The Cleveland Clinic is where I chose to have major abdominal surgery, as I discovered they do laprascopic surgery whereas in Atlanta, the procedure I needed done, is rarely done that way. On the recommendation of a dear friend, Susan(who had a similar procedure), I met with Dr. Daniel Geisler, who is extremely experienced in gastrointestinal surgery, this past August. We set a date for surgery in mid-September, and when I was told I could get in earlier, I opted for the earlier date. Unfortunately, I had two attacks of Diverticulitis, the latter episode including pseudomembraneous colitis, also known as the very deadly "c.-diff bacteria" (this often occurs as a result of being on antibiotics long-term, which I had to be on, when afflicted with the Diverticulitis), which meant surgery had to be delayed, again, and again. I was fortunate to have surgery, (which appears to have gone well), on Dec. 10th of this year. Dr. Geisler told me because I am so "tiny" he had to use pediatric instruments on me(!).He said I reminded him of a patient he worked on two years ago--a nine-year-old child!
For those of you wanting the gory details, I can tell you that over 19" of intestine(my entire colon, or large-intestine)was removed. In its place, my
small intestine has been utilized, by attaching it to the top of the rectum(the hallway that leads towards the exit of the body).'Nuff said.
I am extremely sore, particulary in my lower-left torso area, but currently forcing myself to walk--even up and down a few stairs. I am still on a "soft-GI diet" which sounds like some sort of abbreviation for a soldier-who's-become-fat-food-plan."Soft GI diet" means soft foods for the
gastrotrointestinal tract. It means I can only have foods(for about another 5 weeks--it's been three, already)which are soft,like lots of liquids and soup, and mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, creamy rice, mashed meat, eggs, cheeses, very processed, white soft bread.Absolutely NO fresh fruits or fresh vegetables, no salads, etc.No fiberous foods whatsoever. However, I learned two days ago that I may add wheat bread, slowly.
Eventually, I'll be able to eat ANYthing I choose--which is truly something, as I've not had any nut, seed, berry, or corn--or any foods containing them--for over 5 years!
So, hopefully, when I return to Cleveland Clinic in Feruary, I'll get a "Go
Ahead" from the Doc.
I want to add that the entire experience at Cleveland Clinic was excellent.
Everyone from the group I've dubbed the "A-Team"(so dubbed because the hall they are on is "A" hallway), who processed the paperwork, and ran preliminary tests, to the pre-op team of Nurse Amber and Nurse Jackie, to the entire surgical assist-staff of Dr. Geisler's, to the compassionate after-care at H-50 ward, where three Nurse Kristins did a spectacular job, assisted by Dorina, and other great CNA's. The hospital even arranged for me to receive Communion in my room (outreach ministry from a nearby RC Church came everyday)
and Cleveland Clinic's own chapel's "Pastor Jeff" also offered Reiki healing(which I accepted, and then enjoyed an extremely restful night of sleep), and even Aromatherapy(I accepted their marvelous "Lavender Balm" for relaxation). The approach at Cleveland Clinic is cutting-edge technology, combined with a mind-body-spirit application of what used to be considered "alternative", but apparently, is quickly becoming accepted as having healing benefits. For the skeptics out there, who will say "Well, it's just a placebo effect," I can tell you that we humans are built to receive "placebo effects" as well as "medicinal" ones. Either way, I am healing well, though my operation was not entirely laprascopic, as a bit more cutting was necessary.
I am so far, very pleased, but really tired of being tired!
I am getting a tremendous amount of reading completed, which is good(my night-stand usually overflows with books bought, as-yet-unread), and have been watching a few really ridiculous, and oddly-addictive television shows.
Today, New Year's Day, I watched three episodes of some show on TLC(The Learning Channel) about an L.A.-based bikini designer, and it is a scream!The title is "Ashley Paige's Bikini or Bust". Really. That's the name.
My new favorite crush(okay, I've been watching her, relentlessly since she debuted on MSNBC)is Rachel Maddow. Her "First Annual List" last night was laugh-out-loud funny.
Tonight, I'll be taking time to pray, and to take the Vow of Peace, and Non-Violence.I was unable to attend the ceremony we hold, every January 1st(World Peace Day) at St. Jude the Apostle, where we make our committment to make peace-filled choices, not violence-based ones. I was steadfast in my committment, save one unfortunate e-mail I sent several months ago, when I fired off a threatening-sounding
e-mail at someone who'd hurt my feelings, by attacking me for something I've never done. When the angry person e-mailed back--even angrier, with unbelieveable vitrol and untrue statements, I did manage to respond to the anger in terms of what anger is:
fear, disappointment, frustration, or hurt. In this case, I guessed(probably correctly) that this individual is still hurting from my involvement with him, years ago(we're talking 13 years ago!). So I addressed my role in hurting that person, and asked if he needed me to say anything to him, in-person, and then suggested if we can't be civil, perhaps we should not communicate.
It's always difficult to navigate relationships. I've retained, and strive to strengthen, nearly every strong relationship (close relatives, distant relatives, beaus, girlfriends, male and female friends)I've ever had in my life, save this one I have mentioned here, and one other. Which I suppose is a pretty fair record, for an ol' lady like me.
So, my New Year's Resolutions? To become more Peaceful, to become more forgiving, to try to understand.
What are YOUR New Year's Resolutions?
For more on World Peace Day, check out: