Not How This Works

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First email:

I noticed that you have a broken link to a website. That site was first published way back in 2001 but unfortunately, it is no longer a working website.

We recently published an article that explains what happened to the site. I think it's an interesting story, and it could be useful to your readers.

Would you consider swapping out the broken link for our article? It would really help.

It went into the ignore folder.

Second email:

I wanted to check in and see if you got my note about the broken link on your site?

Yes, and I really don't particular want to invest the time in tracking down the 404 at this point. Such cleanup is on my Tech Debt List, which is not high on my to-do list yet. Soon, but not today.

Third email:

After emailing you, I realized this may not be your responsibility and you're focused on other stuff.

Who's the best person on your team to talk to about this?

Well, A+ for persistence. My site isn't so visited that this level of effort makes sense. I think I want to meet the author of these emails.

Fourth email:

I'm sure you're busy, but if you could respond to my email below, I can cross this off my list.

Well, shit, I've become a blocker for someone. That really sucks. I'd feel bad, except let's look back at this from the first email:

PS: if you didn't like getting this email, please just shoot me a note and ask me not to email you anymore. I'll make sure I don't.

Yeaaaaaaaaah, no. This isn't how this site works.

All of these emails have asks. All of these emails demand action from me. All of these are asking for my attention, for action on my part. If I fail to follow up, more demands for my attention are made.

I recognize there is a person on the other end of those emails, and, wow, would responding be easier than writing this note. I would like to be kind to the sender, but, increasing demands on my time, without my consent, eh, really shouldn't be rewarded.

And how funny that I balk at setting this boundary on demands for my time and my site. I'm sure Jonathan can relate to this boundary, unfortunately.

So, I checked my assumptions and went to look for the person behind the emails, as the wording leads me to believe there is a person, and, well, now I'm less sure. Looking on Twitter, the company behind the "replace your URL with this URL" emails has one tweet, no followers, and is following no one (ugh, non-parallel structure there). I haven't gone to the website, but note that searches for the sender's name and the company name yield zero results in Duckduckgo, and subsequently Google, results.

A company I contracted with recently would use fake names in their marketing emails, names odd enough that one would be able to find the senders on the internet if they existed. The sender of the emails seems to be as much of a ghost as that company's marketing women.

Ehhhhhh, yeah, link rot sucks. I have a better solution planned than what I have now. It is, also, on the Tech Debt List. It is, also, not today.

And the link that was referenced in the first email? Still rotten.

Follow up Appointment

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"The glue here has started to come off."

"You can peel them off. They need to be on only five to seven days."

"Oh! That's great!"

“When you do peel them off, put lotion on the incisions, to reduce the scars.”

“Why would I want to reduce the scars?”

“Uh... Most people do.”

“Knife fight with a robot!  Scars are cool!”

“You are a rare one!”

Went to follow up with surgeon today. This was supposed to be my only follow up appointment, but, well, interesting things happen in this body, let me tell you.

I was able to walk more easily than my previous appointment. My surgeon noticed and said he'd like to postpone the steroid shot until at least three weeks, if not six weeks out. I shouldn't have healed as fast as I did from the previous visit last Wednesday, but the progress is good. I suggested that I might have needed to know that I wasn't damaging myself by moving, it just f---ing hurt, and with that permission, I'm moving around more, helping things out. He agreed that moving and stretching are good, and more than just my forward-back stretches, include some side stretches.

After leaving, I was able to walk (carefully!) down the stairs, too! Whoo!

I was looking forward to the steroids, but what's good, what's bad, who knows. It'll be fine. I can't take big steps, I can't move quickly, and I cannot do pushups (yes, I tried, managed to hand walk out one two steps before "no no no no AHHHHHHHH" happened and I collapsed, so definitely no pushups yet), but I can walk somewhat. And I can mostly dress myself without screaming in pain.

To which we say, "Victoire!"

As for the scars on my stomach, there are so many things in this world to be worried about, scars on my stomach are so way not one of them. Chicks dig scars.

Hair Talk

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"Do you regret cutting off your hair?"

Mom asked me this today, which puzzled me.

I mean, why would I ever regret cutting off my hair?

Maybe because my head is cold because I cut my hair in winter? I wear a hat when I'm cold, and don't when I'm not, same as when I had hair.

