I am a lady in waiting…

 

No. I am not pregnant, or sitting at the window waiting for my ‘Date’ to arrive. I am actually keeping myself busy preparing for vitrectomy eye surgery at the end of the month.

Once I make a decision to go ahead with a particular surgery, I then work out what I need to make the recovery period as easy as possible. Six years ago, I was booked in for hip surgery (can you believe it was that long ago?) and prepared myself for every eventuality. It was worth it. I was totally on my own pins and independent after six weeks. All due thanks to Elly, George and a few friends.

Nurse Hitler Elly will don her matron’s cap once more and move back in with me to nag me back to normality care and help me through the awkward few days while posturing – head down for 55 minutes in every hour. Hopefully the posturing will not last more than a week, but I accept it might be longer. I have been told that “The vitrectomy patient’s daily routine will be much more manageable with the help of friends and family members”. Do I need to hide my camera?

Bathing should be fun. Would I find it easier to take a bath rather than a shower while keeping my head down? Next week, I’ll move the soap, shampoo and any other bathroom necessities to a low spot where they will be easily reachable. How soon can I wash my hair? I hate unwashed hair, but they (whoever ‘They’ are) say that if you leave hair long enough unwashed, the natural oils do the cleaning for you. I am not anxious to try that one for size!

My usual trousers with buttons and zips are not recommended or any clothing that needs to be pulled over my head. The jumpers and tops can all be washed and put away for the duration.

I have been shopping. I now possess a couple of pairs of trousers with elasticated waist bands and a couple of button through cardigans. I already had two button up shirts and I purchased a couple of night shirts, if I am cold, then my pyjama bottoms will pull on easily. Hell, I’ll have a great excuse for hanging about in a bath robe OR to join the world of the ONSIES!

All day facing floorward, might not help my back, I wonder if I pretend to be Buffy and go around on all fours, will it help or just confuse Elly? I have no wish to be fed dry doggie food or to lick my fluids out of a bowl. Woof! Woof!

I am told that swallowing will be easier if bending more from the waist than from the neck. All drinking should be done through a straw. Do they make straws suitable for hot drinks? If so, I have not found them yet…. I need to do some more research. If I drink more than two sips of cold water, my body goes cold from the inside and I stop. Give me boiled water and I will drink it by the bucket full. What a picture: me drinking with a bendy straw from a bucket!

The sleeping schedule has been tried. Sleeping face down will take a little getting used to. I have a V shaped pillow and I already made a start to get my body used to that idea. I managed one hours sleep face down on Wednesday. I hoped to increase by an hour each night and maybe by the time I go to surgery, my body will be comfortable with sleeping face down. Thursday night I managed to remain face downward all night but my back played merry hell most of Friday. Friday night was a total wash-out and I never slept at all. As Fagin sang: I think I need to think it out again! Mind you Elly tells me she has gone ahead and rented a Face Down Sleep Support. It is due to arrive a couple of days before I go to the hospital, so I’ll have a chance to practise with it.

I have a long low coffee table that will be useful for setting my food tray, drinks, tissues et cetera on. The leaflet given to me suggests ‘The patient may prefer softer foods which are easier to swallow’. That reminds me of a guy who had his jaw wired following an accident. He was a fan of McDonald’s – I am not. He bought his Big Mac and a Coke and brought them home, put everything in the blender and had his meal through a straw!

The actual operation will take place in day surgery under a local anaesthetic. Just like my previous cataract surgery on both my eyes, I will be wheeled into theatre in day clothes and the whole procedure will last about an hour while I am awake. It is most lightly that I will stay over-night in the hospital. I suppose that will depend on how things go on the day.

Now what more do I need… Plenty of tissues, straws and more meals for the freezer and a few wee treats for matron.

Nearly ready.

49 thoughts on “I am a lady in waiting…

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Temporary changes, Nancy. Doing what I am told should help things settle and in shorter time.

      Reply
  1. Nick

    Goodness, you’re such a meticulous forward planner! I’m sure all the planning will make the recovery period a lot easier. And you’re lucky to have extra help from Elly if needed.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Nick the forward planning worked post hip surgery, so by doing what I am told, I am hoping for good results.

