Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend Update

Every day I just feel better and better. Although today I woke up a little tired.

Last night we had some friends over to watch another friend who was appearing on the Food Network. If you don't know it already, I love having parties. I called my doctor and got the ok to have a couple of glasses of wine. So we opened up some great bottles and hung around eating and watching tv. Not your typical party, but still a lot of fun. I really think I overdid it though. I ended up prepping too much food, and cleaning up too much. By the end of the night, I was just aching. A little too much too soon. But we'll take it easy for the rest of the weekend.

We'll hit the library again this weekend. We've checked out so many great books for our trip. I am just getting around to buying a few off of Amazon. Just ordered Rick Steves Istanbul.

We are trying to think of which side trip we will take in December. I am sure I will still get fatigued easily, so we are thinking of taking an organzied tour with would not involve too much walking. I am thinking Greece! Right now, I am still thinking that we will spend Christmas in Bethlehem and New Year's in Eliat. We still have not received any word on what our 'official' holidays will be.

We have two trips next month. We are going to Phoenix for a wedding. And the next week, right before we leave for Israel, we will spend Thanksgiving with J.'s family in Sacramento.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Visa Comes through!

Jeff's work visa finally got approved over the weekend! Yes, over the weekend. Did you know that the official work-week there is Sunday though Thursday? TGI, um, T? TGIT! But from what I have a lot of things still open on Friday in Tel Aviv for us Goyim.

Anyway, back to the visa deal: now that he has a visa, everything starts moving quickly. We booked our plane tickets this morning and we leave in exactly 7 weeks and one day. Holy cow that's quick!

Getting the visa involved a huge amount of paperwork. Jeff had to submit photocopies of all of his degrees as well as a copy of our marriage licence. Finding all of this paperwork was the hard part. Thankfully, Jeff's degree from CMU is literally two feet by three feet, so I knew where that was! In the spare bedroom alongside everything that we won't ever hang up in our house. I knew our marriage certificate was in that photo album, but finding it was another story. When we did unearth it from the rubble that is storage, we had a nice time actually looking through the old album. I believe my hair was it's natural color! And J was so handsome in his tux! I still have the dress but don't think I can fit into it any more. We couldn't remember who some of the people in the pictures were. Old friends who were important enough then to invite to our wedding, whose names we don't even know now.

Enough reminiscing, I've got to get to work. Really all I have to do is:

1.) Heal
2.) Pack

That's it. And really, what do I need to pack? Just all of the stuff that I can't live without for four months. If it were up to you, what would you put in your suitcases? What can't you live without for four months? Or what would you bring to make another country feel like home? Hmm, wonder if there is bourbon there.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've got to admit it's getting better...

...a little better all the time!

Well, it's been five days since I came home and every day is better than the day before. While I am still taking percosets, I am taking fewer of them. I am walking around and have been able to move enough to cook a simple dinner. Still in pain, but it's manageable.

Food has been unappealing until last night. I had cooked and put away a lot of good food before surgery, thinking that I would want something delicious and home made. But even my fantastic short ribs were unappealing. All of the comfort foods I usually crave did not do the trick this time. So mostly, this week I have been eating to heal. I have just been eating raw fruits and veggies and simple proteins in the interest of healing my body. Whole wheat toast to get my digestive system moving. Lots of water to rehydrate. Until last night. Last night I ate possibly the most satisfying thing I have ever eaten. A burger. A Carl's Jr. $6 bacon cheeseburger. With a glass of Safeway diet ginger ale. Just out of this world. Awesome. Yes, my friends, I am on the road to recovery. My appetite is back!

Jeff has been around all week and has been helping out immensely. Just him being here is great. He fetches me things and make the most minute adjustments on things (believe me, when you are in pain, minute adjustments matter). He goes back to work in the morning and it's a good thing because he is getting a little stir crazy. I can tell! But I will miss him being here and the talking we have had a chance to do. Though I haven't fallen, it's nice to know that there is someone there to catch you if you do.

He was cutting a peach up for me and I asked him if the peaches were okay (wondering if was taking him a long time because he was cutting off bad spots). He said that no, he had just never cut up a peach before and it was taking him some time to learn how to do it. Cute!

