Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pre-Op Post

Right...so I figured I should do a blog before the surgery, and...weirdly, I’m going to try not to think about the surgery at all tomorrow. As such, I’m doing my damn thing today. :)

In keeping with that lovely theme, I’m really doing okay. Well, that might be a little bit of a lie. The truth is, I’m so overwhelmed that I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just plain numb to all my emotions. It’s good in one way, because it means I’m not running around with a pulse of 116—more on that in a sec—and fighting down waves of nausea. It’s not good, because it means that I’m not super great either.

Generally speaking, I’m a happy person. I try to be upbeat and hopeful. Maybe not “glass half full” but not “glass half empty” either. More of a “glass is half” kinda girl. It’s weird for me to feel totally removed from that. I’m just kinda going through the motions, doing what needs to be done and not doing much of anything else.

I’m not such a fan. Mostly because I remember doing this to myself back in Jr. High/High School, whenever someone would really hurt me. (And, no, usually it wasn’t a romantic/boy thing.) It's like this one time, I remember Aron totally chewing me out for it...saying that when I go numb I’m not fixing anything, just bottling it up and half-living. I feel like that’s a good assessment of how I am doing right now.

Luckily this time, at least, this isn’t some transgression of friendship that will take a major blow-out to get over. I figure, once the surgery is over, the numbness will dissipate into nothingness.

We’ll see.

Tuesday was my Pre-Op appointment. I had to fill out some forms, get my hospital card (basically like a bank card, with all my info on it electronically), and get my simple stats (height/weight, pulse, blood pressure).

While taking my pulse, the nurse gets this sort of alarmed look on her face and asks, “Um, are you...feeling...a little stressed out?”

I try not to look at her like she’s the stupidest human being on the planet and answer, “You could say that. Why do you ask?”

Oh, my pulse is pounding at one-hundred and sixteen beats per minute. Yep, that’s right, folks (um, until just now, I totally thought folks was spelled fokes—crazy), I’m officially suffering tachycardia. I know people who’s heart rate barely gets that high when they’re working out.

Huh, that’s probably why I’ve lost five pounds this week. Well, that and the nausea issue.

Anyways, besides all that, I find out a bunch about my surgeries and recovery. You’d think the whole thing would have made me feel a lot better, but it really didn’t. I blame the fact that the nurse was answering my general questions based on most cases as apposed to my case exactly. I was really hoping she would know whether or not they were going to break my nose, but, oh well, what can you do?

Apparently I can’t have anything more solid than water for the first two days. Even Jell-O and smoothies were put on the black list. Seriously? Yep, seriously. It seems this has more to do with the sutures in my throat, than it does with my actual ability to swallow.

Mmm, throat sutures.

I stocked up on Gatorade, figuring it would at least give me some calories and electrolytes. There’s still some Pedialyte in my fridge...my usual back up for bad hangovers and sick days, so that’s an option as well. Beyond that, I’ve filled my freezer with simple frozen popsicles and smoothie mix, and bought some soy protein to help keep my protein levels up when I can take something a bit more solid.

Real food is out for awhile. Well, at least I won't be watching my weight. As Lauren said, in her infinite wisdom, “Much like mono, I imagine it's a good diet?” I feel like I’m already on the stress diet, so what’s switching over to the liquid diet, right? Yech.

Because I’m me, the thing that bothered me the most was learning that I had to take my toenail polish off. I get the fingernail, dead extremities thing. I don’t, however, get the toenails. All I can say is they better keep the fuck away from my feet.

That is all. Moving on.

Cindy and I went to see The Black Dahlia Thursday. It was horrifically good...er, rather...it was good, but horrific.

I mean, how sick do you have to be to not just murder a woman, but cut her in half? Then take her reproductive organs, bowl, spleen, liver, etc...and rinse out the body cavities? Not to mention the facial mutilations she may have received while still alive. It brings to mind “Jack the Ripper.”

While the movie—and short story—has about six other story lines going on (The murder itself doesn’t even come into play until about the 35-40 minute mark), the thing that makes this so gripping is that Elizabeth Short actually existed. Was actually killed in such an awful way. Or maybe that’s not even what really got to me. Maybe it’s the fact that she was 22 when she was murdered...an aspiring actress...pale-skinned, dark-haired brunette...I donno. Maybe it’s the fact that the 1947 case is still open and unsolved. Whatever it was/is about the flick left me watching around corners and looking underneath my car.

And, um, slightly afraid of the dark. Shut up!

The move itself was quite good, but fiercely uneven. I’ve heard the source material is similarly chaotic, but some of the blame has to be put on the actors and their director. Actually, I’m more inclined to blame the director...and the sound mixer.

Hilary Swank seemed seriously miscast. Or, if not miscast, misdirected. Her portrayal had a vapid one-dimensional quality to it that, for me at least, constantly took me out of the movie. Disappointing that...especially from the Oscar wining actress who has done far, far better.

Josh Hartnett fairs better in the characterization, but there are sections of the film—I’m speaking predominately of the beginning, here—where he’s so mumbley and quiet, that I honestly considered asking the theater manager to turn up the volume. Of course, the fact that he’s quite pretty hurts nothing. =)

Aaron Eckhart, as usual, just is this obsessive cop. There’s never a feeling of “acting” with him; it’s as if he only exists on the screen. Well, that’s IMHO, anyways.

Out of everyone, Scarlett Johansson gives the most uneven performance. There are points that she veers into Swank’s caricature territory...but there are times when she gives this beautiful, incandescent performance. If only she could get that damn husky voice under control. I swear, I can’t decide if it makes her sound more like she has a permeate sore throat or the changing vocal cords of a boy going through puberty. Come on girl, I know you can do another voice, so let’s hear it! The fact that her body and face so perfectly fit the clothing and attitude of that time period—I mean, has the girl ever gone out without her trademark red lips and liquid eye linear?—help her through the bad stuff.

