November 23, 2009
Husband Guy keeps a blog about the craziness associated with… you know… having a baby, health care, etc (NO WE DID NOT ORCHESTRATE A DRAMATIC NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE TO BETTER BOOKEND THE NARRATIVE. Although I know it seems suspect.) and I just posted over there about STUFF. (Get this! Today a doctor accidentally revealed that I didn’t just almost-die, I APPARENTLY ACTUALLY, I DON’T KNOW, HAD A NON-BEATING HEART or something. Crazy.)
The only other thing I have to share is that I have been watching a lot of Glee. It is The Best. I wish I could travel back in time to Halloween and cut and bleach my hair and acquire an awesome tracksuit so I could go as SUE SYLVESTER.
PS, her Twitter feed is pretty good.
November 11, 2009
You should, even if you’re some kind of pinko liberal, totally use today as an excuse to Thank A Veteran. I think veterans find it sort of awkward to be thanked, but I also think it’s good for them to be thanked and good for us to be thankful, SO THEY WILL JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.
If you’re stuck for something to say, I think “Thank you for your service, sir and/or ma’am” (only don’t actually say “sir and/or ma’am” unless you enjoy getting punched in the face) is totally acceptable. HOWEVER, because I’m mean, I often enjoy watching Husband Guy squirm awkwardly when people thank him profusely (it’s particularly great when people get all tense and uptight and go off into these sort of strange conversational eddies where they then turn to me and say things like “And so hard for you, too, I mean, what if he dies?!?” – so far be it from me to discourage the more floral expressions of gratitude people sometimes get into.)
In other news, I am still alive! And still in the hospital. I have been moved out of the intensive care unit, which is awesome. On the second day I was back to consciousness, I sent Husband Guy an email wherein I expressed tremendous concern about WHY MY BRAIN WAS SO FUCKED UP (because my brain was totally fucked up, among other things I kept hallucinating O’Neill t-shirt designs from 1993…), and he said, well, you were on magnesium for the blood pressure, which makes you all weird, and sedatives, which make you all weird, and you almost died… which is kind of weird. AND, per his doctor sister, there’s this thing called “ICU psychosis”, where because the ICU is a 24-hour situation where people keep coming in and turning on lights and stabbing you in the veins and waking you up to check your vitals at 4am, you eventually lose all track of what the fuck is going on with anything… sort of like people at GITMO or something.
And that’s totally true! I wish for everyone reading this that you never have to spend any time in an ICU. The people who work there are saints, and it still TOTALLY BLOWS. At one point I woke up in the middle of the night to hear some dude on the ward screaming “I AM LEAVING AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!!!!” and if I had been able to talk I would have yelled “That is so totally right on, man!” – but, you know, I had the Darth Vader Valve in my throat and couldn’t produce any sound at all. So I just laid there and then slowly fell asleep again as I stared into space in terror… good times.
(Or even last night, they moved me up to the normal lady ward, but if you’re me and they’re worried about you because of the near-death crap, they check your vitals frequently to make sure you’re alive, or they might need to draw your blood or whatever… so you’ll be deeply asleep and then it’s “KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK! Midnight Phlebotomist!” and you sleepily peer over the edge of the blanket as someone you’ve never seen before rams a needle into your vein and draws multiple vials of blood. I am fairly easy-going, but this sort of thing gets real old real fast.)
BUT. Like I said, now I am out of the ICU and they changed out my Vader Valve, for this other kind of valve, so I can speak, and my jerk personality has come rushing back. Here is an illustration:
So every once in a while you get this announcement over the PA that sounds to me like “AMA in the Emergency Department”. Which I interpreted as “Against Medical Advice in the emergency Department” – so, you know, in my head this was some super-surly person (much like in the guy freaking out in the ICU) losing it in the ER and being all “YOU’ll NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE COPPAS!” and trying to storm out. And I imagined that there was some kind of “AMA rapid response team” where very reasonable people with soothing voices would go talk to this person about how they really needed to stick around and get their lungs listened to or whatever…
And when the young doctor who was swapping out my Vader Valve heard my theory, she smiled politely and said “It’s actually AMI” and Husband Guy blanched and said “Oh.” and I said “…what? WHAT?!?” and it turns out that it’s basically a call for “Hey guys, somebody’s having a heart attack in the ER”.
SO I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON, I have been rooting for an imaginary surly guy every time when it really turns out that someone might be DYING.
(I think it was disappointing to the staff here when I regained the power of speech: when I couldn’t talk and I was on weird drugs, I was silent and docile and sweet. It must have been a shock to realize that I’m really sarcastic.)
My kid got his first pair of pants today. It’s a jumpsuit with feet. The feet have small trucks on them. Because ALL INFANT CLOTHING is super-gendered. Which is fine, I don’t care. But. Trucks? Realistically, the only things this kid is interested in are milk and napping and occasionally a diaper change. THAT’S IT. He’s not into trucks, it’s not like he has any hobbies.
I am now going to totally embarrass you AND my husband, by talking about how impressed I am by him:
When I had seizures and almost died due to the ECLAMPSIA, he kept it together and got me to a hospital so I didn’t die, etc. And when I woke up again, it took me several days to figure out that, HEY WAIT A MINUTE, I ALMOST DIED, DIDN’T I?!? because Husband Guy would show up at my bedside and instead of freaking out or sobbing or whatever, he’d be stoic and mildly funny and wearing attractive sweaters. So for several days– you know, I dimly understood that things had not been great, but I didn’t understand the immediacy of the almost-dying.
