the trouble with strawberries...

You see I don't live a quiet or uneventful life. I never have and I suppose I never will. For those of you who have read my posts over the past few days you know my life is, well, in chaos and upheaval. There's always something going on. Usually it's not good. Usually it's bad. Very bad. But this is not a place where I shall ever air my dirty laundry. I will be open and honest and candid, perhaps to a fault, but I will not do anything to upset or harm my children's lives, current or future. Some incidents are so ridiculous I can only laugh. Some are so terrible I can do nothing but run, hide and cry. Yet still all this aside I must mother my children. And live my life. This also means taking care of me. I'm pretty good at that. I work out frequently and have recently taken up Zumba which I adore! And no one laughs at me when I go to the left and everyone else is going to the right. I love the dance. Yes, I dance like a total white girl but I love it none the less. I love that I can escape from the harsh realities of my little world and for an hour be transported away and have a blast and end up feeling happy, accomplished and dripping in sweat. I still go to physical therapy to work on my problem shoulder that was operated on some 14 months ago. I try to watch what I eat and what I drink. I look at the bright side of things. I never leave the house without a smile. I am self deprecating. I never take myself too seriously. Over the past year I have learned not to sweat the small stuff, to slow down, and be patient. In addition to my troubled shoulder I have been plagued by neck issues. I was examined first by my orthopedic surgeon and then by a neck specialist. I was sent for Xrays and an MRI and it was determined that I have a degenerative condition that has left the nerves in my neck on both sides damaged. The left more so than the right. It was recommended a while ago that I seek treatment and relief from a spinal epidural. Sheer fear caused me to put it off for months and months and months. When medications (some strong) and physical therapy seemed no longer to be helping  and I could no longer sleep or turn my neck I agreed to let them treat my neck. (Turning neck is of most importance when driving and caring for children!)

I scheduled my appointment two weeks ago. I was told to lay off all NSAIDs and blood thinners. I remembered all the pre surgery rules from last time, but in case I needed a refresher my cousin who happens to be an anesthesiologist left me the following instructions on my Facebook page last night:

"It's a very quick procedure. Leave your jewelry at home, rings are ok, but earrings and necklace are not. Light makeup is fine, leave the heavy bronzer, the blue eye shadow, and and the frosted silver city pink Lips at home. Go natural makeup. Comfy clothing, easy on and off. Likely you will keep your pants on, just wear a jonnie. Wear yoga pants or something light w elastic. It's much less drama and nonsense than the surgery."

Isn't she hilarious? Of course I had to ask about my iPhone... as though I would be Tweeting away throughout the procedure!

I was also instructed not to eat anything after Midnight. The no coffee thing in the morning always gets me. That's just cruel!

So everything was fine until what I shall now refer to as The Strawberry Incident.

I was washing the blueberries and cutting up the strawberries for the kids this morning. We don't have much food in the house and today was not going to be a day for grocery shopping. I had a few strawberries that didn't look as though they were fully ripe. So then I did what any loving mother does. I tasted one to make sure that it was ok. SHIT FUCK GODAMMIT... I am not supposed to eat anything. Although I am sure one little, ok not that little, strawberry would matter.  I continued to cut up the rest of the fruit.

Fast Forward an hour and I am checking in at the outpatient surgical center. I hand them over my photo ID and insurance card, pay the copay and answer a plethora of questions regarding my "procedure." When was the last time I ate. Crap. Do I have to answer this? Can I lie? Can I fudge it a little. I could pretend that I had nothing. And then I would seize up and aspirate on the table, ugly surgical gown open in back exposing my orange polka dotted (!) underwear. I put a lot of thought into my decision for just this purpose. White is too boring. Black, lace, zebra and cougar send the wrong message... Ok, I don't really own cougar patterned pants!

Not wanting to die in my orange underwear with my 12 year old in charge of my other two I fessed up to the strawberry. Well... you shoulda seen the look on everyone's faces. It was as though I had taken Charlie's Golden Egg! After I filled out my forms I went over to the chairs in the waiting area passing by the coffee maker and the water machine. Is this really necessary? We can't eat, drink, have coffee. Couldn't these be placed out in the hallway? Or outside? Or, like, another town for crying out loud?

My mouth is dry. Like cotton. My stomach is rumbling. Like the tiger at the zoo. A nurse comes up to me with this cup of orange nastiness (much the same color of my underwear!) and tells me to drink. It will help speed up my digestive juices. As she hands me the cup she tells me that the appointment scheduled to come after me will go ahead of me. Because of the damned strawberry.

At this point I completely lose my cool. There is nothing elegant or graceful or dignified about my behavior as I rant and cry and scream about how it's all so unfair and I have my daughter babysitting at home and she can't be asked to watch the kids all day and how a strawberry, a stupid little strawberry, shouldn't do this. It's not fair... I sound like my 5 year old and figure I pretty much look like him too. Not my finest or proudest moment. But I've been nervous about this procedure and in pain for too long and there is so much going on in my life and I just can't take it anymore and  then the head nurse comes over to talk with me. We go off to a little room. I wipe my tears and stifle my sniffles. She asks if I would be willing to have this done without any anesthesia. "Without any pain medicine at all?" I ask incredulously, nervously.  I was told I would have pain relief and a mild sedative. PERFECT! I'll take it! And off I go to where the patients go. And into my lovely hospital gown I go. Bathrobe and booties too. At this time I am now known as The Girl That Ate the Strawberry. I am escorted over to a holding area where a comfy reclining chair, warm blanket and IV are waiting for me.

I ask what the IV is for. It's for the Versed, I am told. It's the medicine that will calm me and soothe me off to La La Land. I told her it would be better suited for champagne. Better to go with my strawberry, I added.

For all of you who voiced concern I am well and recovering and the Versed is very much like champagne. I had a good day! :)