Tag Archives: Dallas

The Noggin’ Chronicles – Part 1

Surgery 03-30-23 & Post-Op 03-31-23


The Background: I work 4 days a week and the Friday before surgery, it really finally dawned on me that I was going to be “out” for the near future. I love my job and I love the guys I work with. I also “know” the guys I work with and I had really buckled down to get things prepared so I wouldn’t come back to work facing apocalyptic aftermath. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I was rushing around trying to get errands done and laundry finished. None if it really was as the nerves started kicking in and I spent half my time in an ON flare laying in bed or having my own craptastic time in the loo. Tuesday, I got as much of the stuff at the office buckled down as I could, while still dealing with a nervous stomach, and then left the office knowing good and well there was stuff I was just going to have to let go. Wednesday morning, the stomach was no better and I was on day 6 or 7 of a running migraine. I packed for the trip, ingested medication for my stomach and then prayed. Hubs and I made it to Dallas, got into a small hotel suite and then buckled down for the procedure and recovery to come.

Surgery was scheduled at 0700 CDT on 03-30-23. I had to be at the William P Clements hospital at 0500 CDT. The hotel was less than 15 minutes away so I wasn’t overly worried about “being late.” So we were up before the butt=crack of dawn. Yes. I wore my jammy bottoms and a button down shirt because I was advised that I couldn’t wear anything that went over the head. (It makes sense after the fact.) So, picture me in a pink button down, navy blue pajama bottoms with Eeyore on them, pink socks and tennis shoes. I am sure I made for quite the fashion icon, but it was comfy so there’s that.

From my journal: So. Dr. Amirlak and the entire surgical team at UT Southwestern in Dallas met with me in pre-op. Dr. Amirlak is awesome and we discussed the options for the surgery and we agreed to with the more conservative methods. We can always go back in if we need to. For the next 3 weeks I can’t do a whole heck of a lot. After that, I should be able to do more.

The surgery went longer than expected and was about 3 hours. Hubs briefed me when I was in the recovery room, but I didn’t retain much to be honest. Dr. Amirlak told him there were veins wrapped around a nerve on the right side. I’m assuming it’s the greater occipital nerve. He also told me Dr. Amirlak decompressed and added some “stuff” (can’t remember what it’s called) as a cushion and buffer. Based on what Hubs said, Dr. Amirlak did the same with the lesser occipital nerve. He yanked the lower 3rd nerves on both sides. We agreed not to do the “big” surgery on the left side. I was hoping to go home tomorrow, but I don’t know. There is also a “drain” in the back of my head. I’m apparently now “Borg.”I think it’s time for some rest. My head hurts and I probably shouldn’t be worrying about the Chronicles at the moment. Follow-up visit tomorrow at 1300 CDT. G’Night.

I am Borg.

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep because I can’t get comfy. I did want to write a few things that I remembered. Before surgery I made a Hodgepodge of Tunes playlist on Spotify for surgery. I asked Hubs to play it and the first song in the recovery room is Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” Talk about irony of ironies. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. Secondarily, because the surgery took longer than expected, it also meant it took me longer coming out of the anesthesia. I do remember they had to keep telling me to breathe. I kept thinking I was breathing, but maybe not? I’m not sure what to make of that. Anyway… going to try to sleep again.

The next day: The follow-up visit was interesting. Two curious tidbits: 1) Dr. Amirlak (or more likely his team) shaved the back of my head while it was up in a very messy bun. So when I took the bun down and attempted to brush out the mop, a crap-ton of hair came with the brush. Needless to say, I freaked the eff out.  2) Apparently I have a birthmark on my neck around the hairline. The doctor said that it leans toward the side with the massive problems and he’s seen kind of similar birthmarks on patients on the sides where the patient has the worst ON. He couldn’t provide a logical reason for any the possible correlation. But I thought that it was kinda nifty. (And NO idea I even had a birthmark there because of my really thick hair … which is no longer there.)

This is a picture Hubs took of my “messy bun” when it was let down. Why does it look like I have dreadlocks? I was afraid to brush it out.
I started brushing my hair and this is what came out with the “Wet” brush. Talk about freaked out!

