Friday, February 25, 2011

Medieval Torture Treatments?--Surely Not!

So, yesterday we removed the stitches and set the cast.  I truly had mixed feelings anticipating this day. . . Last year, between tweezing 50+ stitches over 45 minutes and then attempting to push a swollen, broken foot upward into a 90 degree angle, I shed quite a few crocodile tears.  I knew the day would not be complete without a lot of pain, but I also knew that getting a cast also meant ditching that bulky, heavy splint and the prospect of more mobility (and showering, who wouldn't endure a few moments of discomfort for a long, hot shower, right?)  But, surprisingly today was easy-peasy!  The only torture I experienced were a slew of zingers Dr. W kept slinging my way . . .

In what seemed a matter of seconds, Dr. W's new surgical resident had removed all the stitches and was asking me what color cast I wanted?!  I opted for boring black.  (After all, I have to return to a place of business in a few weeks; I have to appear somewhat professional and the scooter and backpack don't help the cause any, believe me. . . I mean, I look more like a 3rd grader than a Marketing Director!)  A few minutes later and with dry eyes, I sat up, viewed my new cast and wiggled my toes.  And, the good news I told Dr. W is that I am already feeling better than I did at the same stage last year!

After getting myself up and wheeling myself out of the exam room, I asked him if I could go bother his assistant Karen (my other BFF, by the way . . .).  He bid me adieu by saying, "Yeah, just stop bothering me!  Will you just leave already?"  Did I mention that my appointment was nothing but an onlsaught of zingers?  But, even funnier than he was his entire staff today.  From the x-ray tech to the nurses, every person I encountered kept asking me, "Is this another surgery?"  Yes, indeed; it seems I have not had enough of his torture--either physical or emotional--yet!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Surgically Speaking . . .

Well, Tuesday, February 15th came and went without a hitch!  I was first up on the OR schedule at 8am, which meant a very early arrival at the hospital, but also a limited window of hunger pains! After checking in with the nurses, redeeming my frequent visitor rewards with the QA consultant, and getting a warm "welcome back" from the anesthesiologist (we've practically become BFFs after the number of times I've visited her operating room over the last year), 'the mad scientist' finally arrived to greet me at 7:58am.  I had joked with the rest of the OR staff that he wouldn't arrive until 7:59am, so you can imagine our surprise when he showed up so early!  Of course, when I saw him approaching my bed still wearing his white coat and carrying a pile of about 10 patient files, I exclaimed, "You're not even in your scrubs yet?!  Are you going to be the one to make us late today?"

Luckily he managed to make up time, shaving about 45 minutes off his normal procedure time.  I woke up in Recovery just in time to nosh on a tuna salad sandwich for lunch and to take a short nap--fortunately, I had just local anesthesiology, so I avoided all the awful nausea and exhaustion of last year's surgery!

By dinner time, they moved me to my room on the Orthopaedics floor.  And, with all the gym time I put in over the Summer and Fall, I was able to successfully lift and transfer my body to my bed all by myself!  The nurses continued to be amazed at my adept "bedpan" skills during the remainder of my stay.  But, despite my need for independence, they continued to check on me every few hours, making sure my pain was under control and my belly was well-filled during my stay.  I couldn't have asked for a more attentive nursing staff; they were amazing!

After a rest-filled night, Dr. Weinfeld surprised me with a quick visit to my room Wednesday morning before he left for the airport.  "Did you really think I wouldn't come and see you today?" he said as he entered the room.  He ordered me to return a week later to have my cast set; and, feeling virtually pain-free and full of energy, I was glad to be released home a few hours later.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Out Like a Tiger, In Like a Rabbit

2010 has been a tumultuous year (to say the least) and after recounting all my challenges and successes so many times to so many people, it was recently Sarah, my pillar of positivity, that reminded me that the Year of the Rabbit promises to be a calmer, softer, and more gracious animal in our heavenly domain.  The summer and fall were a whirlwind of ups, downs, and disappointments, leaving me without time or energy to blog.  But, with so many friends and family begging for updates, I have committed myself to maintaining "Jess & The City" once again . . . and, what a way to start the new year!