Every day, multiple times a day, someone sends an e-mail or leaves flowers or goody bags at the door or calls to say hello. I just want to tell all of you out there who sent me a goofy e-mails, and dropped off flowers and gifts, and sent cards that it really meant the world to me. It seemed like every time I got down, something would come from one of you. The outpouring of love from you guys has cheered me up to no end.

Enough of the wallow, it's time to be positive! We are six or seven weeks away from our trip. And I am so excited about it! Jeff has been practicing his Hebrew while he's at home. He says it's getting difficult. Oy! I better start. I got the whole '10 Minutes a Day' book, Jeff is doing Rosetta Stone. We are still waiting for visas. Relocation won't do anything until about a month before, but they have our specs.

Our good friends Ken and Sherri are going to be staying in our house while we are travelling (and while they remodel their house). I am so glad that things worked out because I will not worry at all while they are here. Jeff's sister just put us in touch with a friend who works in the US Consulate in Tel Aviv. Now that's a good connection to have! Another friend put me in touch with a real foodie who is from Israel and goes back nearly every year. This guy, who I have never met, sent me a five page e-mail filled with restaurant and market recommendations along with the cell phone numbers of his whole family there. What a mensch!

We rented You Don't Mess with the Zohan (a comedy about an Israeli terrorist who comes to America to be a hairdresser). There is a scene where he is walking though the streets Tel Aviv and ends up at the beach. It looks great! We are both so jazzed to see what our new home looks like. Until we watch the bonus features. It was filmed in Mexico :)! Anyway, the movie was hysterical (on percosets). I laughed so hard that it hurt (literally).

Other things that I highly recommend watching/reading while on drugs:
* Domino magazine. Nothing like day-dreaming about glorious rooms and shopping.
* Candace Bushnell's new book One Fifth Ave. Gossiply good.
* Van Wilder. Watched this on TV last night. Hysterical.
Not good: Vantage Point (movie), Cosmo (seriously, do women still read this crap)?, any of the news channels (no need to add anxiety to my list of symptoms).

Daytime TV really sucks, but I have been blessed with Law and Order re-runs. Now that I am cutting back on the drugs, it will be nice to have enough focus to get into some good books. I want to finish Kafka on the Shore. My book club meets next Friday and I hope to be strong enough to make it. We are reading Eventide, by Kent Haruf. Any other recommendations?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Home after surgery

I am home now, I am feeling okay, on pain medication and recouperating. Jeff's working from home and helping me. Like I said, I am on drugs, so please forgive the ramblings and mis-spellings.

Surgery did not go well, it was not routine. Dr. Collins called it "challenging". When they went in, they just could not see anything. There is a fatty apron (the omentum) that holds all of your organs in place. Mine had fused to my organs. Apparently, some time ago, some kind of trauma happened in my abdomen: I had a burst cyst, a burst appendix or a serious infection or something. So they had to go in and painstakingly lift the omentum by cutting away all of the scar tissue adhesions that had attatched it to my organs. After they were able to lift it up it was routine, and they were able to get all of the tumor and my utereus. They were able to leave my ovaries and tubes and cervix. Though the ovaries had a lot of adhesions on them so I may have to take some hormones to counter-act the shock they have been through.

What should have taken two hours took 5.

But they said that it was good that I had the surgery, because over time these adhesions would have only become more tenacious. Both surgeons said that they had never seen anything like it.

I am home now and feeling okay. I am taking massive amounts of ibuprofen for swelling and percosets for pain. This morning, I am trying to cut back on the percosets so that I can hopefully resume normal 'functioning' soon. I've got stacks of good magazines and Jeff is staying home to help. He is making me tea and toast right now and working from home for the rest of the week.

So because there was so much more cutting, the recovery will take longer, like 6 weeks. But they still do not think that it will interfere with our trip. I am all about the power of the positive right now.

*The big upside of the surgery was that I did not have the adverse reaction to the anesthesia that I did with the breast surgery that I had last year. Seriously, that nausea was what I was dreading the most didn't happen. I was never quesy!