Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I guess I'm not really saying goodbye to things like ice cream and brownies and the occasional steak, I guess I should just say I won't be stopping by as often. I've never been moderate about the things I really love. That's how I have ended up being as fat as I am. When I really like something, I eat it as often as I want to. Like potato chips. I had three bags in my cupboard that I gave to my neighbor. I know I might as well give them up because I don't know moderation when it comes to chips. I love them. The baked no-salt kind simply won't do for me. So chips are out the window.
I know I can do this. It will just take a lot of dedication on my part. The exercise is coming along a little more slowly due to my internal injury. Walking isn't a problem but the pain seems to be worse when I stop walking, even if I cool down. But I do it anyway. I'm hoping at the October Crimson Moon party I will be slimmer. Wish me luck, friends.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
My room was right by the nurses' station. There was a lady in sterile clothes whose job was just to watch the monitors of all the patients. She had two screens to watch: ICU patients and the ones on the floor. She didn't have to see patients or fill out paperwork. Her sole job was watching those heart monitors. I felt very safe with her on the job. I began to think of her as a lifeline. I never said a word to her, but she was very important to me.
When they moved me back onto the floor, I was pushed in a recliner (more comfy than a wheelchair). As we rolled past the nurses' station, all the girls there clapped and cheered. It was, I was told, a tradition to do this for people who made it out of ICU. It was a special little "you go, girl!" after all I had been through. I knew a lot of patients probably didn't make it out of ICU, unless it was to go to the morgue. While I was on the floor, the nurse told me I would get Fentynal for only about 8 more hours. Then they were changing my pain medication to Percocet. I think, at first, they were afraid I was drug seeking. But I think it finally did dawn on them that I was an actual patient with actual pain. Before I left ICU, a nurse removed the Foley from my bladder. It hurt more coming out than it had going in. Of course, I was so out of it when it had been put in that I couldn't be sure about that. From now on, when I needed to use the bathroom, I would have to get up and walk to the bathroom. Of course, they wanted me to call them if I needed help. When I went into the bathroom for the first time, I saw that there was a little pan there to catch and measure my urine. Urine, I knew, was gold in hospitals. Every drop was caught, measured and studied. I guess you can learn a lot about a person's health by looking at their urine. Anyway, I filled that thing the first time. Funny, but it felt so good to pee on my own. It also felt good to finally have a bowel movement. Of course, with the tear, it hurt a little. But they didn't want me straining and maybe causing the tear to start bleeding again. I didn't see any blood so I figured everything was cool in that department. My stomach sure felt a lot less bloated and painful. I was healing fast and beginning to feel a bit anxious to get back home. "Not until you can do stairs" my doctor said when I asked when I would be going home. Right, I never thought of that. I had some hellacious stairs at my apartment. No way I would be able to tackle those in my present state. Just getting up and walking to the bathroom exhausted me. These folks were the experts. I would have to take their word for it.
Of course, later that first day on the floor, I got my last dose of Fentynal. I savored the floaty feeling it gave me, knowing I was going to get Percocet next time. I remembered Percocet. My mother took it for her back and sometimes, when my cramps were especially bad, I would take one. Yes, I know. Very foolish. I could have ended up addicted to it. Unfortunately, the first time I needed something for pain (after the Fentynal was stopped) was during the night when the 3rd shift nurse was there. When she finally got to my room and I told her my pain was about an 8, she offered me a Tylenol. "Tylenol?" I said. "For a peritoneal tear? You're kidding, right?" She looked put out. Yes, I know it's harder to get narcotics; there's more procedure involved and she probably didn't want to go to the trouble. But I was in pain here. I couldn't have cared less that she didn't want to go through the procedure of getting me a narcotic pain reliever. I needed something for my pain NOW. When she finally did go to get it, she left me waiting (sweating and crying) for over half an hour. By the time she brought the pill, I was ready to tear it out of her hand. But I had to wait until she put it into a plastic medicine cup. There's some kind of federal law about taking medication directly from someone else's hand, even a nurse. She shoved it at me and gratefully swallowed it without checking to see if my water pitcher was full. It wasn't. The nurse got me a glass of water from the bathroom faucet. What a sweetheart she was. I would have washed that beautiful pill down with my own pee if I'd been forced to. It made me think of James Caans' character in "Misery": a poor person in pain at the mercy of someone who didn't care if they were in pain. I probably interrupted her break or something. Well, I'm sorry but my pain isn't on a time clock. Needless to say, I was glad when she left and another nurse replaced her. She was really great. Yes, I sometimes had to wait for her after I'd hit my call button, but she always apologized for the delay. I wasn't under any illusion that I was the only patient on the floor. I'm pretty sure most of the beds were full. I knew that I would have to wait for things.
