Monday, July 20, 2009

Life Lessons in Blue's Clues

These past several days have been chalk full of skinned knees, dress-up's, s'mores and--of course--the infamous child's show with Steve and his female companion. No, not any over-animated woman in matching stripes to ease his senile solitude, but his gender-confused canine, Blue.

My parents purchased two Blue's Clues VHS tapes at a yard sale for the entertainment of their grandchildren. Just how much entertainment those two some-odd hours of games and guesswork would strain and stretch, I doubt any of us anticipated. These five children, even the oldest at six who scoffs at the foolish antics of Nick Jr., have plastered their searching eyes on the screen, anticipating that short space of time of interaction when Steve will allow for them to enter his world by encouraging excited outbursts such as, "Notebook!" or "Thinking chair!" or "Leotard!"

In recovery from my recent surgery, I've spent the most of my days of late sleeping in my room, a thin and hollow door the only barricade between me and my wasted childhood repeating with great similitude in the youth of today. I hear the musings of a lonely man who's spent the better part of his early adulthood in the same green striped shirt, developing a slight combover and interacting with nothing but a green screen several hours a day. Steve now plays in an indie rock band, Steve Burns and the Struggle, I follow up on him considering I used to have a mad crush on him when I was little, but all of that's besides the issue at hand. Perhaps for another post on another day.

Well, I have this useless storage space in my brain that hoards movie quotes and scenes that no one else remembers. Useless, yet highly entertaining. And in hearing the same two episodes of Blue's Clues over and over and over and over and over, I've stored away so many subtle nuances and traditions of the show that I could regurgitate almost the entire performance from memory.

In the backyard today, I was engulfed in sticky toddlers sitting together on the grass eating hot dogs or marshmallows or dirt or whatever toddlers eat. We were all laughing, having a gay old time when the youngest girl, Ryleigh, pointed to something and shouted, "A clue! A clue!" I immediately followed her lead and said, "What? I need to tie my shoe?" And Emma, without missing a beat, chimed in, "No. A clue!" It occurred to me that we had entered an improvised game of Blue's Clues. With all the children on board, I proceeded to go through the first and second clues, mail time, and even a little skadoo session, and then ended the third clue on our thinking chair with the handy dandy notebook. At one point, I made a comment that these kids watch too much Blue's Clues. Then Ben put me in my place and said, "No, Aunt Whitney, you watch too much Blue's Clues." Touché, Benjamin. So we put all three clues together and then we played it out on the lawn, everyone laughing and feeling alive because they lived, for one small moment, in a simulated television show.

Well I already knew I could recreate hours and hours of movies, music and television from my noggin, so the event itself didn't surprise me. But it was the engaged playtime I spent with all six of these children that made me realize, "I think I can be good with children!" I've always considered myself to be a potentially wonderful mother...when my children reach middle school. I think I connect well with young adults who are facing the world and making decisions the best they can with the tools they've developed. That's why I want to write young adult fiction. But children? I've always written that off as a skill I won't have until child number four comes along. Well, hey, I think there's a little child in all of us who can learn to love that stage of life, work with it, and thrive.

So I say a little thanks to Blue's Clues for letting me know that I'm not lost to womanhood, motherhood nor humanity when it comes to that little voice that women often quote, resonating deep within their fertile wombs, "I love children!" I too enjoy the little runts, every now and then.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 3 Post-Op

I've got a sports bra that opens in the front so I don't have to stretch my arms too far. It feels nice to get the bandages off.

Hey hey!

So today I went to get my bandages off and my drains taken out. Let me tell you, I hope you never have to experience that feeling. It didn't hurt so much as that it didn't feel... right. I could feel the doctor pulling the tubes out and it kinda shocked me at first. By the time he got to the other side, I sorta wanted to die, but then they were both out and it was all over. (:

So Doctor Jewett wrapped me all up in gauze and let me put the sports bra on that I brought with me. I took some pictures of me in just the sports bra but I figured this is a public display of my private life, so I'll keep it G. (: Plus, I get all embarrassed.

Anywho, I got to take a shower today! Well, sorta. I can't wash my chest until tomorrow, but I maneuvered around the shower head so the gauze didn't get wet and took a creative little shower today. I don't mind, though. I feel clean, and wonderful. I'm glad to have the bandages off, I feel much more limber.

I'm definitely glad to be off the Percocet. I was feeling like crap yesterday and finally stopped taking them last night after throwing up for the third time. Now it's just regular Extra Strength Tylenol and I feel great. No dizzy spells, no nausea and no puking. It's all downhill from here, and I'm pretty psyched.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

G'bye, girls. (:

Waiting around to be sedated.

