Lying Down and Waking Up

Kage Baker was of the opinion that, when one was ill, one should take time to fully recover before attempting to leap once more into the millrace of life.

At least, she always told other people to do that. She herself seldom took any time off at all, and would resume her duties and activities as soon as her fever broke or her wounds healed. It’s different for me was her philosophy.

Most people feel a certain amount of that, I suspect. We’re always so sure we can beat the odds, and return to the fray as soon as our heads clear … certainly, I’ve depended on an inhumanly robust system to get me back on my feet in record time. Usually works, too.

And, in fact, it’s working this time. For a 62-year old with a few health problems, I’m healing from my nephrectomy very quickly. I was on my feet in mere hours, and home in 3 days;  the pain is nearly gone, and my incisions are closed and healing. However, while I am over-all doing well …. this whole experience has not been as easy as I had anticipated.

I think I forgot I’m no longer 18. It’s an easy mistake to make – despite the evidence of mirrors, we do tend to overlook that passing of time on the insides of our heads. I’m still demonstrably that young woman who spent Halloween of 1971 eating smuggled pizza and clandestine chocolates. Hell, I’m still that only slightly stiffer woman who was climbing in and out of her hospital bed in 2011, a mere 8 hours after a hysterectomy, rather than use a bedpan.

I don’t do invalidism.

On the other hand, I currently have 4 stab woulds in my abdomen. They’re better than the gaping canyon left by the original kidney surgery – none more than 4 inches long – but they are all about 6 inches deep … and, something I keep forgetting, a major organ has been removed and left a void in my innards. My innards apparently object more than I had anticipated.

The pain isn’t bad, and my drugs are good. But I have no stamina. I’ve spent the last week pretty much asleep and/or stoned, Dear Readers, which has put a serious crimp in my bloggery. I do not currently bend especially at the waist – rather like an Ent, reclining has been achieved by a very brief fall onto a slanted surface. The only way I’ve been able to sleep has been in a recliner – the cats love this, as my pillow and blankets and I are thus at their constant disposal; but getting me in and out of the thing has been problematical. A winch would have been handy …

But last night, I finally managed to lie down in my own bed and sleep lying flat! The bliss of being able to stretch out one’s legs and go limp cannot be over-estimated, Dear Readers; even with sad kitten eyes blinking at one in the darkness.  The Orange Fluff Cat managed to content herself by stealing one of my pillows – I don’t have the stamina to successfully wrestle a cat for possession of my own pillow.

Still, I am much better. And I am getting more so. I haven’t had any pain killers at all today; which means I can be pretty sure of what dimension I am in. It’s been kind of up for grabs until today … I seem to have spent a lot of time up near the ceiling lately.

Things are better now, though. And I don’t miss the damned kidney one itty bitty bit. My various surgical stab wounds are all purring with satisfaction.

Tomorrow I’ll describe the peculiar dimensional hub I’ve been inhabiting at night. Strange scenes, indeed …

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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7 Responses to Lying Down and Waking Up

  1. mizkizzle says:

    Maybe you can compare your current abdominal stuation to the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. For decades you had a large, willfull, poorly functioning object tucked up in there, trying to mess with its neighbors.
    Now it’s gone and the neighbore need time to recover.
    You’re doing very well, all things considered. It was still major surgery, even though the incisions were tiny. Major surgery takes a lot out of a person.


    • Kate says:

      My biggest recuperation problem has always been that I expect to be bouncing around on my feet within days – and now that no longer applies! After all, the kidney had been festering for 50 years, and actively infected for at least 6 months: small wonder it’s taking longer than I thought! Of course, that is all hindsight, which is always 20/20. I am still getting surprised by the fact that I cannot climb around the furniture like usual … although this time at the hospital, they at least believed me when I warned them I wouldn’t sty in the bed, and refrained from setting the ESCAPED PATIENT alarm. That’s always so annoying …


  2. Brad Campbell says:

    Welcome back.


  3. Cynthia says:

    Glad you’re blogging again. I missed the (almost)
    daily contact.


    • Kate says:

      Me, too – the first week home, I was not in contact with any of the fields we know … weirdness galore. I am much better now – and thank you for the lovely flowers! Though we had to put them on the mantlepiece to keep the Little Orange Cat from eating them.


  4. Miz Kizzle says:

    Just don’t whip. Neither should you nae nae, until you’re completely recovered.


  5. Lynn says:

    Welcome back, Kathleen. You’ve been sorely missed (see, you’re not the only one hurting!).


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