Posted by: bree1972 | March 16, 2010

gettin’ ready 03/17/2010

As I was leaving my doctor’s office yesterday, he patted my hand and said, “Brenda, you’re going to have to put up your superwoman cape and let someone take care of you the first two weeks after you get home.”  With my “test” over and done Monday afternoon, and now knowing that I will definitely be having my surgery on the 24th, I began in earnest to think about  how I could “do nothing” for two weeks.

Superwoman?  I don’t think so, and I’m sure the doc uses that line several times a day to women facing the same surgery I am.  No, I’m not superwoman, but I seldom sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time.  If I’m idle very long, it seems I always think of – or notice – something that needs to be done immediately.  So I jump up and do it.  Now, for two weeks, I won’t be able to do that, and I told my doctor yesterday he might as well send me home with enough drugs to knock me out for 14 days, because I will seriously go nuts when I “notice” something that I can’t do.

Ted is going to be my caretaker, and he will be an excellent one.  Thank the good Lord, he is not one of those men who doesn’t know how to boil water.  He does 95% of the cooking and grocery shopping already, so that part is a “no-brainer” for him.  It’s the other housekeeping chores that will drive me nuts when they aren’t taken care of – by my nutty standards – on a timely basis. 

Like vacuuming.  You all know we have a golden retriever.  I love, love, love Bear.  But, oh my goodness, in two days time he puts down enough hair in this house to weave a rug, stuff eight pillows, and provide nesting material for every squirrel and bird family within a 20-mile radius.  I vacuum EVERY day – sometimes twice.  In Ted’s mind, there is a list of housekeeping duties that he has carried with him since childhood.  And nowhere on that list are sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, bathroom cleaning, bed-making, plant watering, or general “straightening” of the house. 

For the first couple of days I’ve been told I will be in “la-la” land, so it won’t be so bad.  From day 3 through 14, here is the list of what I’m allowed to do:  pick up and reposition my pillows, turn on the dishwasher (after someone else loads it), fold laundry, and go on short walks (one end of the house to the other).  What can’t I do?  Vacuum, sweep, mop, carry laundry across the house to the washer, lift, bend (to access oven, dishwasher or litter box – well, thank goodness I don’t have a cat!), reach, drive, sit for prolonged periods of time (what about this blog?), open windows, or go to Wal-Mart for some bargain shopping (I kid you not, all of that is on a list they gave me).  After two weeks in that catatonic state, I will go ahead and plan my next surgery – which will be sewing back on the tongue I have bitten off, trying not to “suggest” to Ted that if one more layer of dog hair goes down on the hall floor, I might as well make it into a flying carpet and boogie on down to Florida, where at least the clothes I fold will be shorts and t-shirts. 

But, you know what?  None of that really matters!  What matters is that Ted will take excellent care of me, just as I would him if the situation was reversed – except that in my case, the house will be messy.  If Ted is ever under the weather, the house will be clean – but he will starve.

Favorite old movies can always be watched again.

So for two weeks I’m going to be pampered.  I’ve bought movies, paperbacks, crossword puzzle books, and jigsaw puzzles. 

Books are stacked up, ready to be read. I brought some home from the island in November that I still haven't had time to read - now I can!

We made a joint decision that I am going to sleep in one of the guest bedrooms for the first couple of weeks (with the door closed) to ensure that Maddie and Bear don’t take flying leaps on top of me in the middle of the night.  That required a think-tank session about how Ted would hear me if I needed him.  Ted wanted to go out and buy these “star-wars/techno” $356.95 walkie-talkies which, according to him, would be great to have on Mackinac Island, so we could “talk” if one of us happened to get lost (I almost choked laughing just thinking about us getting lost on that small island, which we both know now like the backs of our hands).  When I asked him why we couldn’t call each other on our cellphones if we got “lost”, he didn’t have a really good answer.  So we bought a $39.95 baby monitor instead.

The baby monitor on the nightstand in the guest bedroom. "Ted! Honey! Could you wake up and bring me a Snickers Bar?"

The receiver on the nightstand on Ted's side of the bed. "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz".

Hmmmm.  I wonder if I could teach Bear to bring me a candy bar before next Wednesday.