Here is the thing about Husband Guy: he is the best and toughest and most moral person I have ever known. And you know what, EVEN IF our marriage crashes and burns, I am willing to stipulate that the above is true. In public. On the internet. So there.
And among various reasons I’m pleased that I didn’t die I must number prominently the fact that I get to keep hanging out with him. Also, he joins me in enjoying lame military jokes. (The hospital beds here are Stryker brand. He may be the one other person who finds that amusing. Imagine how terrible it would be for the world if I hadn’t married him, I’d go around inflicting “tactical bed” jokes on people who would respond to them like so: “…” – really, we’re all much better off like this.)
So… there you go, embarrassing you all with my fawning. I’m sorry – you watch your husband cradle your tiny child and call him “little pig”, you GET ALL GROSS, HORMONES ARE TERRIBLE.
Because of today being International Cuddle A Veteran Day, and also because… you know, I like dogs, and there aren’t any in this hospital, here you go: Mental Floss collects videos of dogs welcoming their soldier dads home from the wars. There is something kind of wrong with you if video of burly gruff dudes referring to themselves as “Daddy” and cradling outsize retrievers like they’re lapdogs doesn’t give you a mild attack of Something In Your Eye.
Or, to put it in another, more-sarcastic way:
see more Funny Graphs
November 9, 2009
So last Tuesday I got up and started puttering around- the main thing I had planned for the day was a conference call with a director who apparently digs one of my scripts. These calls usually get initiated by Your Agent’s Office, and then they have to tie it in to His Agent’s Office, and to him, and to you… and anyway, I always get paranoid, for no reason at all, that something is going to go wrong.
BECAUSE I AM A RECOVERING ASSISTANT, is why.
But instead of that call going wrong… or instead of even having that call! Let me tell you what happened.
I had a baby.
I ALMOST DIED.
WITH THE DYING.
So there are going to be lots of gaps here, because of how I was unconscious for most of it. And then when I was technically conscious again, I was on this hilarious drug cocktail that made me completely vague. So I wasn’t really conscious-conscious again for days and days and am only now, almost a week later, sort of back to my normal personality.
LESSON ONE ABOUT ALMOST DYING: man, we take shit way too damn seriously. I could elaborate on this, but I won’t. Because, see:
LESSON TWO ABOUT ALMOST DYING: if you almost die and then don’t die, people who love you are going to be really upset and then really relieved. They won’t dig it very much when you tell them things like “Hah, man, we take shit way too damn seriously.” So… you should shut up.
LESSON THREE ABOUT ALMOST DYING: if you have my personality and you almost die and then you can’t speak because of how they put in an emergency airway thing called a “tracheostomy” so you could breathe-and-not-die, you are just going to be wasting a lot of jokes in your head. If you married the right person you will occasionally look over at him and he will articulate the exact joke you are dying to make. (Also, your best friend will say of this entire thing: “Man, it must be SO ROUGH to be you and not be able to talk right now.”)
So anyway! Long story short, most of the time pregnant ladies have totally normal pregnancies and totally normal births/etc. And honestly I feel like in general people are way too scaremongery about stuff and I am super sciencey and skeptical about peoples’ crazy medical paranoia… so it’s totally embarrassing that I am the one person who actually almost does the out of the blue dying! Pfffft. Awkward.
BUT, very occasionally it turns out that there is this thing, “eclampsia”, that basically involves crazy seizures and almost dying and nobody really knows why or how it happens or how to prevent it (yes, it’s like an overly-complicated episode of House.) and it can kill you and the fetus and it happens in one out of every two or three thousand pregnancies, and they can look for the signs but sometimes, like in my case, there aren’t really any.
So that’s what happened. Out of nowhere, I had spectacular seizures and had to have an emergency c-section and blah blah blah… I totally survived, and my kid was Forced Into This World Too Soon but is basically a pretty cool person.
Everyone else, understandably, is kind of shaken by the drama of this week. But I, the person who did the actual almost-dying, am lamely kind of unmoved by the whole thing. But NOT because I am a cool person or anything like that. No… it’s because of how I was either unconscious or on the hilarious drug cocktail OR basically coming off the brain trip of “Man… we take shit too seriously!” the whole time and so pretty much missed everything.
(Don’t get me wrong! I am pretty sure this is an epic event blah blah blah, and as soon as I can stay awake for more than a certain number of hours in a row I am totally going to start processing it and then do some Serious Writing about it, because, man, if you are a writer and you almost-die and you don’t milk it for material you are some kind of sucker, you know what I’m saying?)
Anyway, here is a short video of my kid from his third day of life (I think it was his third day, anyway.) – he is Very Small, because he wasn’t ready to be born, so he only weighs four pounds (!!!) – but he appears to be in otherwise splendid shape and he really likes to eat (right on!) so hopefully we can fatten him up ASAP.
We named him Henry Oak Charles.
Charles for my father, and Oak because I’m named after a tree, too, and Henry JUST BECAUSE (and because Husband Guy and I are enamored of the possibility of calling someone “Hammerin’ Hank *lastname*”.)
He’s pretty cool, like I said. Mostly he sleeps or eats, and I don’t want to brag, but he’s totally mellower than the OTHER babies in the unit, who are all whiny about stuff all the time. Henry is more like “Oh, hey, milk you say? I should eat that. And then kind of wave my hands around vaguely yet meaningfully in front of my face… After that I’m taking a nap, feel free to join in.”