She also made me wonder if I could pull off carrying around a cigarette holder even if I didn’t actually smoke the lit cigarette. Funnily enough, as soon as we walked out, Cindy says, “I could totally see you walking around holding on of those.”

Well, clearly. I’m nothing, if not a throw-back to the 1940’s.

In other matters of suspended reality, I’ve been reading. A lot. I think I’ve read about nine books in the last week.

Yep, it’s excessive. So what? It’s keeping my mind off things, so leave me alone.

What’s been so startling about what I’ve been reading, is that...out of all of these books...it was the YA (young adult) titles that absolutely knocked me over. And they weren’t just superior in storylines and characters, although there certainly was that as well. The writing was just...better. Better sentence structure, better vocabulary. I actually saw a (not made up) word that I didn’t know the mean of.

Gasp!

I’m a little angry with myself for not picking up the two (later three, when I had to buy the sequel to one of the two) titles earlier...just because they were YA. I mean, I’ve been out of that section of the bookstore since I got through A Time to Kill when I was thirteen. I got so tired of the simplicity of YA novels...of devouring them in a matter of a couple hours. And, while I do admit to holding onto a few titles that I simply adored as a tween (HP totally doesn’t count, because everybody reads those), I don’t think it’s really because they were so well written.

Apparently, much has changed in the last decade.

The first book...that has been recommended over, and over (and over, and over...) to me, was Blood and Chocolate. The tagline alone bugged me on this one enough to keep me away: “Vivian has to face her dual nature, and decide what tastes better...blood, or chocolate.” Yeah, didn’t give me the woo-hoo’s either.

I wonder, if I had of known that it’s author is the same that wrote The Silver Kiss...a book that I liked so much as a very young girl, that I could still vividly describe the ending for you...I wonder if that would have encouraged me to pick it up? I honestly don’t know. What did finally encourage me, was a review by the wonderfully snarky Dionne Galace.

I found her completely by accident. One of those random Google searches that ends up giving you a random site that, really wasn’t anything you were looking for, but you bookmark it because it’s so freaking amazing? Yeah, one of those. (Oddly enough, that’s also how I found Television Without Pity...coincidence? Hmm...) Anyways, I figure she’s about my age...loves books...and looks at life with just about my kind of snarkiness. I mean, she’s no Lauren. But really, who is?

Looking for reading material, I started browsing her reviews, and stumbled upon one of her (very, very few) ‘A’ grades. In fact, it was an “A+”. Yep, you guessed it, Blood and Chocolate. After reading that review, I was certain. I would buy the GD book and see what all the fuss was about.

I really did enjoy it. I did also, though, finish it in about three hours. Given, I do read fast...and lately I seem to be faster than usual...but that still disappointed me. But, at the last few pages I spoke out loud to bitch about the fact that it was ending. And quote: “The bitch better have written a sequel.” Yeah, while it’s been made into a movie, the author hasn’t done a sequel...yet.

Sigh...such a hopeful little word, yet. So much nicer than “soon”, which, honestly, holds about as much water with me as “sorry”. People who don’t want to really think about the issue at hand say soon. It’s one of those annoying descriptive words that really doesn’t describe anything. Soon could be in a few minutes or in a few years.

But I digress.


The second YA novel...well, novels, since I ran out and bought the sequel immediately after reading the first...was Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.

Okay, I know this is lame, but this book has one of the most beautiful cover’s I’ve ever seen. Literally. Breathtaking.

(I would really love to post it here, but my computer refuses to allow me to do so.)

Anyways, the book itself was a-fucking-mazing. Like...how to express? Um...I was reading the dialog. Out loud. Like it was a movie. I couldn’t help myself. And I wasn’t just laughing out loud...I was giggling. I would fall into a fit of giggles and have to put down the book. It was poignant and unusually *real*. I even dared to mention it to Lauren. But, whatever the case may be, you don’t have to take my word for it. Twilight’s a NY Times bestseller as well as one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Decade...so Far.”

The sequel, New Moon, is everything Twilight is and more.

Unlike Twilight, this one has the realistic ache of emotional loss. The damaged, painful scaring all of us have gone through at one time or another. The sort of devastating emotional pain that has you clutching your arms to your body, legs up in a fetal position, with streams of tears pouring down your face into the puddle on the floor. Like Twilight, this one’s a NY Times bestseller...and the owner of another beautiful cover.

I kinda want to buy big prints of them and hang ‘em in my place.

Anyways, there’s at least one more in the series coming, which I’m thrilled about. But not until September 2007...which I’m not so thrilled about.

Interestingly, the author posted a little ditty about the quality of YA books on her website. I feel she summarizes my thoughts well, so I’m going to post the quote now: “I thought it was interesting that while most of the books I read were adult novels, it was only these YA authors that really stood out. I'm not sure if this means that my book shopping skills are going down, or that the quality of YA books are truly overshadowing the adult genres.”

On that note...everybody go try things you think are beneath you...you never know what could happen!

Okay guys, until next time!

Quote of the Moment: “I'm pretty sure this guy LOOKS like a child molester. I'd convict him of just looking creepy.”
Soundtrack of the Moment: Snow Patrol, “Run”
TV/Movie Quote: From The Black Dahlia: Elizabeth Short: Tell me that you care, or that you think I'm beautiful.

2 comments:

Lauren said...

No post-op post? You know, let your faithful readers know that you can breathe and whatnot?

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