Saturday, November 22, 2003

I Share Becasue I Care
Since having xyz surgical procedure on Monday, I have resisted the Dooce-like compulsion to share every single detail of this physical experience with my readers. Guess what? I'm feeling a little better now, so get ready. You're in for it.

First of all, I would urge anybody who is facing a "should I have surgery" decision to JUST SAY NO. Elective or not, don't do it. This has been a very rough week. My entire body has suffered, piece by piece, day by day. I have been in pain for six days. First, it was my throat. My first thought upon waking up after the xyz procedure was "Ouch. WTF is wrong with my throat?" Well, really, my first thought upon waking up was "Oh Good." Then, I noticed the fire-like pain in my throat. I did not know that I had been intubated - a standard procedure, apparently, when they put you to sleep. They might've told me. In fact, I think they were supposed to. That pain lasted two days. Keep in mind that during this time my diet included a very steady stream of Tylenol 3. They didn't help.

As my fire throat was easing back to life, every muscle above my waist ached like I'd just built a barn by myself. I couldn't move my head from side to side for one day. I was, and am, certain that they'd dropped me during or after the xyz procedure.

Mid-week, all other ouches started sorting themselves out. Now that I could move my head, I made the mistake of examining the area where all the xyz surgical action took place. I look like I've been kicked in the stomach and left for dead. I'm bruised from my hairline to my belly button. Badly. The stitches are ghastly. I need help to get in and out of bed. Standing is good. Anything else is agony, despite the namby pamby Tylenol 3.

Late week, one of my two incisions opens up and becomes infected. A visit to the emergency room at 2:30 in the morning results in a very kindly surgical resident cleaning my gaping wound and giving me a bandaid. I can't remember when I was more humiliated. Apparently they don't re-stitch when this happens. At least she agreed with me that Tylenol 3 would likely not help me much, considering the kind of migraine meds I ingest on a regular basis, so she prescribed me Percocet. A very tired and slightly-passed-the-point of tolerant Mr. Crabby tucks me back into bed at 4:00 a.m. and says, "How's your bandaid?"

And finally, last night, at 6:15 p.m., I pooped for the first time since Sunday. Realizing this may have been the cause for a good part of this week's pain, I sat in the ladies' room in the lobby of the Hilton (closest/cleanest facilities at the time) and smiled. On top of the other gastro-intestinal implications of eating codeine for several days, severe constipation was something I had not counted on. I had to fast before surgery, and barely ate a thing the next day, so I didn't think this was a problem until about day four. "Eat a bran muffin," said Mr. Crabby. Finally, all is well. The bruises are fading, except where the IV was.

This morning, I was able to clean up cat puke by myself. Bending is OK, even though the second incision is now oozing and red. I had a five hour nap after sleeping for ten hours last night. And, I pooped again! Sorry if I offend. What I really wanted to do was phone you all and tell you, but even through a Percocet fog I knew that would be most unwelcome. Mr. Crabby was in bed sleeping off his midnight shift, so instead I told Tosca, who was watching with interest from the bathroom sink. "Look, kitty, look what Mommy did! Do you see what Mommy did? Yay Mommy!"

I'll end my diary of pain by thanking the pre-op nurse who told me "Oh some women who have xyz surgical procedure go back to work the next day." To those women, I say the hell with you. And to the rest of you, I say JUST SAY NO!

Maybe This Brand is Better
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Bare Perfection Makeup, SPF 8

What Swayed Me: As always, I bought this product because it was Bonus Time at the Elizabeth Arden counter. Usually I buy only Clinique products, but their foundation sucks.
Initial Reaction: "I'm so gald I bought this during Bonus Time. Hey, this stuff is gooooooood!"
Initial Results: Doesn't have that "smells like SPF" factor that many cosmetics have. It disappeared right after I put it on, leaving me with the most beautiful skin I have ever had. Yes! The most beautiful skin I have ever had!
Lasting Impression: Bonus Time or not, I'm going back for more.
Overall Rating: A

