So, today marks the 29th of Feb. I am oh-so-happy to have this month gone and done with. It's been a doozy. So, just because sometimes it's nice to mark what HAS happened, in order to see that things DO pass, I am going to write about them.
So, Arts surgery (and please, read this all the way because sometimes in the storm, the clouds are QUITE dark...and we all know that the sun does come up as soon as you look up to see it!) took place on a Monday.
It was robotic, and turns out, damn good thing that A) Art decided to get it done despite the delay with the flood at the Cancer Center happening in January which led to him not actually meeting the surgeon before scheduling and B) that they allowed this to happen. Turns out this puppy was not a slow kind of growing cancer, but one that was aggressive- more so than they thought.
Staging changed which was the news I got about 4 hours into the surgery. Dr. Miller said he thought that he had gotten all the margins, but nerve sparing could not happen. This can be devastating news for any man. Google it.
Because even if you prepare and talk it out, sitting there, talking to the MD really kind of puts it out there in black and white. It's no longer "a story" but an "Oh Shit" kind of moment. Because as any good PA student can tell you, those two years of school, you put a lot of crap on the back burner to deal with later. This was no longer later, but now. And it hit me- Hard. Embarrassingly hard.
Art came out well, and was groggy, and Sa02s were a bit low (snoring does that to a person) but overall, seemed okay enough
So, I had been texting Stacy throughout the day, who was dealing with her own "stuff" and she kept me sane. Sadly, I elected to NOT buy the Hello Kitty purse that I texted numerous pictures to Stacy of from the Gift Shop, and I think I ate my own weight in Chocolate and Starbursts instead.
I ran my phone right out of battery. So, since I had NO gas, nor battery, I got into my car, thinking a nice drive to get a charge and a change of environment might be nice. I plugged in my phone and got the (expected) numerous VM's which I assumed were asking about Art. I saw one, however, that worried me, because it was from the person that boards her horse at our house. It was short and sweet.
"Call me when you get this okay?"
I got a text a few moments later, and it said the same- and I missed the bottom line of "the horses are okay" which was my biggest and greatest concern. So I called, and found out that the LAST thing I ever expected to happen had indeed happened.
Some lovely person decided that they should break into our house.
Yup. Today. Since I don't even own a KEY to our house, they thought kicking in the front door was a great idea.
So I have no more to say about that (Other than HUGE thanks to the observant folks that saw the door open and took their time to stay at the house, call the police and try and hold my very unholdable parts together and know to answer the phone when I called by saying "The animals are okay".)
That was a LONG DRIVE HOME! and despite the fact the day was rather warm, I was rather cold. I was tired (I had worked the previous night), and my eyes hurt a lot from crying.
Despite telling the RN"S to tell Art that they told me to go home and rest as I knew he would wonder and be concerned, they didn't actually do this, and he was beside himself with worry. So, despite my best intentions, and my desires to not tell him, him knowing that I would have been there if I could have been coupled with seeing my rather swollen and red eyes made that impossible. So, I left him after telling him (and helping him push his PCA a few times!) and told him I'd be back in the AM.
I spent the night at a friends house, who knows me better than I think almost anyone does, and I just curled up in all my clothes and fell asleep.
Farrier in the AM, and little sleep, but got the horses done, barn done, and off I went back to get Art. My eyes, however, preferred to NOT be open, and they, come to realize, still hurt a lot.
Did you know that you can scratch your corneas by crying? I am here to tell you that, yes, yes you can. And Yes, yes I did. Good enough to show up on staining. Across the visual fields. Special, huh? The ED at the U was VERY kind, and I did NOT steal the numbing drops, and best of all, got a hug from my preceptor who works in the ED.
I was a proper mess. I didn't like me. I was GROSS. I was a psych patient. I was doing everything except saying I was allergic to Tylenol, Motrin, Sulfas and looking for some drug that worked called "DyLayDid???" No, I just was "that" patient, that had hit her breaking point in an unfortunate place called the ED. But the RN's made it clear, I was NOT driving until someone checked out my eyes. So I obeyed.
But guess what? My kids are A-Maize-Ing. (intended...more on that soon). Nick and Jazz conspired, and between them, and not listening to me in the slightest (bless them), Nick flew home from Vermont the week before midterms. He arranged every thing himself, got food for the house, helped with the horses (this is huge!) and generally just made me smile, rented movies to watch on the computer (we do not own a DVD player and turned off cable a few months ago, and internet is thru the cell phones) and kicked my ass in Yatzee. Honestly, even now, the sheer kindness that my kids have just astounds me.
We found out the next day that my mom, who is on Coumadin fell and hit her head and broke her nose in several places. Thankfully, she is okay, but did have surgery the following week- normally I'd have been there in a New York minute but there was just no way. I have yet to miss a rotation day, and damn, since this was THE rotation, I was not going to start that now. I had my 4 days off (scheduled and I arranged shifts to allow for that) and I knew she was in good hands.
Several more annoying things happened, all connected in some way to each other to create a chain of "ughs". But...
Today... I can laugh a bit at it all because-
Art is doing SO much better than anyone could have ever expected. Yes- margins were clear and nodes as well.
Nick not only kicked A** on midterms, but finally heard and is now a U of M student starting Summer 2012.
My mom sounds great and is doing well!
I got A's on my last 4 rotations. I have heard back from the NY ED residency program, so that might be on track, and have a job interview at the UMHS, and remain hopeful that EPMG might offer a fellowship again in ED for PA's.
I had a great meeting with my program director that instead of being the dressing down I was convinced I thought it must be, instead turned out to be a huge moral booster, unexpected but oh-so-nice.
Finally, our sweet "White kitty" Lucas, who has been quite sick, remains alive, and holding on. We are not sure what his deal is, but he is quite sick. Hopefully he turns the corner- but I thought last Thursday that for sure he would not be alive today. He is. The vet remains totally baffled. But, he is thus far still here.
There are a lot of great ED stories to share, and moments that make me SO happy I am on this path, but Adios February. I am more than ready for March, despite turning 50!