Maybe because I'll have some idiot she-devil call me a bald lesbian because I shaved my head? Well, said idiot can fuck off for so many reasons (p.s. don't work with Dana Hasten, she's the idiot who thinks being gay is offensive).

Maybe because I no longer have the hair to play with when I'm thinking? Claire suggested a spinner ring, which I have on a finger now, and they are fun fidget devices, but really, I can rub my head when I'm thinking to the same effect as twirling the long hair.

I couldn't figure it out, so I asked Mom why she asked.

Apparently I was doing just that: rubbing my head on the call.

Ah.

Well, I said, I recommend shaving your head with a number 2 and feeling the wind on your scalp, the lift of the roots as they grow differently without the weight of the hair, the feel of rubbing gently along the stop of hairs - all wonderful sensations when you have them by choice and not by circumstance.

By choice, I highly recommend it.

Yep, Relief

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Yuuuuuuuuup, not normal.

Went to see the surgeon today about these pains. Turns out, the pain is centralized where my internal suture is, indicating the suture is likely irritating a nerve ending. I have radiating shocks when I lift my leg, and these shocks support the hypothesis that the suture is firing this nerve.

As a temporary fix, my surgeon injected my leg with numbing stuff, which should last the day. He said go for a walk while the pain is low, it'll come back.

I can look forward to steroids around the suture/nerve next week. Given how much the steroids (corticosteroids, not anabolic steroids) helped Chase (he was doing pony twirls the first few days on them!), I am looking forward to them. Steroids aren't typically given before two weeks of recovery, so that the body has a chance to heal on its own. I'll have some earlier than two weeks, but close enough to the two week mark that the doctor is okay with administering them at my follow up.

Upside, my incisions look great! They are healing well. The doctor said that most people complain about the incision points for pain. I mentioned they don't hurt at all, and learned that a body will typically focus its attention on the worst pain, ignoring lesser pains until the worst one is resolved. Which is to say, yes, my incisions ache at level 1-2, I just don't notice them over the suture/nerve pains of 7-8.

The suture should dissolve in like six weeks, so this pain should also resolve in that time frame, reducing along the way.

Here's hoping for pony twirls!

Okay, Pain

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Unsurprisingly, when you stop doing something, you lose the ability to do it. Use it or lose it, that sort of thing. Writing has definitely become that for me.

I've been in great pain for the last five days, to the point where Kris said, no, these pains are not normal. I figure he knows a thing or two about surgeries and recoveries, but this is my first time, maybe this is normal. "You're in a lot of pain," (yep) "call your medical team." I don't know this isn't normal. "Doesn't matter, you're in a lot of pain, and it's been a bit. Call your medical team."

Here's the thing about telling someone in a lot of pain to call their medical team: they don't know what that means, they are in pain.

I did the best thing I could do. I asked Jonathan what to do. "Tell them you’re in a lot of pain. They’ll tell you if that’s expected. Maybe you’ll need to come in and they can examine. Or maybe they’ll tell you it’s nothing." I called the number on the post-op instructions and used those words. I'm grateful for those words.

Turns out, the pain isn't normal and I have an appointment for tomorrow with the surgeon.

Here's hoping for some relief soon.

Knife Fight with a Robot

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Went to the hospital for surgery today. I've been to this hospital many times as a caretaker, but never as patient, a joke I made with pretty much every who asked if I had been in before. "As an observer," I'd say, "First time as a patient." One could say, roll the dices enough, and everything happens. For me, this is best summed up by my mother, "You always get the weird ones." Yuuuup.

I was restless in the morning, having woken at 3:30 to pee, then being unable to fall back asleep afterward. Up, shower with the anti-bacterial solution I was given, small cup of tea (liquids allowed until three hours before surgery), and a bottle of pre-surgery carbohydrate drink, which was also the most sugar I have had since Ash Wednesday. Was incredibly sweet, and not in delicious way. Dressed, checked my list, everything was set up already, so put on shoes, grabbed the mask, and off I went to the hospital with a fly-by dropoff.

I was not expecting the hospital lobby to be as empty as it was. Two people were visible, a greeter and a registration checker, and I talked with both of them. Up to Patient registration, where, after filling out some paperwork was told three (THREE) times that the surgeon was not a hospital employee, he's a contractor. Did I mention he's a contractor? Contractor.

