This is a tale with many twists and turns––just like the road between Florence and Eugene.
In November, I had vein procedures for both legs scheduled to be done during the two weeks prior to Christmas. This triggered a cascade of events:
–Cancelled trip to California to have Christmas with family.
–Rescheduled clerking duties at Backstreet Gallery.
–Made motel reservations for night before and night of procedures.
–Arranged for care of Sir Groucho while I was gone.
–Planned for month of no bending over or heavy lifting after procedures.
–Ordered light-weight carpet sweeper.
–Changed Sir Groucho’s litter box to elevated location to make it easier for me to clean.
The schedule from the surgical team looked doable
First Week, left leg, December 13-16
–Monday—Pre-op in Eugene. Then pick up four prescriptions back in Florence.
–Tuesday––Back to Eugene with everything needed and check into motel.
–Wednesday––I prep for surgery, arrive by cab at 7:15 a.m., vein laser surgery takes about 2 hours, picked up by friend afterwards, alternate between elevating legs and walking, ice leg while elevated.
–Thursday––24 hours after surgery, remove surgical dressings and shower. Cover any incisions with band aids and put compression hose back on. Drive home
Second Week, right leg, December 21-23
–Tuesday––Post-op left leg, pre-op right leg in Eugene. Check into same motel.
–Wednesday & Thursday––Same as previous week.
How it actually played out, First Week, December 13-16
Monday––Headed for Eugene and gave myself extra time because of big storm on Saturday. Thought of rock or mud slides or trees might be down. First sign of trouble was snow before the tunnel a couple miles past Mapleton. That was totally unexpected; no mention on radio. Snow got heavier and slushy on the road, and it was snowing off and on. Had to concentrate to stay in two bare pavement tire tracks and not get caught in the shush. White-knuckle driving all the way to Veneta. Made it to medical center in Springfield with about 15 minutes to spare. Glad I had time to eat part of my lunch.
The pre-op prolonged ultra-sound that measures veins went well, and then the technician drew lines on my leg. I was then given detailed instructions on what I needed to do before and after the procedure.
When I said I would have a cab take me and pick me up, I was told that would not work for the pickup. It had to be a friend or family member–not a stranger. So, I called a Eugene friend I used to work with at the magazines. I was still in contact with her but had not seen her for about eight years. Fortunately, she was home and said that she would be glad to pick me up. Whew! Left medical center and headed home with orders to pick up four prescriptions before returning to Eugene next day.
Got as far as half way up Badger Pass and traffic was stopped due to major accident several miles ahead on other side of Walton. The snow was still there with more falling. Waited nearly an hour. When it got close to 4 p.m. and temp dropped to 34 degrees and the car behind me was gone, giving me room to maneuver, I turned around and headed back to Eugene.
I went to Freddies on West 11th and asked to have all four prescriptions from Freddies in Florence switched there. Two of them would be no problem, but two I would have to call and have the doctor issue new orders. because they fell under heading of narcotics. Then I got a pair of PJs and a toothbrush before heading to the motel in Springfield. This was the motel where I had reservations for the next two nights, but not this night. Fortunately, they did have one single-bed room left. First thing I did after getting in the room was to call the gal taking care of Sir Groucho, to see if she could also take care of him this night and Tuesday morning. She could. Whew!
I walked half a block to Denny’s and had a very good dinner. Could not sleep much because of restless legs. I did not have my medication that controls it.
Tuesday––After a great comp breakfast, I called the surgical team and talked to one of them about needing orders sent for two prescriptions and told her which ones. Then I called my primary care doctor’s office in Florence to see if I could have about six pills of my meds for restless legs ordered. All morning calls went back and forth, but the end result was that all the meds should be ready for me to pick up that afternoon. I started writing this blog that morning.
That afternoon, I waited one hour in line at the pharmacy, and then another 15 minutes while the gal waiting on me rounded up each one individually. Then, of course, the insurance refused to pay on one. I said I would pay it–– all of it. Finally, I had all five meds. Then I got some food, more toiletries like toothpaste and dental floss and the lotion for my face that I use, Saran Wrap to wrap my leg the morning before the procedure after I rub a prescribed numbing cream all over it, and loose fitting shoes to wear after surgery that I will be able to walk in–even with heavy bandaging in the way.
I came back to my motel room and was just about to call the cab company to arrange morning pick up, when the phone rang. It was a surgical team member. She was calling to say that they had to cancel my procedure because the laser machine was not working properly! What the hell! AARRGGHH! That was simply the capper to a very bizarre week. They had no idea when it would be working. They would call and reschedule! #%&$#% I was not a happy camper. I called my friend to say not to pick me up the next day after all. Then fixed some dinner from what I had bought and learned that a major wind and rain storm was to hit Florence next day and to stay off mountain roads including coast range. That meant I couldn’t head home the next day even though my surgery had been cancelled. Double AARRGGHH!!
Took my restless leg medication and went to bed about 8:30 p.m. and slept well until 6 a.m. Love that medication.
Wednesday––After another wonderful breakfast, I showered. It felt good. I had been under orders not to wash off markings from Monday. Now, it didn’t matter. Then I reworked what I had written for this blog post. After that, I called the bookstores that carried my books since I was in town and had books in my trunk. Had some great conversations but no takers.
I then went over to Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, where I’d had treatment seven years ago. I left a copy of my latest book, The Cancer Blog, for Dr. Buchanan who had treated me and was still there. The book is dedicated to him and others. The gal I gave it to was thrilled. Then I went over to Creative Clock and exchanged a clock I had bought a month ago. I think I’ll be much happier with the new one. So, I did get a couple things accomplished. Lastly, I went over to Denny’s and had another very good dinner.
Thursday––After another wonderful breakfast, I watched the TV news and took my time getting ready to leave. I even ate an early lunch in my room before I left. I didn’t want any problems on the road, so didn’t leave until 11 a.m. As it turned out, the road was absolutely fine with very few remnants of snow here and there. The heavy snow of last Monday seemed a bad dream. On this day, it was easy peasy!
The totality of all the planning and frustrations of the week turned out to be much ado about nothing! Even with the best planning, you just never know!