House arrest

Haven’t been feeling very bloggy today, which is unusual for me as I’m rarely at a loss for words. The norm is for me to wake up with a blog topic in mind, and I generally have several other topics infiltrate my brain every day as I go about my daily business. Some are interesting, and if the planets are aligned properly, I jot down a note or enter the info in my phone for later, but sometimes I don’t slow down enough and think I’ll remember it all on my own. Ha! That seldom works out for me. Who knows what brilliant blog posts are lost in my grey matter because I was cocky enough to think I could hold that thought in my head while my brain is on overdrive, processing all the medical hoo-ha since surgery.

Of the blog topics that do survive to see the light of day, however, some make the cut, some don’t, and lately the topic du jour is dictated by the most recent medical flare-up, break-down, or blow-out. Sometimes there’s an embarrassment of riches in the complication department.

But today the blog muses weren’t speaking to me. I chalked it up to the cabin fever, ennui, and general restlessness that accompany my current house arrest. I’ve been laying low all week (and it has been a long week) for a very specific purpose: to decrease the amount of fluid exiting my body and entering the JP drains so that I can get those damned drains removed.

I’ve had a bit of a history with the drains, going back to the mastectomy, and because I’m a busy-body, my drains’ output tends to be high and they have to stay in longer. I think I had 2 drains for 5 weeks post-mastectomy; can’t remember exactly but it felt like forever, and once they were finally removed, skin was growing around one of them and had actually adhered. Yes, the removal was ugly and painful.

But that’s not why I hate the drains. I can handle the ugliness and the pain. I can handle the discomfort of a rubber tube stitched into my side. I can handle the hole in my body with said rubber tube coming out. I can handle the creepiness of not knowing exactly how far that sucker is threaded through my body. I can handle feeling like a medical freak show when I go in public with said tubes sticking out and snaking from my sides into my sling bag. I can handle the wardrobe challenges presented by needing to cover up yet accommodate and not smoosh, all at the same time. I can handle the draining of them everyday, even though what comes out is nasty and not always liquid (and that’s all I’m going to say about that).

I understand the value and purpose of JP drains. I know that if the drains weren’t sucking the fluid out, it wouldn’t magically go away but would instead pool inside my body and create a seroma. I need a seroma, or any other complication, about as much as I need a hole in the head, as my sweet mama used to say. So I make peace with the drains, even though I curse them under my breath and despise them and rue the day they entered my life. Seriously rueing the day here.

I’m not loving my house arrest. I’m not so good at the “doing nothing” phenomenon that many people seem to embrace. I don’t enjoy this “down time” and I stink at being lazy. I especially don’t enjoy forced laziness. It’s just not for me. I understand and accept it but not happily and I would kick & scream to protest but that’s not very restful.

Day One of House Arrest was easy because by the time I got home from my appointment with Dr Spiegel at the med center, it was almost time for school to be out, and the day was half over. Day Two passed uneventfully; I watched a movie but don’t even remember now what it was. By evening, I was starting to get cabin fever but managed not to bitch about it too much. Day Three of House Arrest seemed longer than Day Two, but I watched another movie that was worth  mentioning, and I may even have to write a review of; if you can’t wait for that, the movie is City Island with Andy Garcia and Juliana Margulies. It’s good. Really good.

The highlight of Day Four of House Arrest was the arrival of Melanie and little Luke of the million-watt smile. Melanie is kind enough to bring me a big cup of Green Drink and to blowdry and flat-iron my hair, since I’m still not supposed to lift my arms that much. We had a great visit and there’s a lot to be said for having clean hair, but there’s something kinda sad about the highlight of the day being over by 10 a.m. Sigh.

I’ve discovered that sitting in front of the computer can be a gigantic time-suck. Who knew? I usually sit at the computer (and “sit” may be stretching it, since I tend to perch on one corner of the desk chair, all the better to jump out of it fast and move on to the next task) briefly. I’ve never been one to spend all day in front of the computer. I don’t really enjoy reading from the screen (yet I  love my kindle, so way to go, kindle creators). I’m not a gamer, either, so I don’t lose myself in the online gaming world. I thought about taking up online gambling, but I like to shop too much to throw my money away, so that’s not going to happen.

I do get a lot of info from various breast cancer organizations, and I usually skim the bevy of emails in my inbox on the topic, deleting more often than fully perusing. This one caught my eye, though, both because I have time on my hands to notice it, and because it seems so insistent and urgent. This one email contains multiple links, each one clamoring for more attention than the next:

Don’t Restrict Access To Mammograms!

Help Women With Breast Cancer by Covering Their Medical Bills!

Support Breast Cancer Genetic Marker Testing!

On Sale: Pink Ribbon Water Bottle!

Stop Canceling Women’s Policies!

Fund Women’s Exams in Remote Guyana!

Also a lot of urging me to tell Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius what I think and which programs she should and should not endorse.

I’m not making this up. Even in the midst of my wealth of free time, I couldn’t make this up. The email is from a group called Greater Good Network! No idea who they are or how they got ahold of me, but I do know this: they use a lot of exclamation marks. Yes! They do! A lot!

That makes me tired. The forced excitement! And the wide range of serious health issues! And the political ramifications! I’m going to have to unsubscribe from their distribution list. Reading one email made me tired. Wonder if I have time for a nap.


9 Comments on “House arrest”

  1. Hang in there Nancy girl, no matter what, it is better than the alternative! But thinking about you, i know the house arrest sucks…this too shall pass…

    Lauren

  2. Kayte says:

    You need a project. A book project, a movie project…. reading/writing? A photo/scrapbooking project? Needlepoint? I’m not actually joking. When I was on house arrest in 2009 I ran through a LOT of movies. You can see the list of faves on the info section of my FB. Many of them are on Netflix streaming.

    Maybe you need to learn HTML or something. Have you seen Lynda.com? That can be a fun way to pass the time….. Rosetta Stone?

    Just a few thoughts. Sitting is boring, but it doesn’t have to be pointless.

  3. Christy says:

    I wish I didn’t work every afternoon or I’d come over and sit with ya! I’m proud of you for just doing nothing! It does a body good!!🙂

  4. Barb Fernald says:

    I loved City Island! What a fun and quirky movie. Two of my favorites in the fun/quirky category: “Duets” and “Baghdad Cafe” If you haven’t seen them, you might like them.
    Those JP drains must be a huge pain in the butt. (They sound necessary, but probably the only good thing to say about them is that at least they are not coming out of your butt.)
    Has anyone come over to give you a pedicure yet?
    If you are at all interested in lobsters and their natural science, plus the story of fishermen on the little island where I live, take a look at “The Secret Life of Lobsters” for your Kindle. The author, Trevor Corson, started writing it while working on my husband’s lobster boat.
    That’s my 5¢ worth for tonight.

  5. nancyspoint says:

    Comparing being cooped up to house arrest, quite brilliant! Those darn tubes can be quite disgusting and restricting, but thank goodness they are temporary.

  6. […] The Pink Underbelly Skip to content HomeAbout ← House arrest […]

  7. […] fairy, otherwise known as Ed, there is, and I’m enormously grateful, especially during my house arrest. And no, I’m not saying that Ed is a fairy. Just that he shows up and takes care of my plants […]

  8. […] starting week 2 of House Arrest, and this week isn’t any easier than last. The idea is that if I lay low and do next to […]

  9. […] on the web to see where to get it. This is what passes for online shopping while I’m under house arrest and have loads of time to fill. Yes, I could be checking out the hot new looks for spring at […]


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