Hernias and Spiked Teapots

Some bitzies to get you caught up before I describe this bizarro 4-day weekend. Let’s see:

  • We’ve been rehearsing for next weekend’s QUO concert. A few weeks ago, we had an organizational kerfuffle where our wonderful assistant conductor up and quit. She raised some valid concerns about how the orchestra deals with trans and non-binary issues and artists, but I thought it was otherwise handled poorly (by her). As someone who has been artistic director of two LGBTx community musical organizations, I made the point in our impromptu meeting to discuss the issue that QUO is performing a piece by a non-binary composer in this concert that is about being non-binary, and is currently working to commission and/or perform works by trans composers… none of which was a thought on our heads 20 years ago with this type or organization. Sure, trans visibility is now where gay visibility was when I was coming out, but that’s the point, isn’t it. Anyway, I think we-the-orchestra are generally heading in the right direction.
    I haven’t found the music for this concert to be exciting for me, but generally it’s going to be great. The Rachmaninoff 3 piano concerto is certainly fun to hear and play with the pianist.
  • I did another trip down to South Jersey to help my friend Susan with her parents’ house – which is getting close to the point where she can actually sell it and get rid of this giant PITA project and all the emotional baggage that comes with it. I went down via NJ transit, and had an awesome start when I got on the train, headed up one of the little staircases, and the Dunkin Donuts coffee leaked through the bag and the coffee cup dropped like a bomb. Coffee everywhere on the staircase, argh. I ran around trying to find some paper towels or something before someone didn’t notice and killed themselves slipping down the stairs, but the conductors told me not to worry about it. Hooboy.
    Susan ended up not feeling great physically, so we didn’t do things like haul stuff down from the attic, but we had some nice meals and talks and TV watching session, and also went to Smithville. Susan says they do a fun Christmas setup there, so I’d like to go back and see that.
  • We had a reorg at work. Doesn’t mean much to what I do, but I have a new supervisor. I will have to train him to fear me so he’ll leave me alone – this has worked very nicely with previous supervisors.

So, the weekend. The daughter of dear friends from Philly had a ‘we got married during the height of the pandemic, so we’d now like to have a party about it’ celebration on Friday. Original plan was for us (or at least me) to make it a Philly weekend and visit relatives and so on. But then C got surgery scheduled for Friday. Quick review: C has had a mysterious ailment for about a year now which makes his left leg practically useless. He has had many tests but it is still undiagnosed. The only positive plan we’ve come up with is to have him start physical therapy to learn how to work with what his body is right now. So he started the PT, and then immediately developed hernias. The hernias weren’t life-threatening and could even have been left alone, except he can’t do the PT unless they’re fixed. So… hernia surgery.

Meanwhile, this same weekend was the one and only weekend of Blue Hill Troupe’s annual G&S production, this year, The Sorcerer. They double-cast their principal roles, and I had so many friends in both casts I had to see it twice.

(also my skating lessons start this weekend, but that was the least of the issues here)

So I had rehearsal Wed night for the QUO concert, then had taken Thursday off, thinking we’d go to Philly. I spent the day doing projects, then went into Manhattan to meet my friend Martin for dinner before we both saw Sorcerer (he is, in fact, ‘the sorcerer’ in the show, but in the other cast). More on that soon. Saw the show, said hi to everyone, got a cab home.

Friday, I did a powerwalk and had a nice breakfast, since I didn’t know if or when lunch would happen. C, poor dear, couldn’t eat or drink anything. He didn’t have to be at the hospital until 12:45, but they’d said, ‘if we end up with an earlier opening, we may call and have you come in earlier’. That’s exactly what happened, although that ended up not helping us in any way. We got our act together as much as possible, and took a car service to NY Presbyterian in Flushing. Got in, checked in, went up to the surgery prep suite, where they had C get in his cute little outfit. And I sat there and kept him company and knitted etc. And we waited for a long long time, although various nurses and doctors and anesthesiologists kept coming in and asking him the same damn questions over and over again. (I get why they do this, but it becomes humorous, and then frustrating by the 17th time.) They were also baffled by his leg thing, to which we said, ‘join the club’.

Finally, at 3:00, they took him out for the surgery and I went to the lobby Starbucks for a late lunch. Then to the hallway ‘waiting room’, where various nurses stopped by to either comment on my knitting or to tell me C was still in surgery, but doing fine. Eventually the doctor came out and gave me the skinny on how the operation went (well, with a minor kerfuffle) and what was going to happen next. And finally at 6:00 or so, I was allowed to go back in to the space we’d been before, where he was lying there groggy. (We of course had assumed we’d be home by now.)

Then came a very frustrating waiting game. They would not let him go until he peed, and he couldn’t pee. Part of that was post-surgery recovery, part of that was he’s a man in his sixties, part of that was he hadn’t had any liquids since the night before and was a dessicated husk, and part of that was it’s hard for anyone to pee on demand or with an audience. I had to get the nurse to stop trying to talk to him while he was attempting to pee. Also, although again, I understand why they needed this, they kept telling him, with great urgency, to ‘relax’. Yes, that’ll work, it’s almost as effective as telling an angry person ‘don’t be angry’.

Anyway, they kept giving him more little cups of water (which were surprisingly hard to get, and we had to keep asking, and honestly, it would have been better if they’d just brought him a big pitcher of water) and even scanned his bladder, which had nothing in it. Nothing, nothing. It finally got late enough that they routed him to another floor because they had to close down – and the doctor also had them start giving him fluids intravenously.

So now we’re in a different space, and it’s almost midnight, and I’m not allowed to sit with him in this ward, so they put me out in a waiting room where there was no one waiting, but two OR technicians shooting the shit and watching sports on TV while they waited to be called in. They were super nice to me – one walked me up to the 2nd floor to use the soda machine, and they got me a blanket and pillow when I started falling asleep. Kept getting reports that although C had pissed passed the test, his blood pressure was unusually high, so they were keeping him until it dropped to normal.

I did sleep intermittently, and got up to pee circa 3:00 am, and while in the bathroom, got the call from C that he was good to go. Got him dressed (complicated), they wheelchaired us out and yes, you can get an Uber at that hour. The Uber driver, a young Sikh man, was so nice and helpful and once he understood he had a fragile passenger, totally helped C get out of the car when we got home at 4:00 am.

So where are we now? C has mostly stayed in bed, but can and has gotten up and moved around and eaten and stuff. He was in pain, now not so much. (It hadn’t occurred to us how much he used his stomach muscles to compensate for the weak leg until suddenly his abdomen was ouchy and healing.) I was going to skip yesterday’s matinee of Sorcerer, but he said he’d be fine and shooed me off. Dinner last night was stuff he pulled out of the fridge, but instructed me how to prepare – basically heating up chicken soup and putting sandwiches and wraps together.

So, he’s fine and healing and has a followup with his doctor this upcoming Friday. And once this heals up (about a month, I think), we can return to the PT.


More to come, where I try to review a production of a show involving many many friends without being ridiculously gushy or hurting feelings – that’ll be fun!

Side Note: I’ve been using the term “kerfluffle”, but auto-spelling seems to think it’s “kerfuffle”. OK then.

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