleeper for many years, so it was no surprise that even with a Xanax, I was up pretty much every hour. We got on the road on time and headed south. The last part of my prep was to drink 16 ounces of Gatorade 3 hours before surgery. Apparently, this is something new. You start drinking 4 hours before surgery and take your final swallow three hours prior to your scheduled time. As I mentioned, I am not a fan of Gatorade on a good day, on a bad day at 3:30 am, I’m really not a fan. I did however find some water with electrolytes at Walmart, which I drank instead. It was a much better solution for me.
Jim and I arrived at Passavant Cranberry on time. However, in true Burris fashion, something had to go a little awry. As I stepped out of the car, I noticed the Gatorade that I brought (just incase I could tolerate it) decided to toss its middle finger to us and pay me back for my disdain by spilling most of its contents onto the floor mat. So, there we were at 5:20 in the morning, outside in the ER parking lot, in the freezing cold, armed with paper towels and fantastic, cleaning up a mess. Just one more reminder that yes, life can be messy, BUT messes can be cleaned up and things can be made good as new!
Once the spill was a thing of the past and dusk started to break through the darkness, we walked hand in hand through those hospital doors. It was actually going to happen, and I was ready!
Thanks for following. I hope there is someone out there that can benefit from my tales. Please feel free to share this blog with anyone who may have found themselves in a situation where the four letters B.R.C.A. have infiltrated their existence. This entire journey has been tolerable thanks to many others who have gone before me and shared their stories. I simply hope to offer some guidance, insight and support to others that will follow.
Today’s songs will take us back a little and both are by Matchbox Twenty
First…. “Unwell” I think anyone who has ever struggled with anxiety can relate to this song. I know I sure can.
Second. “3am” This song reflects on a time when Rob Thomas was 12 or 13 and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Felt appropriate for today’s post.
Thanks again for checking out my blog. Take care of yourself and try to find something to smile about today and every day.