I also purchased Elizabeth Arden Eye-Fix Primer

What Swayed Me: The makeup didn't cost enough to entitle me to a bonus gift, and bloody hell, I wanted that gift. Spend $29 or more... but everything costs $27, so you have to buy TWO THINGS!
Initial Reaction: Yeah, sure, I'll try anything to keep my eyeshadow from creasing within the hour. This is why I never wear eyeshadow.
Initial Results: Feels nice going on, not greasy, no scent.
Lasting Impression: Eyeshadow lasted past lunchtime. This has never happened to me. Now I can wear eyeshadow!
Overall Rating: A

The gift-with-purchase included, among other things, an "Exceptional Lipstick" in Autumn. It smells nice, it's a gorgeous colour, and it lasts.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Will Crabby Get a Boob Job?
I received an offer by telephone this afternoon to join one of Canada's many breast cancer organizations - the job I referred to in Wednesday's post. I'm excited and and nauseated at the same time.

-even better commute
-way more money
-instant rapport last year and last week with executive director
-have already met staff twice
-very similar job to what I do now
-it's within the nonprofit sector, which is where I want to stay
-benefits start on day one (don't have to wait 3 months)
-I can tell people I got a boob job

-starting over is hard

I'll get over it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

While We Were Very Impressed With Your Qualifications and Experience...

Ah, there it is. The clause that begins the "we feel that you are overqualified for this position" sentence. While not necessarily a kiss-off, hearing this does nothing for a job-seeker’s morale. Nothing! I know this from experience.

Last year I was "downsized" from a job I'd grown to love. It took me nine months to find a new job. During that time, I applied for 116 jobs, went to about 30 interviews, and sought a number of freelance assignments. I got the "overqualified" line a lot. Blog buddies Sister StaceyPatrick and Radmila know. Mr. Crabby knows too. At one of my last job interviews, I got the "thanks, but you're really overqualified" line after only twelve minutes. "In fact, you'd be qualified to do MY job", he chuckled. Well, as it happened, funny boy resigned shortly thereafter, and I took his job, thank you very much. Know what? I'm better at it than he was. Bring me in for twelve minutes, why don't you, punk ass?

Job hunting sickens me. My entire sense of self-worth, confidence, and security were shredded during those nine months of unemployment. For what it's worth, this new job is great, but I learned a lot of lessons last year about how much of myself I should invest in any position. Which is why I went on two interviews last week.

I applied last year for a shot at this particular position. Whoever they mistakenly hired didn't work out, so my name was brought forward again. They have called all my references. What to do? Starting over is hard, and I like my current job and co-workers. However... this new opportunity pays a pantload more money. How loyal am I? Should I let the almighty dollar make my decisions for me? Mr. Crabby's in the background cheering "Show Me Da Money". In a world of three and four per cent annual salary increases, an extra $10,000 a year would make a big difference. Should I let my current employer try to counter-offer?

What would you do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Mary Has Two Little Clamps, Little Clamps, Little Clamps...

And my cheeks are white as snow. Happy to report that xyz surgical procedure is over and done with. I'm also happy to be back at home, where people know that my real name is Crabby, not what's printed on my medical card. "Remember," I said to Mr. Crabby as we entered the day surgery admitting room, "my name is Mary today." This drew some strange glances. There are three names on my birth certificate, and hence on my medical card. It's always been easiest to let them call me by the first name that appears, rather than correct everybody all the time. Imagine the chart work! So all day it was Mary this and Mary that, which likely helped me distance myself from the whole event.

"Breathe, Mary. You have to breathe." Wasn't I? The nurse pointed to the angry red bleeping thing beside me, and shook her head no, not breathing enough. That made me laugh a little, as much as I could. Morphine is so nice.

Anyway, Crabby's home, Crabby's woozy, but if Crabby sits very still and doesn't let the kitty kitties jump on her, Crabby will be just fine.