Check your undies at the door

My college room mate L had a baby 7 months before I had the guys. So when she shared with me this golden morsel of advice, I leaned in and listened:

“When you go to the hospital to have the baby, check your dignity and your underpants at the door.”  (She was totally right!)

Yesterday was a crazy long day! Thanks to M who updated the blog and W who uploaded it while I was in recovery. I was very lucky to have such great doctors and nurses who took such great care of me. I was back in my room around 4:30 or 5. What struck me most more than the pain itself, was the anxiety about  throwing up (I didn’t) combined with the increased major grogginess (very loopy). I had been given a lovely cocktail of Tylenol, an on-demand pain pump (PCA for those in the know) while I “came down” from the anesthesia. The result was that I couldn’t keep my eyes open enough to read, but I couldn’t pass out from exhaustion either.

[note to Jeff Sloan I would have happily posted in my then-current state of loopy ness but alas an unexpected side effect of the anesthesia was loss of fine motor skills.]

M left around 7:30 so that he could be home and spend time with the kids before they went to bed. And that’s when Adventures in Hospitaland began aka: How Many People does it take to assist JG pee?

On day 1, the nurses didn’t want to push me too much to get out of bed which provided a small challenge when it came to peeing. I had used a catheter during the surgery. But it had been removed in recovery.

“Don’t worry, we’ll set you up with a bed pan,” my nurse J said.

So she called for assistance and in comes a male nurse. Assistance? Male Nurse? The words are swirling around in my already loopy brain. And I try to act all casual when they instruct me to roll over and then they pull up my hospital gown and place a bed pan under my bottom, place the blankets over me and tell me I’m all set.

Underpants? Gone. Dignity? Also gone.

Alas, but I experienced a little stage fright and couldn’t perform on demand and in public after all, it felt like peeing the bed! When I was finished, I rang my call bell, and they came back in, lifted me up and took the own away. And this is where it got really fun – then they took out warm bath cloths and wiped me front to back. Yes. I will repeat that. All over. And then with a dry towel. All the while – no undies.

My night sleep was brief but heavy. At 5am, my bladder woke up me up and we did the 3-ring circus pee routine again. By this time my dignity was miles behind me I’m the rear view mirror.

And undies? Turns out I did leave them at home!

And speaking of home, the plan is that I am going home tomorrow. So it’s another night here. Did you know that CPMC offers meals through a Room Service Menu which lists carb servings per selection? And that we watched Dirty Dancing last night? Nope. I’m not leaving.



7 Responses

  1. Was thinking about you today and it seems that the day after a huge surgery really sucks! Thank G-d for that pain med button. Get as much rest as you can and take care! Thanks for letting all of us out here know how you are doing! Daily reports really work!! You are such a hero to so many people and your amazing attitude will help get you through all of this!!


  2. So happy that you, sans underpants are doing so well. As for dignity, you seem to have more than enough intact. I remember when you gave me that very same advise when I had Miss D Bug. Just remember this…” Nobody puts Baby in a corner”.

  3. Okay, I called Bill Nye and told him that he can cross off the list of potential science experiments whether boobs have any effect on writing ability or sense of humor. Unless you actually used those things for any positive purpose during the actual composing, there should be few delays in producing the column anymore. In 6th grade, you had every excuse in the book.

    You know what your biggest challenge is? Many famous newspaper people have occasional ghost writers. You cannot. Whoever subbed for you while you were sedated lacked your collection of astute observations, witty comments, and favorite four letter words. That’s good and bad, I guess. We will always know if it’s really you. Absent a “F Bomb,” or two, we will know you hired a poor minimum wage attendant….or husband.

    If insanity is deliberately choosing to be miserable, you are the antithesis. You would have been a great trial lawyer with your positive attitude….”Hey, I hear the food at San Quentin is awesome! And that view is to die for…”

    I am so proud of you, Jen. I forgive you for publishing the crappy update yesterday. Don’t let it happen again.


  4. Wow J so glad you’re back to writing your blog. No offense M,and the rest of the family but J is definately a much better writer.

  5. My favorite image is the male nurse; JG meets Greg Focker. Keep the pain meds flowing and the room service coming…until they kick you out.

  6. Sounds seriously challenging to pee in bed on purpose. Congrats for accomplishing that and for making it through this super hard part! Good to have THAT in the rear view. Hope you’re feeling better and better with the passing hours and that you get home soon. I’m confident you can access Dirty Dancing and any number of John Hughes’ films there too. xo

  7. Am deeply honored to have made an appearance on the blog! Been thinking of you and sending tons of positive karma your way. xoxLex

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