There's only so much recuperating a person can do in a hospital. Sooner or later, it's time to leave and get on with your life. The first time I tried to do the stairs, I got dizzy. I attributed this to the fact that the stairwell was very hot. I was only dizzy for a couple seconds, but five people came running. I really was embarrassed. One of the nurses who was helping me said it would be better for me to wait until I can do the stairs alone than risk ending up back in the hospital, maybe with a broken neck this time. So it was determined that I should stay in the hospital for one more day. I was discouraged, but my sweet, understanding nurse told me that I would have setbacks. Come to expect them, she told me. You'll have times where you're discouraged, where you're frustrated. But you'll also have victories. But those will be hard won. She told me I would get well. The peritoneal tear was just going to make it take a little longer. She had me out walking the halls twice that night. Since I would be going home the next day, I would need to be as strong on my feet as possible. And there was still those pesky stairs. I wasn't going anywhere until I could master them. So I called forth my grit and made up my mind that I was going to whup those stairs. After the disappointment of failing the Stair Test, my nurse tucked me back into my bed with a Percocet. I was so disappointed. I was sure I would do well. I'm a very competitive person. I like to win. But not even being able to do a flight of stairs was such a stark wake-up call for me; a tangible reminder what my body had been through. "You'll do it tomorrow" my nurse said rubbing my shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
The next morning, my doctor came in. He was dressed in a suit this time and he looked gorgeous. He announced that I was being discharged today. He said if I had lived in a ranch-style house I would've gone home the day before. He asked me if I'd had any chest pain or if the pain was just in my tummy. Yeah, just there. No chest pain at all. He was happy to hear this. However, my tummy was still extremely tender and I reacted appropriately (something doctors call "guarding"). I asked him how long it would be that sore and he shrugged. It was all up to how fast my body healed the tear and how fast it reabsorbed the hematoma. He said until then, expect pain. But it would decrease as I healed. Pretty soon, he assured me, Tylenol will take care of any pain I was having. Just to be safe, when he gave my nurse my discharge papers, there was a prescription for Oxycodone. It was the small ones but it would work, he assured me. Cigi had had the big ones and had a Fentynal patch on top of that. Now I had some kind of perspective on how bad her pain must have been. Yet, I never once heard her complain or feel sorry for herself. I found myself admonishing myself when I felt like pitying myself.
I had to watch a movie called "Going Home Following A Heart Attack". All of the people in it were in their 60's. There was no one my age in the film. When I thought about it, there was no one my age on the floor. My nurse told me it was rare to see someone under 50 who didn't have a congenital heart disorder; unless they were drug addicts. One nurse told me everything about my case was atypical. Hey, what can I say? I was never one to do anything by the book. An internist was also seeing me regularly in order to track my overall health; his job was to make sure none of my new meds were interacting, that I was eating and "voiding" the way I should have been. He listened to my bowel sounds and continued to watch the area where the bruising was. The bruising, where the blood just pooled up under the surface of my skin, was horrific. It still stuns me to look at it. To think I lost that much blood just floors me. But the doctor told me that, as my body absorbs it, the bruising would fade. It would just take a long time. The trick now was to limit my physical activity so as not to tear it again. This is in direct opposition to what they want you to do after a heart attack. Most cardiologists want their patients up and moving as soon as possible. So my cardiologist knew not to expect any cartwheels from me just yet.
When the lady from physical therapy arrived to take me on the steps, I knew it was the moment of truth. My nurse went with me "just in case". I went up the stairs slowly but steadily. It had been coming down that had proved my undoing the day before. So I took it a little more slowly going up than I had before. Coming down, I felt good. I was wearing a device called a grab belt that the physical therapist could use to help me balance. When I hit the bottom of the staircase, I knew I'd aced it. I knew I would be going home that day. I was excited but scared, too. I'd been in the hospital for five days. It was time to continue my recovery at home.
So I say to all of my friends out there: don't ignore your health. Don't think it can't happen to you just because you eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise and your weight is normal. It can happen to anyone. Heart disease, I learned, is the Number One cause of death among women, beating out all cancers combined (even breast cancer). It's the Number Three killer of women in my age bracket (45-55) in the world. You only have one heart. Take care of it better than I did mine.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I asked the nurse "Why am I a fall risk?" Now I was a total klutz and have tripped and fallen plenty of times over the years, but the bracelet was somehow insulting. She said "Hon, you've had Atavan and Dilaudid. You may not feel lightheaded, but if you should try to get up and walk, you would probably hit the deck. It'll just help us take better care of you." She smiled at me reassuringly. I liked her immediately. She would take wonderful care of me over the course of that night. A little while later, she advised me to order some dinner. It was after 4 o'clock and I had not had any food all day. I picked up my phone to order and the operator had to check to see what kind of diet the doctor had ordered for me. She told me I was on the cardiac diet. I ordered an open faced roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, green beans and some pudding. Also a Sierra Mist, which I drank the whole time I was there. I laid there and rested while I waited for my tray to arrive. The pain dissipated somewhat as I ate. I made sure to eat slowly though because I didn't want to puke it all up. Being sick is the thing I hate and dread more than anything in the world. Shift change had happened but my friendly nurse was still there for some reason. When I asked why she was working over, she said the third shift nurse had called off and she had volunteered to stay. Later, I would be glad this angel of mercy was with me. She was in my room every half hour asking "How's your pain,Cheryl?" I had to admit it was