I was able to ask a few questions and I asked for, and received, a copy of the post-operative notes. I figure this will actually answer some of the things I’m dying to know. Plus having a copy for my “records” is a good thing.

On the downside of things, yes, the surgical pain is still there. Yes, my head is numb in places which feel really weird. No I cannot go home today. Sigh… the output on the drain has to be less than 20 ml in 24 hours. Since today is Friday, I’m going to be stuck here until at least Monday. That’s gonna cause a kink in the plans the entire family has made, let alone my wallet. Ugh.

Additionally, Hubs had to go out and get me some more clothes because I didn’t know we were staying longer and I didn’t bring enough. He hasn’t bought me clothes (other than the Amazon wish list) in years and he did a good job.  2) Icepacks are my new best friend. 3) I bought a travel pillow in Amarillo on the way out of town. Best purchase in a long while. 4) I have zero energy. But I’ve been doing my best to get up and walk a bit. Last thing I need are blood clots or something. 

Next goals are meds, sleep and a shower. Then after two more days I can actually wash my hair. Yay!!!! And last, but most certainly not least, I have to give major props to Hubs who has stood beside me through thick and thin. This is surgery number 9 so we’ve been around the block a few times and I couldn’t ask for a better man to be my my side. I’m richly blessed.


6 Degrees of Seperation?

Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.”

~John McClane~


My most humble and sincere apologies to everyone.  It’s been hard (literally and figuratively) to sit my butt at the keyboard and converse with you about one of my true loves… writing. I have been ill for a little bit and with the fairly frequent weekend visits to Dallas, TX, I’ve just been pretty wiped out.  The upside to this is I have been watching movie after movie after movie because laying in bed, there’s not much else to do. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen over thirty on DVD. I thought I would take a moment to share a couple of finer moments with you.

Becoming Jane must be seen with Pride and Prejudice – back to back and in that order.  I have also decided to add Jane Austen’s residence to my bucket list of places to visit.

Speaking of The Bucket List, I don’t know if I recommend watching it while sick in bed. It’s a tremendous movie. I love Jack Nicholson’s movies overall and realistically I should have paired the Bucket with another of his I enjoy, As Good as It Gets with Helen Hunt. Of course, this reminds me, if you haven’t seen Prizzi’s Honor co-starring Kathleen Turner, do so. You will thank me later. (It’s much snappier and crisper than the more modern / similar Mr. & Mrs. Smith)

There was also the “tear-fest” that ensued when watching Fried Green Tomatoes, Beaches, The Time Traveller’s Wife, and The Lake House in a marathon session one afternoon. Gads. I’m such a girl sometimes. Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite performances by Kathy Bates. I got a first taste of her acting abilities in Stephen King’s Misery and in it’s own 6-Degrees of Separation, she also starred with Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt. But Bates’ diversity of characterization is amazing. If you haven’t seen her in The Blind Side, it’s a total turn-around from Misery and her role as Mama in The Water Boy still has me rolling after all these years.

Ah… the Water Boy. Adam Sandler. I did take in a double-feature one night when I couldn’t sleep. I had to watch Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, a hero story all in its own. I’ll admit it. I’m not a huge Sandler fan. But there is no denying the comedic timing and talent he possesses.

But the heroism didn’t end there. O.M.G. Fantastic 4, The Green Hornet, X-Men, Daredevil and Elektra came into play. I know. I know. A lot of people weren’t at all impressed with the last two, but I have a thing for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner (remember Alias???) And because I’m a huge fan of action movies… those led into a Lethal Weapon marathon that just makes me smile. I mean, forget the weirdness of Mel Gibson as he’s aged and the divorce settlement with his ex. At the end of the day, the man is a hell of an Oscar-winning actor, producer and director. Plus, he has those blue, blue eyes.

Another actor with some pretty blue eyes (and also a fellow Texan) is Matthew McConaughey. Yeah. I did it. I watched four of his movies as well. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch and Fool’s Gold. I haven’t had a chance to see his fairy-dust, chest-beating performance yet in The Wolf of Wall Street, but I’m sure that’s coming soon.