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    1. Grannymar Post author

      Brighid, my type A only goes as far as planning for occasions such as the above. Thankfully I take a positive approach to my life.

      Reply
  2. wisewebwoman

    I am squeamish even looking at the pictures. Best of love and luck to you, fingers crossed and boy, extreme admiration for your organizational skills.
    XO
    WWW

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      WWW, I am fortunate to belong to a generation where surgery is possible. For me, knowing what I am up against helps me understand why I have to posture etc. Elly is the best person to see me through the recovery, I am fortunate to have her.

      Reply
  3. Maxi

    Don’t know what’s goin’ on GM, but I’m having a heck of a time gettin’ to your site. Glad I found it in time to hear about your surgery. Sounds as if you’re good to go. I will be saying special prayers for you.
    blessings ~ maxi

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Maxi, do you use a reader for notification of new blog postings? I have noticed people complain about losing blogs on WordPress.com Reader. They removed the old ling and added it again. Maybe that will help. Rushing around at the last minute was never my thing, I think I inherited my father’s gene for planning and preparation.

      Reply
      1. Maxi

        You’re right GM, I do use WordPress Reader. Will remove and add again. Glad you’re ready to go, most importantly that all goes well.
        blessings ~ maxi

        Reply
        1. Grannymar Post author

          Glad you sorted it out, Maxi. I will be in good hands and a calm patient, being prepared is half the battle.

          Reply
  4. gigihawaii

    I am glad your family is helping you during your recovery. That is so important. My own husband needs me more than ever due to his own surgery.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Sometimes I feel sorry for Elly, she has no siblings to share the ‘problem’ of her mother with. I really appreciate her taking time off work to come home and look after me.
      I hope David is recovering well.

      Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      I was so busy sorting out my physical needs that I had forgotten about ideas to help pass the time. Audio books sound like a great idea.

      Reply
  5. Dee

    From what I have read your hair doesn’t really wash itself, it’s just that the oils in your hair reach a kind of equilibrium, which doesn’t happen normally when we wash our hair. This is because shampoo is a detergent which breaks down the oil in hair, this then triggers the hair follicle to produce more oil to compensate, however it produces too much which then makes hair greasy. If hair is left for 6-12 weeks these oils become balanced (probably because of a feedback mechanism in the hair follicle) making hair slightly oily, but not as greasy as it would be if you washed it and left it for a few days.

    You could try a dry shampoo or some lavender essential oil to refresh your hair Marie x

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Thanks for that tip Dee, I had not thought of a dry shampoo or lavender essential oil.

      Reply
  6. Debra

    What a challenging recovery! I think you are so wise to plan as you’re doing, and with your positive acceptance, you’ll be back to your more comfortable routines in no time! I’m glad Nurse Elly will be on the job. 🙂

    Reply
  7. mybeautfulthings

    That sounds like quite a challenge but, having got to know you a little through our blogging, I feel you are strong and positive and will cope with it all. I will think of you as I too am recovering, from hip no2 which I think is an easier regime than yours. I’m not sure I had told you my dat

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Thank you Sally. I had a hip replaced six years ago. Elly was in Italy and not due home until a few days later. I travelled to the hospital by taxi, alone and of the five patients admitted that morning, I can honestly say I was the most calm. The others had family members fussing about. Elly was with me on the Wednesday, and in good time to take me home.

      Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Sally you had mentioned the date and 19th September is on my calendar and a candle waiting on the shelf! I may not be posting while posturing, but Elly will post for me to keep everyone up to date on my progress.

      Reply
  8. Al

    Let me join your myriad of friends in wishing you best of luck with this procedure. Eye surgery has developed successfully so quickly it’s hard to believe. And you’re right, we are lucky to live in this modern age of eye miracles. Looking forward to hearing about your successful rehabilitation, but I assume no blogging is a part of the deal for a while.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Thanks AL, I will be imposing an embargo on blog reading and writing for the duration. Eyes are important and I will not want to undo the good work of my surgeon. Elly will give regular updates.

