A month after surgery

This was a fabulous day. I had more energy, I cooked some things, folded a lot of laundry, and did my project to paint a small shelving unit in the bathroom. With interludes of lying down but this is the most active I’ve been since June and it was so nice.

liz smiling with a paintbrush

I feel more certain that I’m healing up from surgery now. Danny did all the shopping and laundry and Ada helped out with some things and cleaned her room after getting back from a gaming sleepover. Dinner was 2 kinds of congee (chicken broth in one pot and vegetarian in the other) with poached eggs. I also used up Ada’s solstice harvest pears and apples and a lemon making a pear-apple crumble. It is strangely satisfying to just make up whatever I’m cooking as I go (occasionally leading to something inedible) My chicken congee had tomato, bok choy, fresh ginger, cumin, and a lot of pepper. Ada’s vegetarian kind had tofu, soy sauce, some frozen mixed vegetables, shredded carrots from a bag, bok choy, tomatoes… lord knows what else I threw in there but it came out nice. I have not cooked anything other than toast or a microwave dinner for a long time….

I am missing Milo who is back at school (moving back just this Wednesday).

I also left the house Thurs. night for an hour of the EFF Pioneer Awards (nice to see people! and to be out!), Friday (on the bus) for a dr. appointment, and Saturday afternoon to go to the retirement party of one of my comp lit professors, again, amazing to see her and my super wonderful thesis advisor and friends from the program from 15 years ago (!). Lessons learned from going out: I am not yet ready to scooter around town or take the bus. It hurts too much and I need to seriously limit going out, and stick to cabs. (I have to lean heavily to one side when sitting up, including on the scooter, and it hurts my back and also, bumpy sidewalks omg.)

I’m in bed for the evening now reading about the 19th century novelist Mrs. Sherwood aka Mary Martha Butt. From ages 6 to 13 while learning her 40 lines of Virgil per day she was locked into some sort of “stocks” and also an iron collar around her neck with wooden boards to keep her posture correct. Her novels are a bit horrible (fascinating though – and she has a sense of humor – and you can see the seeds of later childrens literature in there). I would like to read a modern biography about her.

Meanwhile, I read just the Wikipedia entry for social theorist and writer Harriet Martineau: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Martineau and am VERY KEEN to read her book “Life in the Sickroom” from 1844 which she wrote while she was confined to bed for a couple of years. What horrors will it contain!! But what possible insights that I might actually agree with!!!

These digressions in reading are all from interesting bits of my main book right now, “In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars” which seems endless by Kindle-percentage standards, but I am sure the last half of it is footnotes. It jumps between focal points (like Banking, or Weaving).

While recovering from surgery I read nearly everything possible (in e-book form) by Charlotte M. Yonge (who I like better as a writer than Mrs. Sherwood) well worth reading – like Margaret Oliphant. She is especially interesting in writing around the 1830 riots.

I had to just accept that I needed the surgery since I wasn’t getting better without it and wasn’t really able to function well in any way…. Tied to a strange cycle of this abscess unpredictably starting to swell, then a hellish time of waiting for it to burst, then like, feeling horrible but marginally more capable but it started to happen more than once per day. That really sucked. So, I went on medical leave and they de-roofed it (ugh) leaving a giant open wound. Once I made the decision it was a little easier to just switch gears to Very Low Gear, or maybe Neutral, and idle. I prepared pretty well for this arranging everything for my bedside life, cleaning off a shelf that I look at from bed to put some plant pots and extra vases there and a giant rack of in-out boxes for my drawing supplies. And, I slowly drew (mostly while lying sideways) some of my planned scenes of the neighborhood. It is so helpful to have some sort of plan like this. I also laid on the front porch (once capable) in the sunny hour in the morning and on the back porch in the afternoon to catch the last sun before winter. I find it hard to lie still not doing anything – I look around and enjoy seeing stuff but start to want to change stuff, plan things to do, and it is very annoying not to be able to get up. But, this time, I think it’s the best I’ve planned (and had infinite resources…) And best I’ve coped.

Leaving out the days of being glued to news, twitter, Senate hearings, rage-tweeting about Kavanaugh and rape culture, crying, and freaking out and also the 2 weeks of heavy drugs just after the surgery.

One thought on “A month after surgery”

  1. it’s nice to hear from you!

    i was just going to say that, but “duplicate comment detected”. i don’t have much to say, other than i am happy to see you write here where we have contact.

    i miss you from the old days.i mean, i miss the old days when i saw you on the regular. not that i miss the way you were then, which could sound like i don’t like who you are now.

    …which is awesome.

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