P.S.  I said I wasn’t going to ask this early, but I’m doing it anyway.  Friday is recipe day, and this week it will be Beef Recipes!  Send those to me at by late Thursday afternoon.  This will be our last Recipe Day for a while. 

I have no idea what I will be doing about blogging the first week or two after surgery.  I can’t sit at the computer for a long time, AND there will be nothing to write about anyway, unless you want a two sentence report on what I’ve NOT been doing all day (I guess I could give you the blow-by-blow Lucy/Desi dialogue Ted and I will be having each day).  I hate losing the connection with my readers for that long.  Any suggestions? 

“Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.” . . . Arnold H. Glasow



  1. It seems to me you could get some reading done and do a quick book review. One paragraph and some pics from the bed of your entourage and their attempts to entertain you should keep us happy. We are big boys and girls and will miss you but we can entertain ourselves while you take the time to get well. I’m sure you will have so many friends visiting there will probably be a traffic jam.

  2. Believe it or not those 2 weeks will go by rather quickly..especially if you’re in a semi la la land mode!! 🙂 Don’t be surprised if you don’t have the desire to read a lot, I have had 2 surgeries in the last 3 years and both times I thought I would read the stack of books I had prepared for the occasion and found myself really not in the mood..(but movies were good!!) Ted sounds a lot like my hubby in the chores department..he did excellent with the cooking but didn’t “see” some of the other things that I thought should be done..gotta love em!!
    I agree with Cathie’s comment..”We are big boys and girls and will miss you but we can entertain ourselves while you take the time to get well. ”
    Praying for you Brenda!! God Bless….

  3. The blog could be an additional chore for Ted. He never seems to be at a loss for words!

  4. Brenda I agree with everyone else. There’s probably not much you are going to want to do for the first couple of days so just take it easy. But I have to admit, your probably going to be itching to get back to blogging after a while and I’m sure your going to find a way to do that. 🙂 In the meantime, we will be thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. Don’t worry about us, we will miss you but we will be fine. 🙂

  5. Ditto to all of the above.

    After my surgery I DID NOT feel llike reading all of the magazines I had saved to do just that! Movies and funny programs (Golden Girls etc.) kept me going…no sad programs for me).

    When you feel like saying “hi, I’m doing fine, or hi, I feel sad today”, send us a quick sentence or two. Keep track of your time sitting and get away from the computer when your time is up! I think if you do that, just a little at a time (whatever the Dr will allow), you won’t feel like you are in jail!

    Ted could always tell us how he and the dogs are doing. We will all miss you! Love and prayers, Judy, Ann Arbor

  6. I also agree with the other gals, all the reading that I had planned on doing during my surgery rehab DIDN’T happen … those magical meds they give you keep the pain away also leave you a tad fuzzy for anything requiring alot of concentration.

    You will have SUCH a wonderful caregiver in Mr. Ted, who will cater to your EVERY whim as you hold court from your recovery bed! (baby moniter was a great idea)…you just will need to concentrate on YOU & getting strong again and not be obsessing about the housework!

    Maybe you could bring your laptop into the ‘recovery suite’ for easier access & as Judy suggested- when you feel like saying “hi, I’m doing fine, or hi, I feel sad today”, just send us a quick sentence or two, and all of us, your faithful blog readers, will be happy to entertain YOU with our well wishing comments..

    Hugs & prayers,
    Jane in MN

    • Jane,

      I’ve heard this same suggestion from several of my readers by comment and by emails. I’m thinking it’s a great idea to just plan on writing a few sentences a day – even if they’re boring sentences. That way we get to stay in touch, and the best part – I get to hear back from ya’ll!

      I’ve also hard from several sources about “not being able to read and concentrate”. Gee, I wish I’d known that little secret before I bought all those books! But I can always read them later!


  7. Brenda, don’t worry about a thing…just CONCENTRATE on RECOVERING (so you can make the trip to Mackinac)…
    Ted can wait on you hand & foot, cook, blog (I like THAT IDEA) & take photos of you DOING NOTHING! We will FILL your blog with COMMENTS of healing thoughts everyday so you won’t have to worry about writing.

  8. Take care and just relax and enjoy reading books and watching movies ( those pictured above are great ones!!)
    I hope you only hear each other on the baby monitor and not the Aliens from “Signs” LOL!
    Happy Thursday!!

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