getting a lot worse and I was beginning to feel short of breath. She went to report this to the doctor, who I still hadn't seen yet. The doctor was ordering pain medication without even seeing me. She returned swiftly with a hypo which she told me was Morphine and asked if I'd ever had it. Yes, I had it after my hysterectomy. In fact, I had a pump where I could hit a button and get a hit every half hour. I'd loved it because it had taken away my pain without making me sick the way Demerol did. She began to push it slowly into my IV so that I wouldn't have that dreaded "head rush" which I hate so much from pain meds. She told me the lab had been alerted and someone was coming down to take two vials. One was to check my cardiac enzymes again and another one for a test called a dedimer. This test checks for blood clots. The dedimer test wasn't conclusive, however, because you can have an elevated level just from having an IV, which I did. Twice she had given me this awful tasting concoction that was supposed to help raise my potassium, which was low. The guy from the lab arrived and, without much preamble, found a vein and drew the required two vials of blood. I was aware now that I'd had a lot of blood draws already and the needles now stung as they went in. I admitted to my nurse after the lab guy left, that I was afraid. I didn't want to have a blood clot in my heart or lung. She told me to just relax. A STAT order had been placed on my test and the results would be back in minutes. When they arrived, the news was bad. My cardiac enzymes were elevated and my potassium was still low. By this time, there were five people in my room, including, finally, the doctor. He was tall and trim, just like the ER doctor. He was attractive and efficient. He spoke to me like a person. "Cheryl, your cardiac enzymes are elevated. Not a lot, but enough that I'm concerned based on how long standing your pain is." He listened to my heart and took my blood pressure, which was very high. He asked me if I knew what an angiogram was. Sure, I knew. It's where you inject me with radioactive contrast, thread a catheter through my femoral artery and look at my cardiac arteries. Cigi had had one a few years ago and so had my roommate before his bypass surgery. I took care of his wound (because he's diabetic). I knew how risky and painful they were. He wanted to do one. He said he wanted to see what my arteries were doing and if there was any damage to the heart muscle. I said "OK" and the doctor gave me a consent form and a pen. Saying a silent prayer, I signed it. He told me I would be going to the Cath Lab shortly. I'd never been inside a Cath Lab before but I was so scared and in so much pain I didn't care what they did to me as long as, when it was all over, I was out of pain. Two men, one of them ruggedly handsome, came into the room with a metal table on which was resting a plastic yellow sheet. I asked what the plastic was for and the handsome one said that sometimes, when the dye is injected, people pee themselves. The plastic sheet makes it easier to clean up. Wow. This was good to know but I was mortified by the thought of peeing in front of a good looking doctor and his ruggedly handsome assistant. They got me on the table, which was freezing cold, and began to wheel me to the lab. All the while, the doctor is giving me the odds of certain things happening. One of them, an arterial bleed, was given as 1200 to 1. When I arrived in the lab, I understood why the table had been so cold. The room was freezing. It was so cold that my teeth were chattering and my legs and arms were shaking. The doctor explained that the room was cold due to all the sensitive equipment and because I would become really hot when the radioactive dye was injected. I would be grateful, he assured me. He asked his assistant (the handsome one) to give me some Verced. A female nurse was there, too, helping the doctor put plastic sheeting over the flouroscope (the X-ray machine that would allow him to see my artieries). The handsome guy pushed the Verced into my IV. "I'm giving you some Verced, Cheryl," he told me. "It's to put you into twilight sedation. You won't care about too much after I give you this." Before it hit, the doctor asked me where the scars on my pudendum had come from. Because I'm in the spanking scene, I keep my hoo haw shaved. Otherwise, he would never have seen the scar. I explained that I'd been born with a hernia and had had it operated on when I was two years old. He numbed the area on my groin that he was going to go in through. I felt nothing and didn't care. Verced was the best stuff in the world. The nurse patted my shoulder and let me know that she was going to inject the dye now. I would feel it and it would feel cold at first, then really hot. It felt like ice water going in. By the time it hit my heart three seconds later, I felt like I was on fire. The doctor said "You have a blocked artery, Cheryl. It's being a bratty artery, for sure." I was praying because I thought I'd just heard the doctor say I had a blocked artery. I asked "Just one?" and he said "Yep, all the others look beautiful. You have very large arteries." He explained to me that he was going to insert a stent into the artery to open it up. It was the right coronary artery, which carries blood to a large part of the heart. And it was blocked. Terrific.I saw the doctor remove the stint from its packaging. It looked huge. I thought 'That's going in my heart?' He said he had done balloon angioplasty on the artery, in which a balloon catheter was put into the artery and then inflated in order to push the plaque build up against the walls of the artery, moving it out of the way for the stent. A stent is a plastic tube with cobalt chromium wires criss crossing it. The stent was top of the line, he told me, given only to the healthiest patients. As soon as the stent went in, every bit of my chest pain disappeared. I was so relieved, tears began to fall from the corners of my eyes. The ruggedly handsome guy said "You OK, hon?" I told him I felt a thousand times better and was so relieved to be out of pain. The doctor said "Well then, you're gonna hate me. I'm inserting a collogen seal into the artery. That way, you only have to lie flat and motionless for a couple hours instead of six hours. But it's gonna make you feel like your leg is on fire." When he inserted the seal into the artery, the pain was the worst I'd ever felt. I cried out for real and shed new tears. The ruggedly handsome guy, who I acertained by now was the anaethesiologist, advised me to breathe in deeply through my nose and then out through my mouth. "Slow deep breaths, Cheryl", he coaxed. Little did I know that my pain was about to get a lot worse. I was still crying from pain and the doctor asked Mr. Ruggedly Handsome to give me some more Verced. I was in pain again, but at least it wasn't my chest. The bratty artery was now unblocked.
However, despite how relieved I was that I wasn't going to need bypass surgery, I continued to be in severe pain as I was wheeled back to my room. My sweet, caring nurse was there waiting for me. She smiled and applied a wet wash cloth to my forehead, knowing that I was still hot from the dye. Another nurse applied a heavy sandbag directly to the wound. The pain incresed again. OK, I lied before. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Suddenly, I began to feel very strange. I said to my nurse "I'm gonna be really sick!" She went to get one of those vomit bags they give you and, because I couldn't raise my head (I still had to lie flat and still) she bunched up a blanket around the side of my head. "Go ahead if you need to, honey." I lost my lunch all over the place. Then I lost my bladder. The bed was soaked under me. I felt like I was going to pass out and I said so. I felt so weak. Lucky for me, my ministering angel didn't leave the room during this time. Something in how I looked made her grab the blood pressure cuff and check it. "She's crashing!" she said. I heard footsteps running away. I didn't feel THAT bad. The doctor charged into the room. It was like a scene out of "ER". "What's her pressure, Janet?" he asked. "90 over 65" she said. The doctor whisked my sheets off without ceremony and shoved up my gown, exposing my in all my sick, suffering glory. Then he did it. He pressed on my stomach. More pain washed over me like a wave. I was sure I was dying. This doctor had killed me. He wanted a CT of my belly. I was so out of it that I couldn't even sign the consent form. I had to raise my arms over my head for the scan and, for some reason, it made me feel a lot better. I was able to follow the directions I was given. The tech injected me with the contrast and I felt like I'd wet my pants again. But I knew this was the effect because Cigi had had a number of CT's. The effect didn't last very long. Neither did the test. It confirmed the doctor's worst fears: I had bled into my abdomen and the resultant hematoma (pool of blood) had ripped a hole in my peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. I heard the doctor curse under his breath and ask a nurse to get me "type and crossed for two units." I knew what this meant, too. I was going to get a blood transfusion to replace what I'd lost. I was informed of the bleed and the tear and told that I would be moving to the Intensive Care Unit. Terror gripped me and I began to cry again. The nurse patted my arm. "It's OK, sweetie. You'll be OK. They have the best people over there." I wasn't stupid. I knew that it only took a few minutes to bleed to death from an artery. They moved me swiftly to the ICU and the blood was waiting for me when we got there. We were met by Jennifer, a young ICU nurse and a man from the blood bank. He read the number from the red bracelet I'd had put on before I even got out of the CT tube. I began to think of my blood type--B postive. I told myself to do that. Be positive. It was close to midnight by now and things were quiet, except for the nurse hooking up my blood transfusion. In the ICU, I was given Fentynal for my pain every two hours. No one was asking me to rate my pain anymore. They knew it had to be bad and it was. Every movement was torture. I thought I had a high pain threshold. Everytime the young nurse lifted my gown, I whimpered because I knew she was going "appreciate" how hard my abdomen was and I knew it was going to hurt a lot. A foley was inserted into my bladder and immediately my abdomen felt less full. Getting rid of the urine took a lot of pressure off my belly. The nurse who catheterized me told me it might hurt but that she would be as gentle as possible considering what I'd already been through. At another time, I might feel self-conscious having a woman spreading my lips open and fingering my pee hole. But I was so sick I didn't care. They could have injected me with Draino and I wouldn't have cared at that point. She came in at the wrong angle the first time and it stung. She rubbed my leg. "Sorry about that, Cheryl. I'll get it this time." It slid in easily this time and immediately urine began to fill the attached bag. I let out a sigh of relief. "Better, hon?" she asked. I nodded and was rewarded with a nice shot of Fentynal. A blood pressure cuff was attached to my arm and it took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. It was coming back up but still low. "This takes awhile," Jennifer told me. "Just rest and hit your button if you need me, OK?" Again, I just nodded. She was concerned enough to ask me "Cheryl, can you speak?" "I can but I'm so tired," I told her. Again, she patted my arm. I couldn't tell if this was respect afforded an elder or if she just empathized with her patients. "Is there anyone I can call for you, Cheryl?" she asked. "Your family?" I looked at the watch. "Not at this hour," I said. "My big sister will be here at 5 o'clock and she'll wanna see me. She'll spread the word." There weren't any phones in the ICU but the nurses would make calls for patients. The way it works in ICU is that every patient has a nurse assigned to them. That nurse is your nurse only. Unlike out on the floor, where there might be four or five nurses for 15 patients. I saw the room number on the wall--271 and noted with irony that that was the very same room I'd been in when I had visited my roommate just a month before. I never thought in a million years that when I was visiting him I would be in the exact same bed. This was one for "Ripley's". Sure enough, at 5 am my sister came into the room. Apparently, someone knew that she was my sister and had told her when she came in. She hadn't wanted Kathy to see my name on the board when she came in to clean the rooms. She wanted to make sure I was OK. My new nurse told her I was stabilizing but not out of the woods yet. My big sister, who's so stoic that her childhood nickname was General Patton, was crying. "I just lost my other sister" she said quietly. "I know" the nurse said understandingly. They brought me Fentynal and ice chips at regular intervals. I couldn't have any solid food (as if I wanted any) just in case another test was ordered. My memory is a bit hazy but I remember having pillows placed under me and being turned so they could see the lividity my internal bleed had caused. Because I was lying flat, the excess blood settled in my back and bottom. Just being breathed on, let alone moved, was excrutiating. When I would cry out from being handled, the nurses would rub my shoulder and say "There, there, sweetie. It's almost over. We just have to see how bad the bruising is. I know it hurts to be moved but it has to be done." When they were done with their examination, one of the nurses came back with some warmed up baby lotion and massaged my back and bottom (yeah, I got aftercare in the hospital). The pampering was nice. For five years, it had been all about Cigi and what I could do to make her clean and comfortable. Then I had been caregiver for my roommate, an assignment that never should have fallen on me in the first place. Now it was about me for a change. I know this sounds selfish, but I relished the attention and made no secret of the fact that I ate it up. I never got pampered like I did in the ICU.Unfortunately, the vampires were still coming to draw my blood every four hours, no matter the hour. Most were gentle but some weren't. When the pain overwhelmed me, I cried. I had been through the wringer so I thought I deserved to indulge myself. I'm not a crier by nature, but I defy anyone to go through what I'd been through and not shed a few tears. Between the pain and the fear that I might die, I did a lot of silent crying and praying. Later that morning, I was resting quietly, waiting for my pain meds, when the doctor who had wanted to discharge me walked by. When he saw me, he did the double take of all double takes. He pushed the glass door aside and came in. "What happened to you?" he asked. "I had a blocked artery," I said. "I had a heart attack and then an arterial bleed and then a peritoneal tear. I'm feeling pretty miserable." He didn't come right out and say it, but the expression on his face said "I screwed up big time." "Are you gonna be OK?" he asked. I shrugged. "I hope so." He was clearly uncomfortable so he said he hoped I felt better soon and left.
When the blood transfusion was complete, they gave me some medicine in my IV that would help it circulate better. I was getting saline wide open as well. Because I was right by the nurses' desk and the nurses had Report before every shift change, I heard the litany of what had gone wrong with my stent placement a number of times. The nurses talked loud, it seemed. The charge nurse was a caring lady; every bit an old-fashioned nurse. Alot like my mom, I thought. I remembered being in the same hospital 17 years earlier for a hysterectomy and many times the nurses would come in to check my catheter, simply spreading my legs and looking without so much as saying anything. Nowdays, I think the nurses do a better job of guarding patients' dignity. If the nurse had to come in to check something, they would always say what they were going to do before they did it. Hospitals aren't good places to sleep in. Even at night, they're very noisy. The doors stay open much of the time and the curtains stay open so that the nurses can spot a patient who might not be able to reach their call button. But if something private was about to be done, they would take great care to close the door and draw the curtains.
I was starting to feel much better by mid-day on Sunday. Blood tests and examination of my belly showed that the bleed had stopped. The blood would be reabsorbed by my body. But the peritoneal tear will take a long time to heal. I was continuing to have severe pain due to the tear but I could now move my leg and only experience moderate pain. Before I was told I could order my dinner, the nurse came in and gave me a bed bath. I had thought those had gone the way of white starched hats. "Not in the ICU" the nurse said unsnapping the snaps on the shoulders of my gown and gently pulling off my robe. She covered me with towels, both to guard my modesty and to keep me from getting cold. The warm water felt so good I just laid there and let her bathe me. It hurt so bad to move my arms I couldn't even wash my own crotch (and I didn't even try). She was a professional, doing her job. She took special care with my belly, back and bottom. They were (and still are) badly bruised. The blood was just puddled up under the surface and as I was moved, I could feel some of it moving with me. It's not like to went over to the other side or anything, but I definitely felt it moving. When I'd been bathed and put into a clean gown, the nurse brough the menu to me. I was starving. "You're on the cardiac diet so stick to that, OK?" she said. I ordered a chicken stir fry with brown rice and some orange sherbert. My throat was so dry, despite the steady diet of ice chips I'd received during my transfusion. I was on a sodium restricted diet because I was now on meds for my blood pressure, but I could still have soda so I ordered a Sierra Mist. When my tray came, I couldn't raise the bed high enough to sit up to eat. Sitting up put too much pressure on my belly. So I left the bed down and grabbed the food with my fingers. Pathetic, I know but I was so hungry I would have eaten it off the floor if need be. The nurse brought in my pills that had to be taken with food and offered to feed me. I passed, wanting to keep what was left of my dignity.
Time passes slowly in the ICU. Even though there was a clock on the wall, I had no real sense of time because I was drugged much of the time. The Fentynal served a two-fold purpose. It managed my pain and kept me relaxed. Because my potssium had been so low, they were worried about me developing muscle cramps, which would have been very painful. People from my church came to visit me and I barely remember it. My world consisted of being prodded and moved and Fentynal. And blood draws. This was my life. But sooner or later, it was time for me to go back onto the floor. Again, I got a bath first. But I had to do it myself this time. And I had to get up and walk to the end of the hall. I was shaky but I did it. The real pampering was over, I knew. Now it was time for me to start recovering. That meant doing as much as I could for myself. I bathed myself with wash clothes that had been microwaved. I also got something called a shampoo cap. This thing looks like a shower cap but inside is some water and shampoo. You put it on your head and rub it around as best you can. I was aware that I had severe bed head. Before I took my bath, a nurse came in and removed my foley. Removing it proved more painful than inserting it had been. But I was glad it was going away. Instead of being moved on a gurney, I was moved in a recliner. One nurse pushed me to my new room and another followed behind with my bags of belongings. I bid all of my nurses a fond farewell and went to my new room. I was told I was still going to get Fentynal for another 8 hours or so but then I would be given Percocet for pain. Obviously, I was healing fast. The move had exhausted me and I slept for three hours after being made comfortable. When I awoke, I had to go to the bathroom really badly so I hit my call button. I had been used to not having to wait more than a few seconds for my nurse. I had to wait almost ten minutes before the nurse came. I needed help to the bathroom I told her. I was a fall risk, after all. When I got in the bathroom, I noticed there was a little plastic pan to catch my urine. In the hospital, urine is like gold. Every drop is caught and measured. But I was worried because I hadn't had a bowel movement since before I'd gone to the hospital on Saturday. The nurse told me not to worry. My bowel sounds were good and I hadn't had that much solid food. Plus, most narcotic pain killers cause constipation. I learned that cardiac patients weren't given laxatives or enemas because it would cause problems with the heart. The best I would get, if I didn't go soon, was a stool softener. I was a very dignified person and the thought of being helped in the bathroom rubbed me the wrong way. Having to have my ass wiped because I couldn't reach back far enough galled me. There was some comic relief though, when one of the cardiac nurses came in and told me that, because I'd had blood and because I was having good bowel sounds, I was going to start releasing a lot of gas. She was going to show me how to do that without hurting myself. I looked at her incredulously. "Farting lessons?" I asked. She shrugged. "Pretty much, yeah." She had me turn on my right side, facing her and told me to tell her when I felt one coming. I was mortified. I thought nothing of farting while playing, but the thought of farting in front of a nurse who was going to coach me, well, it was bizarre beyond words. But I got through it and was later glad she'd taken the trouble to teach me the safe way to fart.
Since I'm really tired now, I will continue the rest of the story tomorrow.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I know it seems like I hate on doms and masters a lot. I don't hate them as much as I just don't understand them. Nor would I really want to. Many doms can understand the needs of a pure spanko at a play party, but would never entertain the thought of a relationship with one. This is because if I were to enter into a relationship with a dom, his need for obediance and servitude would just never get met. Sure, I like to make sure my man is happy. And I would do everything in my power to make that happen. But not at the expense of my own needs. I would hate to have my own personality overshadowed. I know plenty of ladies (and guys for that matter) who can role play a scene like that; where it's all about what the dom (or domme) wants. But they could no more live that kind of life than I could. Another master posted to a thread about spanking wishes that his was to have two naked slaves chained together at the foot of his bed. Well, good luck with that. It's been my experience that most masters were guys who, in high school, sat at home on Saturday nights watching reruns and wishing they could get to first base with a girl. Years later, they read a book or see a website about BDSM, put on a black T-shirt, buy a flogger and spend endless days in the front of a mirror repeating "I'm a master" over and over. It seems like they have to convince themselves before they can convince someone else. Of course, I know this isn't true of all doms or masters. It just sure seems that way. Most simply can't deal with a woman who has her own mind and her own opinions (although they always say they admire these traits...just not in a sub apparently). At the recent CM party, we were having dinner in the public room when a dom came over to my friend, grabbed her hair and said "Someone wants to see you...NOW!" while she had her fork to her lips. Of course, she really had no choice but to go. I said to another one of our friends that that would the day I'd put up with that. I hate having my hair grabbed anyway and someone who did it while I was eating would probably find himself missing one of his balls. The friend said, somewhat derisively, that I was "only a bottom" and that my friend was a sub. I argued that even subs ought to be allowed to eat a meal in peace. I mean, seriously, we were at a party and she wasn't even in a relationship with this guy. I guess I just don't like blowhards, whether they are dom or top. I cut my hair short for just that reason; I got tired of guys pulling even after I asked them not to. But many doms (and most masters) have an "it's all about me" attitude. Of course, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that they love their slave (or pet or whatever they choose to call her) and seeing to her happiness is all important to them. But this is bull puckey. They care about getting their needs met, no matter how outrageous they are. That's great if the sub or slave needs to be treated this way. But what about an inexperienced one who doesn't yet know what she wants? What if she falls under the spell of one of these guys and then can't figure out how to get out of the deal once she figures out this isn't her cup of tea? Most of them read a book like "The Loving Dominant" and think this fairy tale is what life will be like. They are led down the primrose path that has no bearing in reality. I was led down the same path and I'm not even a sub. I was told that all the men I would meet would be gentlemen and that I would be safe with them. There were a number of times when this wasn't true and the guys turned out to be total doms (after assuring me they could be whatever I needed them to be). I did play with one dom at the CM party and I allowed him to flog me. He said "I know this isn't your cup of tea". But he did give me a nice cool down flogging. But it still didn't whet my appetite for floggers. I knew that I wasn't allowing him to give me the kind of flogging he wanted to give me, but there was nothing else I could do. I'm determined to be true to myself. This guy has known me long enough to know that I will never be a sub. You simply cannot turn a person into a sub if the raw material isn't there. With me, it definitely isn't. Most of the people I play with are cool with me just being a bottom who loves to get spanked. A few have said they would like playing with me more if I were a sub, but they understand that this is never going to happen. So I go on in the scene, trying my best to make heads and tails out of the different personalities I encounter. I think I will never fully understand the D/s or M/s dynamic. I have a certain respect for people living their lives the way they want (within SSC) but that doesn't mean I have to do it that way.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
However, my main fear is leaving the place where I was born and grew up. I'm excited but scared at the same time. This could be the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm going to think positively. This move will put me closer to parties as well so that helps. The loss of my twin, my best friend leaving for Arizona and my lack of family really all sort of combined to make me realize that there's really no good reason for me to stay in Peoria. My older sister wasn't happy to hear the news. She wants me to put in my application at the hospital where she works. Yeah, I really want to spend my days cleaning up "Code Browns" and scrubbing puke off the floors. I hate hospitals and have no intention of working in one. I think it's time to make a clean breast of it. I'll be 50 in four months and, aside from getting active in the spanking scene, I've played it safe all my life. It's time for me to find out who I am and to see if I can make a life away from Peoria. Now starts the arduous task of letting people know I'm moving, filling out change of address forms, informing the phone company and the electric company and all the other unpleasantness associated with moving. The last time I moved was about four years ago when Cigi and I decided to put our house on the market and move into an apartment. We had decided it was time to move. And I had her to help me. She was always way more practical and knowledgeable about things than I was. I'm sure I depended on her too much and that's why, when she died, I felt so totally lost. I mean I do have help, but this time, instead of moving across town, I'm moving upstate. I know the city fairly well, having attended a number of parties there. In fact, it looks a little bit like Peoria. Well, it looks like the nicer part of Peoria. I have quite a few scene friends there, too. I'm not too sure who I can count on at this juncture, but I think this is going to turn out well. I just need to get past the butterflies and be confident. Yeah, wish me luck on that one.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I think that takes real creativity and, of course, a cold bottom. A warmed up bottom just isn't going to leave those lovely marks that this kind of scene requires. I'm not sure how this happened, but I knew I had to get a pic of it. Nass really enjoyed it. But, sadly, it was time to call it a night. I absolutely hate the last night of a party. I'm so sad knowing that I will be leaving all of my friends until next time.
We got on the road at about 8:30 the next morning and I was home by 11:30. Back in my lonely apartment, suffering post party drop, I was miserable. Now I have the next party to look forward to.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I have about half of these toys myself and love them all. Depending on who's conducting the tour, it can be a bruising experience, as one first timer discovered (to her delight!). However, Morgan himself doesn't play at these parties. He prefers to see to the hospitality and comfort of his "guests". There is one top whom he refers to as his "arm", that Morgan sends ladies to when they actually as him to play. I found this out firsthand. I had always wondered why Morgan never asked me to play after all the parties we've attended. So I worked up my courage and asked him. He pointed to this top and said "See my arm." Now don't get me wrong. This particular top is probably my favorite. I adore playing with him. But he's becoming extremely popular was kept very busy at this party. If I can't get enough of being spanked, this guy can't get enough of spanking willing ladies. He goes by Suburban Spanker on Fetlife but his brattier acquaintances know him by his nickname: McScoldy. I've been seeing and playing with him at parties for a few years now and he's truly coming into his own. He's building a very good reputation at the parties. His nickname led to a case of mistaken identity on my part which I will relate in part three.
