Saturday, October 24, 2009

True Confessions

Note: I sent this to my scrapbooking ladies tonight. I am putting it out here because it is part of the "diary" of my life. I do not mean to bore anyone with these details. This is just how I am coping with the stress of the anticipation of what is coming up next week. Nothing major...unless you are a big wuss like me. Here it is...

Just so you know…

I am having my gall bladder out on Wednesday. Dr. Duncan McRae is the surgeon. He is also fixing an umbilical hernia at the same time. So, I guess the best part of this is that I will no longer have that “I’m a Butterball turkey and I’m done” feeling around my navel. And just in time for Thanksgiving, too.

I am not one of those people who likes to discuss illness. Telling you all about this is equivalent to me marching in a parade somewhere as I feel it is drawing attention to me. That is the only real issue that I have with the gay community. I understand the push for rights, and do NOT mean to minimize that. But frankly…I don’t want to know who you are having sex with. I don't want to know who ANYONE is having sex with except me (and of course...Big Dave...but I promise not to share it with you so you won't have to chant "dead possum dead possum dead possum" to get that particular image out of your head). Who does what with whom is none of my business...much like me making this YOUR business. It just seems weird. Granted, I also get freaked out about viewing excessive cleavage, public displays of affection, big girls wearing bikinis, and don't need to know who poor Jennifer Aniston is dating, Oprah’s current weight and the rehab tribulations of troubled celebrities. I honestly wish everyone would keep certain things to themselves. So, I'm telling you this because one of you says I have to.

I have found that this mindset of "don't ask...don't tell" puts me in the minority. Most people want to know the details of what is being done so that it can be discussed in Sunday School. My school of thought has always been…if I can send you a card or food…isn’t that better for all parties involved? Do I need to know the number of stitches or how many times you threw up in recovery?

Besides…I live a gazillion miles out of town and it is highly inconvenient to be nice to me…if you even want to be. If I don’t make it through the surgery…someone will call you with the funeral arrangements. If you hear nothing…assume that I am fine. If I can crawl to the computer…I’ll be on Facebook. That’s for dang sure.

Illness or surgery makes me have to answer questions…like…

How are you feeling? (Most commonly response historically given: Fine, thanks. The truth? I feel like I am living scenes from the movie “Alien” on certain days.)

What brought this on? (A lifetime of fast food, two pregnancies, and these darn genes. The thought of going through another trip to the emergency room like I did last month was enough for me to agree to have this thing yanked out.)

Is there anything I can do to help? (Yes, please send food, prayers, and cards if you are so led. My mother, who loves me, will see that I am cared for. She hates to cook, clean, or do anything remotely domestic, though. She is a whiz at reheating and plating. If you don’t want to send food…that’s great…but don’t feel like you have to. If you are really ambitious…send Merry Maids. My mother-in-law may also come. This means that I need to label my cabinets this weekend in anticipation for this since my kitchen cabinets were apparently set up by drunken monkeys as she can never find anything in them. At least that’s been our experience every Thanksgiving.)

Do you want visitors? (Do you really WANT to visit? Wouldn’t you rather dust your ceiling fans or watch Nascar?)

How long will you be out? (I’m leaving that one to my doctor. I will probably be back at work within the week as it is supposed to be done laparoscopically. I fear that word is misspelled but I’m not looking it up.)

May I put you on my prayer list? (If it involves people that I don’t know outside of the Montgomery area…fine. If it involves me having to deal with various congregational care ministers, answer questions in the atrium at church, or forces me to receive numerous telephone calls…then change my name and request prayer. I would like for YOU to pray for me, though.)

How do you feel about this? (I’ve been in active denial until today. I was forced to admit it when fifteen people asked me if I was coming to Homecoming at Troy and the truth is “if I feel like I can” which is completely unknown to me right now.)

You seem upset. Why is that? (I don’t like hassles. Any surgery and recovery is by definition…a hassle. I also feel like it is retribution for not taking care of myself and that makes me mad at me. I fear that someone will actually verbalize this to me, and I’ll end up in a ward, on a news clip, or in a cell somewhere. I sincerely hope that this will not be the case…but I can see where it could happen. I’m just not able to handle people who might say something like…”well, I hope that you’ll start taking better care of yourself now…” or something equally brainless. I seem to attract that kind of thing, and I tend to bristle at being told something like that. What they don’t know is that I’m already so hard on myself, that anything they say to correct my behavior only ticks me off. Friends don’t lecture friends…unless they’re asked for input.)

What are your biggest fears about this…I mean, it’s routine, right? (I hate waking up from anesthesia. I prefer it to NOT waking up…granted…but the stuff that they liberally use to coat the tube they apparently shove down my throat seems to gel and then I deal with a medicinal taste for days after the surgery. Thinking about it now makes me gag. I also fear anyone seeing my bedroom in its current condition…although it is far better than it was…and how I know my hair is going to look during the recuperative period. In short, ick, OMG, and egad.)

Is Big Dave a lot of help? (Big Dave is male. He will make sure that I am fed, reasonably comfortable and covered up. He will provide no entertainment, will not sit with me, and will find something far more fun to do like mow the lawn, clean out the pool, or put out ant poison.)

So, there you have it. My big confession. Hope that I have answered your questions…but if not…feel free to call the house. Nobody answers it. EVER. Then you can say that you called…and I won’t know if you did or didn’t. A win-win, yes? I will also not judge, resent, hate, or think less of you if I do not hear from you next week. I promise. But if you send cards, food, or most importantly…a prayer up on my behalf…I’ll be most appreciative.


  1. Karen - in no particular order: no one much answers my house phone either. I left you a note saying we were in the same Breast Cancer 3 Day in 2001 which I thought a neat coincidence. Candi (Whitman) Todd recently had this surgery after a lifetime of exemplary health - although she said losing weight seemed to do something to the gall bladder that created stones. I enjoy your posts, though I am not often on Facebook. I tried to leave you this on Facebook as it's your preferred mode, but didn't have permission, so am leaving it here - hope that's okay. Be well and I will be praying for you from a safe (for you) distance here in Atlanta. I look forward to hearing things turned out well.

  2. Thanks, Mol! I am hoping that it is a no big deal surgery...but anytime that they are knocking you out and isn't a little deal (unless it isn't YOUR surgery!) :)