Sayin' goodbye to them.

The bandages and the drains. But I covered the drains up because I don't want you to see them. (:

Not feeling too bad. All wrapped up and nowhere to go.

So today was my breast reduction surgery! I don't know how many of you know, but I've been dealing with this big bust for most of my adolescent life and it's been taking a toll on my neck and shoulders and back. I ran the half-marathon in Salt Lake at the end of April and I know most of it was that I didn't train (heh heh) but my chest was killing me. I thought, if I ever want to seriously exercise and be an active person, three sports bras aren't going to work. And with all the pain I've got in my shoulders, I needed to get this done.

Well, let me tell you, I was pretty nervous. But last night, my dad gave me a blessing and it really helped. I've been talking with a friend of mine who had the same surgery after her senior year of high school and she highly recommended a Priesthood blessing. She's been giving me all sorts of tips and things to plan for and what to expect, I don't think I would've ever felt so prepared and good about getting this done if it hadn't been for her.

At 5:10 am, Mom drove me to Sunnybrook in south Portland. We got there and waited anxiously in the waiting room, filling out questionnaires and getting the last of my consent forms figured out. Then a male nurse, Aaron, came out to get me. He took me back into the prep room, gave me my gown and went over what they were going to do before they put me under. He was really sweet. He told me he had a ten week-old baby and I asked if it was a boy or a girl and he went right to his iPhone and said, "I have to show him off." (: He showed me pictures of his two little boys, Oliver and... Henry? Anyway, then he left so I could get dressed and I thought I could leave my underwear on but I asked anyway. He said, "They want it all off." I think by my expression he could tell I was a little embarrassed. So he added, "Well, it's a long procedure so they might put a catheter in so it's either off here or they take them off for you in the operating room." So I was butt naked, except for my paper gown. I'm sure all you mothers out there are rolling your eyes at my naivete, but I'm still twenty-years old and have had little public experience down there, mind you. Actually none. So there you go.

Anywho, then Aaron put my IV in and stuck a heater in my gown, which I mighty appreciated. And then they stuck calf compressors on my legs to help massage them during the surgery. I figure I wasn't in too much danger for blood clots, considering I sleep four times as long in the middle of the night, but ah well, I didn't mind. (: Then a bunch of people came in and out all asking, "What's your full name?" "Whitney Marissa Call." "And what are we having today?" "Breast reduction." "And what's being operated on today?" "Breasts." "And what will Doctor Jewett be doing for you, today?" "Breast reduction." I was tempted by the fifth time to just say, "They're chopping my boobs off." But it was too early in the morning for me to get cheeky. (:

Then the Jewett himself came in and marked me up with that purple marker you always see in Extreme Makeover or on the surgery channel. He had an assistant watch what he was doing to me, which was basically making sure the incisions made my breasts symmetrical. Then I laid back down and they administered the sedative to me. The room started spinning and hasn't really stopped yet. (: I don't know what I said when they gave me the sedative, really, just that these nurses' jobs must be really fun to listen to people start going cuh-razy.

Then they wheeled me away to the operating room and switched me over to the table, sticking brain monitors to my head and other such monitors to my shoulders. I don't exactly remember what anyone was saying, just that I was being shifted this way and that. Until finally they gave me the gas mask and I was out.

Then I woke up bruised, bandaged and completely bonkers! I must've talked Nancy's ear off. Nancy was the nurse taking care of me post-surgery. I couldn't quite keep my eyes open at first, they kept rolling in the back of my head. But I did note the bandages wrapping me tightly to myself. And the drains. Now I was nervous about having drains pumping out fluids from my incisions, but these aren't all that bad. It's really just to catch blood that still might be around from the stitches and all, but I can't really see where they go in because my bandages cover them up. They showed me how to change them, well, they showed Mom how to change them. Then I fell back asleep, then I woke up, changed, went to the bathroom and was wheeled out of there to the car.

As soon as I got home, I puked, but I think that was due to all the medications and the fact that I was still out of it and the long car ride home and so I'm grateful I only threw up once and it was all water, anyway.

Now, I'm here. On the bed in my room. I've been here all day, keeping ice to my chest and sleeping. But all in all, I don't feel too bad at all. I feel pretty bruised up, but I know bruises. I've had them all my life, so one big one across my chest isn't too difficult to handle. (:

My mom and dad are being super great to me, getting me my meds and food and water and such. Thank goodness for them, because I still get pretty nauseous when I get up to go to the bathroom.

So that's me so far. Day 1 of the new girls. (: I know that was detailed and long-winded but I'm probably still a little loopy, so you got the whole story. I'll keep you updated but so far, I'm already glad I had this done.