Ethan Thomas Millett was born yesterday weighing in at a healthy 8 lbs, 10 oz.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet him (since he decided to come just two days after my departure), but I am excited to be an aunt again!  Congrats Keith and Rachael!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Summer Heat Led to A Cool Fall

In June, I traveled to Vegas with Nick for our annual Licensing Show and despite a few mishaps and a constantly swollen left foot, we had a successful business trip with plans for the coming year.  I took an extra week to travel home to CA to spend some quality time with the family before getting back to the grind.

I finally started feeling great in July with all the swelling finally gone and an increased stamina.  I flew out to Lake Tahoe to spend the Independence Day holiday with the brothers and their families.  And, thank goodness I did--New York had record breaking temps of 100 degrees+ that week!  After a relaxing massage, a few novels, and some well deserved time by the pool, I was rested and ready to return to work . . . I also enjoyed seeing Harry Connick, Jr. in concert and South Pacific before it closed on Broadway.

August was truly a roller coaster!  I went back into the hospital on the 3rd to have the 'mad scientist' remove the screw from my heel.  And, while the procedure was quick and painless, the recovery turned out to be a steep uphill climb!  About two weeks later, I started having serious swelling and pain again.  Unfortunately, the surgeon was out of the office through Labor Day on vacation, so I couldn't reach him in person.  I tried my best to limp along, completing a business trip to Toronto and taking a short vacation at the end of the month.  I spent the first few days in Buffalo, NY visiting my old roommate Alaska and her family, including 1 month-old Emma Claire!  It was fun to hold a new baby all weekend.  We also had fun visiting Palmyra, NY, the area where the Mormon church was founded, as well as Niagara Falls (all with ice packs along for the ride!).  I then took a few days to relax in Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Earl ripped through the island just 48 hours before my arrival!  Unsure of whether or not my hotel was still standing, I took the risk and flew to San Juan anyway!  It rained every day, but I did manage to have a few authentic meals and to finally get some sun on the last day . . .

Returning from Puerto Rico at the beginning of September, I finally couldn't stand the pain any longer!  I visited the hospital to get an MRI of my foot.  Low and behold, I had two stress fractures across my 2nd and 3rd metatarsal!  Keith and Rachael came to visit me just a few days later and I toured them around the city's tourist hotspots with that blasted boot on--believe it or not, I even managed to board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty with that tumorous appendage!  At what was supposed to be my pre-op appointment on September 14, Dr. Weinfeld ordered me to remain in the boot and told me it would take 4-5 weeks for it to heal.  I joked with him that I had developed a co-dependent relationship with that boot and that all I really wanted was to break up with it for good!  With all my family scheduled on flights to arrive for my next surgery at the end of the month, I had to hurry and cancel their trips, telling them we didn't know when we would be able to operate on the right foot.

Taking every opportunity to enjoy this unplanned "walking" version of Fall, I was able to enjoy some fun weekend activities like apple picking, a corn maze, a visit to a local pumpkin patch and a farm in October.  With the foot all healed, I then traveled to Mexico City at the end of the month for a business trip.

By mid-November, I was finally feeling back to "normal" with my new and completely healed foot . . . I stayed in NYC for my first Thanksgiving and Mom came to spend the week with me!  We had so much fun seeing the Rockettes in their holiday spectacular show, West Side Story, and the Macy's parade balloons!  Unfortunately, she lost her wallet during her trip, but after a very panicked morning, we were able to find a solution to the lost ID and money and she made it safely home to CO a few days later.

December crept up so quickly . . . I took the chance to fly home to CA for the first time in 6 months!  It was great to see my nieces and nephews and to see how much they've grown!  One of my good friends Crystal got married on New Year's Eve and we then rang in the evening at Knott's Berry Farm.  The warm CA air was a welcome departure from the single digits we had in NY right before I left!