A couple of other movies that bear seeing for too many reasons to list here are The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Water for Elephants and Eat, Pray, Love.  Each of these is based on an amazing book and the screenwriters did a fabulous job of transferring the critical elements of each story to the screen. (And yes, I finally watched EPL because of the number of references to it “Raj” makes in the hit TV show “The Big Bang Theory.”

So tonight… I shall sit and devour yet another movie. I’m torn as my choices are becoming fewer and further between. Most of my DVD collection is in Dallas so I’m making due with what’s left here in town for now. On another trip down there, I will have to pick up another 50 or so.

I shall leave you to your own devices while I snuggle up in bed with Bruce Willis. It’s a Die Hard kind of night. Yippie-ki-yay, mother…….

Moving Reflections

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~Walt Disney~ 

A week ago today, Yoda and I set forth on a new journey to Dallas, Texas.  We packed up our belongings… Wait. Let me rephrase that. We packed up most of our belongings – enough to get the apartment in Dallas stocked and ready for Darling to live. The movers came, loaded everything we had ready to go and we travelled the 350+ miles to our new city. 

The next morning (Thursday) we frantically took possession of the keys to our new place. At that time, quasi-misery sunk in. I feeling heartsick and anxious because we were signing paperwork mere minutes before the moving van was to arrive AND I was, at that time, showing the first symptoms of influenza.  Within a couple of hours, the moving van had departed and we were already unpacking boxes. 

Now… I think it really needs to be noted that when someone is moving into a new place there is a specific item that cannot be forgotten and needs to be unpacked first. 
Toilet paper. 
I can honestly say I went out to eat lunch primarily because I needed to use the facilities more than I needed sustinance. My word how I just wanted to pee.  It felt like releasing Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. My bladder stood and applauded. Then I had to go and drink like two or three glasses of tea thereby doing a “lather, rinse and repeat” type of moment.  Just for the record, La Hacineda on Highway 121 has a nice ladies restroom. 

While we were there for the initial move, I wasn’t in much of a condition to drive. I didn’t even care if I drove.  In hindsight this may be a problem.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get lost at some point, but thankfully I have a GPS and GoogleMaps.  I figure when the time comes, I’ll just blow through a tank or two of gas learning the area and figure it out from there. I bring this up because we had to go shopping and Yoda needed to learn his way around.  Not only did we need the aforementioned toilet paper, but we also needed food, as we didn’t bring much from the house. We also needed silly things that people take for granted such as shower curtains and that type of thing. However, I think as Darling was learning his way around, we drove down the same street like 50 times. At this moment, I can’t even remember the NAME of the stupid street. 

For the next couple of days we unpacked pretty much the entire apartment and as we did, the flu got worse. Yoda, the tape-dispensing Jedi Master, is also a master of the box-cutter.  (Though I’m not too shabby with the blade.) He tore down almost every last box he’d so painstakingly put together, just so we could bring them back home and load up some more stuff – “my” stuff to be exact. I’m really hoping to find a job soon and be back with Yoda before I know it. 

We were supposed to come back Saturday, but I felt so miserable we came back Sunday. I don’t know that made any difference other than I got some more sleep. But Yoda Darling was a good sport and drove the entire way while I was doped up on Nyquil. As an aside: We also had kicked in the two month trial on SiriusXM satellite radio. It made more a much more enjoyable trip down and back. I’m STILL going through all the channels and have yet to find my favorites, but it’s really nice to have options. This will make the commute times in Dallas so much easier.  

What channels do you listen to? Why? 
(Need suggestions here.)

Monday I went to the doctor. I indeed have the flu and a sinus infection. I’m not a fan of this. I got a shot in the butt and two prescriptions; however, no Tamiflu for me. It was past the 24-48 hour window. The reality: I should have just found a clinic in Dallas. Hindsight I suppose. I knew what it was, but toughed it out. Now I’m still a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-headed, feverish (still!) and need to rest mess. Thank God for Nyquil (though why they reformulated it I will never know.)

Anywhoo… just catching up on a few things. I’ll see you on the flip side.