When Nass returned from her shopping trip, she had a bottle of Mudslides, which she offered to me. Now I hadn't had alcohol in over six years and was somewhat leery. Nass assured me you could barely taste the booze in it. I filed this under "life's too short!" and allowed Nass to pour me a glass. As soon as I took a swig, my eyes began to water. Clearly, my days of drinking alcohol were over. A little while later, her shopping companion came in and they sat an drank sangria. I wish I could just sit and social drink--enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or something. But I obviously can no longer handle alcohol. The lady who was visiting us is not in the scene. She's the caregiver of the man who paid for our rooms. But she enjoys the parties a lot and thinks we're all really cool because we have an interest in something and we live it out. But she's non-judgmental about what we do. So many vanilla people turn up their noses at us and call us sick and perverted. But she's cool with it. When she left, Nass and I thought it was time to get ready. She showered first. I was impressed with how fast she got in and got out. Then it was my turn. I had thought ahead of time, while I was packing, what I would wear on what particular night. That way, I would spend less time thinking about what to wear. It turned out that my decision was an auspicious one. When we were ready and arrived in the party suite for supper, my friend, Sarahnade, was there. She walked over to me and hugged me and at first I didn't notice that she had on the same shirt as I did. But once it did, I heard all the people in the room laughing and clapping. I had a hard time convincing some people that this had been a total coincidence. The photo of the two of us is at the top of the this entry. I just had to get a picture of it. Anyway, I doubt it will happen again. But being a twin, it just appealed to me nostalgically. Cigi and I dressed alike until we were in about seventh grade. I ate pretty quickly and looked around the room for someone to play with. Luckily, I found McScoldy and asked him if he wanted to play. I was anxious to really see how my tolerance would be and I knew he was someone who could test me. So off we went to his room. He wasted no time in getting me over his knee. I hardly ever get a hand spanking from him, but this time, he gave me a very nice warm up. He has a very heavy hand; just the kind I like. He spanked me and strapped me over my panties. It's been my experience with him that he's not really an "on the bare" kind of guy. At least not all the time. He got me over the bed and asked me if he'd ever taken his belt to me and I had to think. I was pretty sure I had never felt his belt so he whipped it off and told me it was about time. I laughingly told him when he got to my dad's level, I would let him know. My dad was a Marine (as I've mentioned more than once here) and he liked obedience. To ensure he got it, he had the belt from his Marine uniform, which I hated. When I first started in the scene, I just couldn't do belts. It brought back too many unpleasant memories of my meetings with Dad's belt. I discovered that McScoldy is just about as proficient with a belt as my dad was. But, unlike whippings from my dad, I had no negative feelings with him. Endorphins were washing over me. I knew he was really letting me have it, but it didn't really hurt that bad. At least, not in a bad way. When we finished, he rubbed some baby oil on my sore bottom and we sat and talked for a bit. Then I headed back to Morgan's room, knowing that it would probably be an hour before I could play again. I saw Sarahnade in there and that was where the picture was taken. Sarahnade is kind of special to me. She's a fellow Christian and someone I met (and rescued) at her first party. Unfortunately, I never get to spend enough time with her. This time, I got to spend more than I have with her previously. I had a couple of people ask me to play during this time, but I had to pass because I was beginning to get some feeling back in my bottom and it was really sore. I really do hate having to tell someone who wants to play with me that I can't. Even if I'm resting, I would much rather be playing. But I've learned over the years to pace myself better. The urge to play is pretty strong, even when I'm sore. But I had to resist the urge to run off with whoever asked me.
As soon as I was recovered, I looked for my buddy, Michigan Headmaster, and told him I wanted a hard spanking. He was happy to oblige me. We went to his room, which he was sharing with his "little girl". There's a huge difference in their ages, but they seem to be good together so I guess that's all that counts. This guy is someone I got off on the wrong foot with two years ago. But I guess he's grown more than almost anyone I've seen at parties, except for maybe Suburban Spanker. Anyway, first he spanked me with his hard hand. I love hand spanking and don't seem to get enough of it. Since this guy used to be a cop, he has a very authoritative air about him, but not bossy. He just had a commanding confidence that I really liked. Some of his toys were incredibly nasty but, of course, those were the ones I loved best. We talked and laughed and had one of the best scenes of the weekend for me. He's into a lot of things I'm not into, but as long as he enjoys spanking a willing bottom, he will always have a taker in me. Of course, once this scene ended, I was out of commission for another hour. And it was getting late. I thought for just a few minutes about making this my last of the night, but decided not to. I wanted to play at least once more. Yes, I was sore. But that's part of the allure. I love to play when my bottom is sore. I already knew I'd be sleeping on my stomach anyway. What could one more scene hurt? So I went back down to the party suite and looked around. One thing we had new at this party was a message board. Everyone who registered for the party had a little slot where people could leave messages for other party goers. I wrote a note letting Michigan Headmaster know how much I enjoyed my scene with him. Then I saw another slot and grabbed a piece of paper on which I wrote "Please BEAT me!" along with my name. Little did I know that I put that paper in the wrong slot and that the next day I would realize this. I never did find anyone else to play with so I watched some public scenes. There were a couple of spanking benches available and people were using them. I found them very comfortable. So after watching some more play I decided I was tired enough to hit the sack. I knew the next day was going to be the last and I planned to make the most of it. But I had to save some bottom for it. I went back to my room and turned on the TV. It was the trade deadline in Major League Baseball and I was interested in seeing who had been traded and acquired. To my consternation, the Cardinals traded one of my favorite players. I went off to sleep trying not to think too much about this. I wanted to be rested for Day Three.