      Reply
  9. irmi

    I wanted to send my comment yesterday night. But all of a sudden, just before the end and ready to send I’ve got a black screen. I had no lights on, so I walked out on my balcony and saw just darkness in all my house and around in the neighbourhood: There was a power breakdown. I did not have saved my comment, so I feared to have to rewrite it – you surely understand what that would have meant for me. But lucky I was this morning to get my text back: Word isn’t as bad as I thought…

    It is incredible what medicine allows today. Thankyou for linking to wiki, so I can imagine what you have to go through. I tried to read and understand it from English, the German wiki is not that detailed on that. Now I know why you are exercising sleeping face down. The photos at wiki look terrible, but thanks God they know what they do and you’ll not be able to see with your own eyes what they’ll doing to you.
    It’s great that you do that much preparation with so much reason (rationality). And funny how you prepare: I mean your daughter would be quite confused, if you walked on all fours or suddenly talked to her in the woof-woof language. But 55 min. head down per hour means only 5 min. head up per hour? That’s it? Not so good. No. But I like that you keep your sense of humour. For the heat resistable straws: Try that steel thingys that are served with Mate. They’re called Bombilla. Hope you can get it at your place. Here’s a link to wiki for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage)

    I wish you all the best, Marie.

    And we do have to be patient meanwhile and abstain from your comments (at Celi’s) and from posts. Though Elly will act as your secretary and you just have to dictate… – that’s great. As Sally (above) said it already we want to know how you are progressing… 🙂

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Irmi, thanks for the tip about the Bombilla straws, I had never heard of them before, I see they can be purchased from Amazon. I will read more about them later after my rest away from the screen. Bloggy friends are a wonderful source of information at times like this and the main reason I wrote the post.

      Reply
      1. irmi

        PS to my comment:
        I forgot – there are “straws” made out of steel used for drinking iced coffee to spoon the scoops or for that drink called Caipirinha. Ask in a household dept. in a warehouse or at a kitchen store for that straw. It has kind of a spoon at the open end to hit the pieces of lime in that drink to squeeze out their juices.

        Reply
        1. Grannymar Post author

          Irmi, I saw some of them on Amazon this afternoon, I will talk it over with Elly tomorrow ( always a good idea to consult the staff! 😉 ) and we should have plenty of time to organise one for me. Thanks again.

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  10. Big John

    I have an idea of what you are experiencing as my old ‘trouble and strife’ is awaiting a date for her cataract operation and has pages and pages of pre-op instructions to read.
    Good luck and take care … John

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      John, I have cataract surgery on both eyes in 2010 & 2011. Both were very successful and I was back to normal in a the next day. My only problem was putting drops in my own eye! At least you are there to help your good lady with that.

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  11. Frank B. Smith

    My sister-in-law had retinal repair and she used a massage bench that has the hole in it so she could lay down facing down, comfortably. I don’t know where she got it, or if her husband made it or what, but it seemed like a good way to get in the proper position, and be able to rest.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Frank, thzt sounds like a great idea, but would have no idea of where to start looking for a massage table. I was told at the hospital that it is really a matter of common sense and the nurse thought I would be well able to adapt. The V pillow worked quite well last night and I actually managed to sleep a little longer than the previous efforts.

      Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Cathy, there are no timelines or obligations to commenting. I still have about two weeks left to prepare and practise the posturing. My back and neck need to be used to the positions so that pain does not distract or hinder my progress post-op.

      Reply
  12. bikehikebabe66

    Good Grief! I believe Snoopy coined that. I don’t suppose there’s anyway to cheat.

    I know someone who got a coal in her eye from a ride on an old fashioned, open, coal burning tourist train. After whatever they did, she got exercise by walking head toward sidewalk. People will stare but you won’t see that. It’s a better way than lying facedown on your bed!

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    1. bikehikebabe66

      We used to bicycle up the mountain on that same train’s path. Sometimes we had to cross through the black stuff full of coal cinder shards that came pouring out the front of that train. The passengers sat behind that with no-glass open windows. I’d hold my breath. I should have closed my eyes too.

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    2. Grannymar Post author

      BHB, I will follow the instructions given to me by the surgeon and his team. They know best.

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        1. Grannymar Post author

          BHB, the only time I will be face down on the bed is at night. During the day I will be up and dressed with my head down. Moving from place to place in the house will be enough for me in the early days.

          Reply

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