After signing a bunch of paperwork, I was directed up the elevator into the Surgical Waiting Room, where I had the briefest of waits. Led into room 12, I did the usual strip down, wash myself down with a couple of delightfully warm wipes, then into the bed, where I answered a lot of questions about my health (for the third or fourth time), had an IV line installed (also delightfully, along the inner part of my left forearm, which meant I didn't have worry about not bending my arms. A heat pump was attached to my gown for air to blow in to warm or cool as I needed. I liked that part, as I was both warm and not sticking to the gown's plastic inners. My forehead sported a lovely temperature-reading sensor.

"Have you been with us before?" "Not as a patient." again.

This entry is going to read very weird to me when I read it after the anesthesia has worn off.

I was all ready to go at 9:30. The nurse said, hey, you're ready to go, we will wait for your doctor to come in and talk with you first.

I put everything into my patient bag, lay back down, and fell asleep. I have no idea how many other people fall asleep before their first surgery, but based on the conversations around me as I drifted off, I'm guessing very, very few people sleep before a surgery.

I woke just before 11:00am, and rung the nurse to walk me to the toilet to pee. Again. Little did I know how much harder that seemingly easy act would become.

I was back in my bed not five minutes before Brian, my anesthesiologist, came in and talked. My surgeon came in just after, along with my OR nurse. I had one more document to sign, giving consent for any interesting images to be published in a medical journal with my name kept secret. I hesitated to sign. "You don't want to be in a journal?"

"It's not that, it's that I want a copy of the journal if I'm in it."

Everyone laughed and collectively relaxed. The doctors left, leaving me with my OR nurse. "You've gone to the restroom recently?" "Yep, five minutes ago" . "Okay, off we go."

The OR was close by, I met the two other nurses who would be helping me move, slid from my gurney to the table, and watched as the four others prepped for my surgery. After I was introduced to my robot, Xena, and heard about the other robots in the other ORs. I have to say that I was glad to hear the chatter and the joking. Such behavior is exhibited in a cohesive team, reducing whatever anxiety I was having, which was very little already.

A medicine was added to the IV, to relax me. I looked up at the ceiling, was lower than I thought it would be. The medicine from the IV started to hit, I saw the overhead lights start to spin. "Wheeeeeee! Look at the lights!" I must have said that out loud, as very quickly I heard, "Well, she's having fun!"

The oxygen mask came on and I woke up in the recovery room around 2:40pm. I know that people say under general, there is no sense of time. When I was coming up from the depths, however, I was dreaming. From my point of view, I was inhaling into the mask, then woke up elsewhere, but I still had a sense of time passing, just not the full amount of time that had passed. The surgery was shorter than expected, so the surgeon made up time, I suspect, on my surgery.

My surgeon had only one repair to make, and "it was tiny!" Which has me wondering if I had a misdiagnosis or something really weird is wrong with my body? Clearly the latter.

I fell back asleep until 4pm, when I woke and a flurry of activity happened. I am uncertain if I woken up more than these two times. I struggled to stay awake, but managed to stay awake. A nurse came back to check on me. As she was checking the monitors, I asked her if she observes Lent. She said yes, she does. I commented, "I've given up sugar for Lent," and was delighted when she brought me sugarless drinks and crackers. The drinks unfortunately had aspartame, which I didn't report was an allergy, so I waited for more water.

Turns out, anesthesia not only slows down your GI tract, it also closes your bladder, which means no going home until one urinates, and one doesn't urinate easily. Which is to say, my inability to pee wasn't performance anxiety as I thought it might be.

Eventually, I was able to go, after two glasses of water, two large cups of peppermint tea, and at least one bag of IV fluids, along with a locked door (not appropriate in a hospital for a patient), and about 15 minutes of concentration. While I was downing those liquids, I listened to the hospital movements. Indeed, there was my Mary, along with her usually two. I was amused, recognizing how different my experiences with the healthcare systems have been, compared to most people's.

On my wheelchair riding way out the door, I thanked the nurses for taking care of me. They were kind, and I appreciated the help recovering.

So, here I am, I've had surgery. My eyes are incredibly dilated from the drugs, and I can't walk yet without pain. I'm here on this couch for the next two days at least. Here's hoping I recover quickly.

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