I’m heavily medicated tonight, so I’m probably taking a big risk by trying to share about my day.  But here I go.  Please remember that I am partially not responsible for typos, grammar, and content this evening.

I woke up this morning knowing that I could consume no food or liquids before arriving at the hospital for my surgery which was at 11 a.m.  Truthfully, I’m not a big breakfast eater so the food part wasn’t too difficult, but I did miss my morning coffee.

Mom arrived at our house just as Tim and I were preparing to leave, so I was able to give her a big hug and introduce her to Kandi (our new puppy) before we headed to Ashland.  I am so thankful to have my mom here to help out for the holidays.  She brightens our house like a beautiful sunrise.  If I made a list of my favorite sounds, I am sure that hearing the kids laughing with her would be right up at the top.

Tim and I pulled into the hospital parking lot at the very minute I was suppose to arrive for my surgery prep, so Tim dropped me off at the door and I went on in to get registered.  The drop-off location is the same one I used throughout the winter and spring of 2007 for valet parking when Nick was going for his weekly blood transfusions in between chemo treatments, so my emotions almost got the best of me as I walked through the door.  Thankfully, the receptionist was very sweet, and I was able to move through that process quickly and head on to the surgery waiting room. 

Tim and I had barely sat down when they opened the door and called my name. They pronounced it “Nitchin,” which made me laugh a little so that sort-of relaxed my nerves a bit.  Our last name rhymes with the word “baton” if you’ve wondered.

Baton – Nischan

That’s about the only word I’ve ever been able to think of to help my students when they can’t seem to remember how my name is pronounced.

I then said “bye” to Tim and headed back to the dreaded “prep room.”  Just saying “prep room” makes me feel nervous.

The nurse left me behind a curtained area for a few minutes so I could place every personal belonging I had with me into one small plastic bag. While I was doing this, I couldn’t help but overhear the elderly lady next to me wailing in a very high-pitched voice, “It hurts,” over and over again.  I think they had given her a medicine in her IV that burned as it went into her bloodstream.  Poor thing.

At moments like this,  I am reminded that as we age we seem to revert to the habits of childhood which then reminded me of the time that I humiliated my mom at the doctor’s office as a young girl.   When I was little I did not like green beans, so I would repeat the words “Tastes like pudding, tastes like pudding, tastes like pudding” in my head the entire time I was eating them, thinking this might help the green beans taste better.  During that same era of my life, I had to get a shot in my bottom.  Mom was in the waiting room (I think back in those days moms must have left the room when kids were getting shots or maybe mom just knew it would be easier for the nurse if she left.)  As mom was sitting and waiting, she heard me screaming the words, “Tastes like pudding, tastes like pudding, tastes like pudding!”   I guess I thought if it worked with green beans, it would work with needles.

I didn’t try screaming that today as the nurse was starting my IV, but I kind-of felt like it.  I do not like needles.  Thankfully for Tim, I had listened to the lady next to me moaning about her arm for so long before the nurse arrived in my curtained cubicle that I decided it wouldn’t be very nice to put her through anymore drama.  I would have loved to have seen Tim’s face, though, if suddenly he would have heard me screaming, “Tastes like pudding!” all the way out in the waiting room.  I’m pretty sure he might have left me at the hospital and called someone else to pick me up. 😉

I was doing okay and even complimenting the nurse on how gentle she was when she innocently and sweetly said, “I use to work with cancer patients.  Their veins can be very tricky.”   Without even thinking, I said, “Yes, my son had cancer.  He passed away.”  My poor nurse didn’t know what to say, and before we knew it we were both crying.  There I was, flat on my back with huge crocodile tears running down both sides of my face.  When the anesthesiologist came to talk to me, I’m not sure what she was thinking as I wiped back tears the entire time she was asking me all of her standard questions.

I don’t really remember much else except that in the recovery room my nurse said, “Why don’t you try to sleep?  You keep asking the same question.”  I wish I knew what that question was……I guess.  I remember writing down every word Evan said one time as he was waking up after surgery, and it was hilarious!  Maybe it’s best that I don’t know what was on my mind at that particular moment today.

The good news for the day was that I got to come home!  There was a chance I would have to stay overnight, but thankfully, I’ve been able to spend the afternoon and evening on our couch in our living room!

Since I’m not fully “with it” this evening and since you’re probably wondering why in the world I had surgery three days before Christmas, I guess I’ll share the humbling truth that I had several cysts removed from my tailbone today. I’ve lived with this pain for several years, but while Nick was sick the last thing I cared about was my own health, and honestly I’ve just continued to endure it over the past two years as we have tried to cope with Nick’s absence in our home.  This fall, however, I knew that I had reached a point where I had to face the reality that I needed professional help.

The surgeon told me that I would need to be off of work for two to three weeks because of the pain while recovering, but I knew that I did not have that many sick days available so having surgery over Christmas break was my only option.

I’m thankful that I had this built-in holiday break in my profession.

Several friends visited briefly today.  I didn’t think to have mom take pictures when Kim or Carla stopped by, but here are pictures of my precious friends Clara and Donna.

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Mom tried to take a picture of Trish tonight when she dropped off hot cinnamon rolls at 11:30 p.m.  The photo below is all she was able to snap! visitors 0011_resize It was so funny, because I was laying on the couch upstairs and could hear Trish say, “NO PICTURES!” as she opened the door, gave mom the warm rolls, and ran!  Now, honestly, you saw the picture of Trish from a few days ago and there is never a time when I see that girl that she doesn’t look as cute as a button.  She is so funny!  Oh, she did promise me that one day soon (after I recover in case you are worried that I will get up and start doing things too quickly) we will have a homemade cinnamon roll cooking class, so I promise to share this memory with pictures and a recipe!  They are delicious!

Oh, I also wanted to say “thank you” for all of the texts and phone calls today checking in on me.  Knowing that I was being prayed for made my morning so much easier.  

I kept thinking of the verses in Psalm 62 that I would pray back to God so often when Nick was in surgery,

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
   my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
   he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Tonight I am thankful.

Thankful for nice nurses, especially nurses who will cry with me.

Thankful for a wonderful surgeon.

Thankful that the surgery is behind me (literally). 🙂

Thankful for all of my friends and family.

Thankful for medicine to control the pain – for the most part.

Thankful that my mom is here to help out with the kids and Christmas.

Thankful that I have permission to rest. 

I know that my dear, dear friend Topsy is looking at the time of this post and thinking, “Tammy, this is not what I call rest.”  But, Topsy, I promise that I have slept so much this afternoon and evening that I truly couldn’t sleep anymore.  However, my eyes are getting heavy and I can tell that once I click “publish” on this blog post, I will be closing my eyes for the night.  I promise.

Oh, I also wanted to share that I am not the only one who is thankful tonight.

This was my view from the couch this evening. Can’t you see in Snoopy’s eyes how thankful she is that Mamaw is here!?  And look at Kandi!  She’s already claimed Mamaw’s lap as her very own!! 🙂

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I never dreamed I could write so much while under the influence of medicine, but somehow I have once again shared a little more about me than you may have ever wanted to know.  We are definitely bonding in new ways daily!  Makes me wonder what 2011 has in store for all of us!

Please post a comment here, email me, or send me a message on Facebook if there is ever a way I can pray for you or help you.  I will have plenty of time to lift you up in prayer in the next few weeks!  I love you all so much!

Hoping I didn’t take too big of a risk tonight but I just knew it was going to be hard for me to keep blogging without sharing why I was taking pictures mostly from my couch for the next couple of weeks,