Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gross surgery photos

Yeah, they're graphic.

If they bug you - don't look!

I had my anterior cervical fusion (repair of the ruptured disc in my neck) on Thursday, 6/24.

Discharged from the hospital 6/25-

This is how the incision looks today (6/27) - lots of swelling, a little bruising, and a lot of allergic reaction to the dressings.

These are just the steri-strips ----

When I was sent up to my hospital room from the Operating Room, I had a much larger "hypoallergenic" dressing covering these strips - which the doctor and nurses swore I could not possibly have an allergic reaction to.

So when it started to itch and burn at around 6PM that night, they refused to remove it.

You can clearly see the big square red blistery reaction I am had to this dressing.

And over there on my left shoulder  (on the right in the photo)- NICE blistering from the dressing!

The nurse (it was a different nurse by now - the morning shift) actually freaked a little when she saw it when she took the dressing off to change it when they were discharging me.

Unfortunately, I couldn't talk her into just leaving the steri-strips, and she put another, different, "hypoallergenic" dressing on this mess

Which I removed as soon as I got home.

And fortunately enough, I guess, the most pain I'm having is from the dumb allergic reactions. I am also madly itching under these steri-strips, so I know there will be a hot mess under there when they come off a week from tomorrow.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Surgery over, and I am fidgeting at home

Just received a nice comment from my buddy PD, and since I am up and fidgeting around, I decided to go ahead and post.

Surgery was Thursday, and went well according to the doctor.

He discharged me from the hospital yesterday at 7:30 AM, but the nurses didn't get around to actually getting me out of there until 11 AM. We had to go to the hospital to get my meds filled, and were home around noon.

I have a real sore throat - partly from the breathing tube, but according to the doctor, mostly because a lot of scar tissue had accumulated around my windpipe from the previous surgery, so he spent a lot of time in that area vigorously cleaning out the scar tissue, so I may have a sore throat for up to 3 weeks. I know I have an unbelievable case of laryngitis - no one can hear a word I say, and it feels to me like I am screaming at them.

My fried Kathy has been staying with me - it was her husband who came down (with Nummy) and took care of me when I was really hurting last month. Kathy taught a few classes at my shop earlier this week, and then went into caregiver mode for me, but I am so used to being on my own, that she is pretty bored! I know she's ready to get back home, too. She'll be heading back to the mountains tomorrow.

So not a whole lot to report yet - I'm taking my steroids (to reduce the inflammation) and dilaudid for pain, although I'm not really having much, other than a slight headache. And I am putting cortisone on all the allergic reactions I am having to the dressing they put on my neck, that they swore to me was hypoallergenic and could not possibly be burning me in the middle of the night on Thursday after surgery. So they refused to remove it, and when the nurse took it off at 10:30 yesterday AM, it was blistered and red everywhere, and looks like a bad poison ivy today. And feels worse.

But I shall live to blog another day -thanks for everyone's thoughts and concern, and thanks for asking, Pam!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

School is over :( :) :(

Just finished a week @ William Holland Lapidary School - I took advanced chainmaille, again, because I have an advanced chain addiction.

Saw lots of old friends, made some new friends- and had a terrific week.

Here is almost everything I made during the week - several pairs of earrings and a bracelet didn't get done in time for the traditional Friday morning show-and-tell. The projects below that still have paper clips attached to them are WIPs -  the 2 uppermost ones are JPLs, or Jen's Pind; one in 14 gauge GF rings, and the other in 20 gauge copper, silver, and GF rings. I can only do so much JPL without taking a break from it! It can drive you crazy! Plus closing those 14 gauge rings was a little tough on my hands.

The silver WIP near the bottom of the tray is the very beginning of a 3-row sterling silver scarf-type lariat, made with teeny tiny rings - when completed, it will be between 6 and 7 ounces of sterling silver. In other words, lots and lots of rings!

I usually am more productive during these weeks @ William Holland - I stay up until 2 or 3 AM working on stuff, and get up early and chain some more, and chain straight through meals while everyone else is eating.

But this week, between my pain meds and my pain, I just was dragging. And that is the reason for my smiley and frowny faces on the title post - I'm glad the week's over, because I am so tired and drained, but I am sad, because William Holland is always a blast, and I always learn so much!

And here is my favorite project - one which didn't make it into show-and-tell. I made this bolo tie, from scratch, for one of the chain teachers - and he wouldn't take it off for show-and-tell, but he did strut around showing it off. I made the dichroic glass cab, and then cut the enamelled copper blue and yellow rings I used to create the bezel, and then I glued the bolo gizmo to the back -

The lucky receipient is the husband of my chainmaille teacher, a big fan of bolo ties. We call him "Lord of the Rings" because he cuts all the thousands of jumprings that we demanding students as for during the week, and he tumbles all our finished projects, and he also helps his wife with some of the teaching.

And he also makes these incredible lead castings of ant colonies:

This is a casting of a bull ant colony. What you are seeing is actually an inverted colony - the portion of the casting that sits on the table is what was at ground level, and then the colony branched out below it underground - so you are seeing the actually colony and its pods upside down. Bill painted this bull ant casting a lovely black and gold color. He puts these on little rotating lazy-susan type bases, and you can spin them and see all sides of them. This black and gold one is at the bead shop.
This is a casting of a fire ant colony - again, what you are seeing is inverted from the way it was in real life (before the hot molten lead was poured into the colony!) Look how much busier, and more frantic, the colony structure is. I love the blue color on this one - it matches my living room perfectly!
These ant colony castings are works of art, in my opinion, and I wish I had more of them. Bill has really cut back on the number of these he makes - the lead is getting too heavy!

I'll be driving home tomorrow, and then I have my pre-op appointment at the hospital on Monday. Then back to the bead shop Tuesday.

Here's hoping the surgery doesn't sideline me from chaining for too long  - I'm anxious to get back to my WIPs!