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Prepping for Surgery with Paul Newman

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. Such a classic. Have you seen it? Well if you remember the scene where Luke (Paul Newman) is trying to break free from the chain-gang while on a bathroom break you might still have this silly line of his stuck in your noggin like I do. He kept yelling out, "shakin' the bush Boss! I'm shakin' the bush!" to let the warden know that he was going to the bathroom and all was well. Bathroom time is supposed to be private time, but heck, if you're on the chain-gang while incarcerated, I guess it's everybody's business.

I'll be having minor surgery tomorrow followed by a week's stay at the hospital to administer treatment drugs for my disease (my old pal Ethel). The tubing and wires shoved into my spinal space will affect my arms entirely, and I will not have use of them during those 7 days.

For lack of better words, I won't be 'shaking the bush' and takin care of my bathroom business - for a week. A WEEK?!? No brushing or flossing my teeth, combing my (dirty) hair, or changing my clothes. I am a woman, and us gals tend to want to take care of that stuff by ourselves, not with an audience, right?
I also know about 80% of the nursing staff by now, did I mention that? Why does this stress me out more with the looming bathroom issue? I know it shouldn't since it is all part of their job, but sheesh, is really DOES add a layer of angst. So I'm going to vent and share (probably too much), and get it all out here on Spark so that I don't bring any unnecessary baggage to the hospital tomorrow morning.

So often I make myself the strong one, marching in for procedures and surgeries with enthusiasm and laughter. Perhaps I do it because I hate being pitied. Perhaps I do it because I feel the need for my husband and friends to believe that I am strong and not to worry about me. I've done this so often in the past. But now I am realizing that this defense mechanism very possibly could have been setting me up for disaster. Maybe puffing myself up and pretending to be a big bad a$$ who fears nothing is all a lie, and lead me to emotionally eating those true feelings once I got home (often the same day). I see a link there now, where I was actually preventing myself from my own feelings. A nice 'aha' moment for me.

I'm officially allowing myself to feel scared and anxious but reminding myself that my thoughts do not define me. I do not have to act on my emotions. I can move on from them.

So, the countdown has begun until tomorrow morning. My bag is packed.
I've been doing the Whole 30 anti-inflammation type of eating plan for about 25 days now to shake my sugar cravings and try to get my body to heal itself (wouldn't that be neat-o?). I will do my best to adhere to eating clean and nutritious food while in 'the joint'. This will no doubt be difficult (I see A LOT of hard boiled eggs in my future). Ooh, momentary lapse into anxiety here as I wonder who will feed me? Oh good grief...

Hey, I can finally bring back those ridiculous spoons I came home with last time though. Ha!

'Nuff said.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hugs. I hope everything goes well. Let us know the outcome.
    1208 days ago
    I seem to be the same way. Except, when there are visitors and family visiting me in the hospital.

    It's alright to show fear. They expect it. Although, I find that nurses often check up on you more, if you're more positive.

    Hang in there.

    Like your last commenter says..."We love you girl."

    1218 days ago
  • MISSB8604
    We love you girl.
    1223 days ago
    Bren, I'm late in reading this and adding my good wishes to all the others on this page. It's a fine line between being strong and brave and allowing the feelings to happen. It's got to be a mix. You are beautiful and amazing and will come through once again.
    1224 days ago
    Hey it's me...all late and wrong as usual emoticon . Hope all is well and you're recovering nicely.

    1226 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/14/2013 5:02:42 AM
    Youch - hope everything comes out OK.
    1227 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Oh, honey. I am feeling a little anxious for you but then I think of all those people who will be surrounding you, caring for you. You are a gem of a patient, I know. This will be such a humbling experience. I find myself praying you are able to find the willingness to relax into letting people take care of you and tend to you. I wish I could be there. You are in my thoughts, as always, Bren dear. I am praying for you, Sweetpea. oxoxox
    1227 days ago
    Love and hugs my special friend! My Dad is having surgery again tomorrow too. So I'll pretend to be in your waiting room as well. Prayers all goes as planned and you heal quickly. You have such a beautiful face, it's ok if your hair looks like crap for a couple days....I'm just saying. :)
    Hugs ~ Melissa
    1228 days ago
    Sending all my prayers and good wishes your way!! emoticon I too have been one to try to always be the "strong one" when dealing with all my issues. I guess it's a coping mechanism to deal with our illnesses. My sister and I always say we're "shakin the bush" when we're at her cottage. I love that movie!
    1228 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1228 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Bren, thinking of you and sending love!
    1228 days ago
    Aw, Bren. emoticon Thinking of you and praying all goes well.
    1228 days ago
    "So often I make myself the strong one, marching in for procedures and surgeries with enthusiasm and laughter."
    * Surgery that involves being laid up for a week is a whole different arena.

    " I see a link there now, where I was actually preventing myself from my own feelings. A nice 'aha' moment for me. "
    * I've had similar a-ha moments. emoticon

    "I've been doing the Whole 30 anti-inflammation type of eating plan for about 25 days now to shake my sugar cravings and try to get my body to heal itself (wouldn't that be neat-o?)."
    * It totally would.

    "Hey, I can finally bring back those ridiculous spoons I came home with last time though. Ha! "
    * My advice on how to do so still stands.

    I totally hear the frustration and anxiety. Hope the surgery goes well.

    emoticon emoticon
    1228 days ago
  • LGAR519
    Wishing you all the best, Bren!! I know it's hard but nurses don't think twice about parts of nude bodies. It's our job and doesn't bother us at all. We just want to help.
    1228 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1228 days ago
    I've always believed that fear is a good thing. It's our bodies and minds' way of preparing us for difficult, dangerous or awkward situations. And if we handle it carefully, we'll help ourselves cope with these situations much better.
    You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, my sweet friend. I'll be praying that everything goes well and that your recovery is as speedy as ever. We'll miss you here.
    1228 days ago
    All the best, Bren. I do hope the surgery goes well and goes some way to easing your pain. I'll be thinking of you. Let us know how you get on :) x
    1228 days ago
    I'm so proud of you for sharing your fears, and not eating them. I know it was hard for you. You are amazing! You will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow, and all week long.
    1228 days ago
    I will be keeping you in my thoughts of a speedy recovery from your surgery. Never deny your true feelings. Being anxious or scared does not make you weak, it makes you human! Stay strong and know that we are all here pulling for you! emoticon
    1228 days ago
    emoticon I'm laughing and sad for you all at the same time...good trick. Hospitals can be therapeutic for the soul...Just pretend you are away at a spa and everyone there is at your beck and call. (they are). and don't sweat the bathroom stuff. Being catered to, is a gift!!! Smile and keep the call button close at all times! Take care. emoticon emoticon Listen to those Docs. They get paid to listen to you! Just imagine you are the emoticon of the castle and you want a bath complete with back washing and help putting on your royal robe. You get the pic?! Some of those male nurses are pretty attentive. emoticon
    1228 days ago
    i will be thinking of you, my dear!! sending positive thoughts and energy your way and praying that THIS surgery will help you. Remember, it is only temporary (this loss of use of your arms). Love ya girl!
    1229 days ago
    Thinking about you girl!!
    1229 days ago
    Praying your surgery goes well
    1229 days ago
    It is ok to be afraid. I wish I could give you a big hug and just let you cry on my shoulder --- no words need be said. I will be thinking about you and praying for your fast recovery.

    1229 days ago
    1229 days ago
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