Hey, everybody out there in Trout Nation! It is I, your long-disappeared Trout.
And now, I’ve got hardware in my bones.
My surgery went well. My recovery, not so much. I had this idea that someone was going to slice into my body, stick screws and sutures in there, reattach muscle, remove some bone, and I would take an Advil and put my feet up for a day before jumping straight back into work. Because, for some reason, I think I’m Wolverine. Instead, my recovery has included two calls to the surgeon’s office in tears for 8/10 pain, endless boredom, and the injustice of not being able to skate. And I’m talking neither roller nor ice.
I even had to miss a hockey game. Mr. Jen and our kid went to it and left me in the care of my eighty-four-year-old grandma, who tucked me in and brought me pop and ice cream and pizza, so I guess missing out on the K-Wings beating the Oilers was okay. But I did miss the garlic parmesan fries and the joy of my child screaming obscenities at the refs and the opposing team.
Wanna hear about my surgery? I did not have an awesome experience. It was outpatient (thank god), but I still needed to be intubated. Ventilators are one of my big (frankly, founded) fears, so I was extremely nervous to begin with. Then, an anesthesiologist gave me a nerve block in my neck. “If you feel any pinching in your fingers, let me know. That means I’m too close to the nerve.” Yeah, well, you neglected to tell me that pinching in my fingers wasn’t the only potential side effect. Because as it turned out, the nerve block paralyzed my vocal cords and my chest, hampering my ability to breathe and limiting my ability to tell anyone about it. I laid in the pre-op room by myself, unable to move my upper body apart from my head and right arm, for an hour and a half until someone came back to check and see if the block was working.
Yeah, it was fucking working. But I felt like I was drowning.
I wasn’t mad about the delayed surgery; I expected it. They pack outpatient surgery schedules, and if one thing goes slightly askew, things get delayed for hours. I was miffed that the anxiety drugs they gave me wore off before I headed up to the surgical suite. I was thinking the block had already gone wrong, so what else could happen to me? But I also felt like I was being suffocated, so I looked forward to the ventilator at that point.
But then, when they got me on the table, something amazing happened. BILLY JOEL POPPED UP ON THE SURGEON’S PLAYLIST. That put me somewhat at ease, though I still panicked when they put the mask on my face.
When I woke up in recovery, I started rattling off anesthesia facts to the nurse. When she brought me crackers, I warned her, “I will decimate you in Trivial Pursuit.”
She said, “Can you give me a big cough?”
Spoiler alert: I was fucking paralyzed so I could not.
And that means I’m still gurgling with vent butter two-and-a-half weeks later. But my pain isn’t as bad as it was and I don’t appear to be getting pneumonia from the lingering crap I’m coughing up, so everything’s coming up Jenny.
This is not the end of my surgical journey. Tomorrow, I start physical therapy. I don’t get out of my sling for another three weeks, at least. But I did buy a split keyboard, so I’m able to do some work. I’m not fully back to form, but it feels so great to be able to update everyone on what’s happening with me. Since I’m one-armed, I’ve been making a lot of content on TikTok, a platform that doesn’t require typing, and tomorrow I should have a react video for the Princess Diana musical up on YouTube (if the gods of Fair Use are with me). I may be working on more react videos just so I have content out there in the world while my arm heals; I don’t expect to get back to recapping full-time for a couple of weeks, at which point I’m excited to get back into Crave. And then we read that surprisingly not-shitty book until… well.
Let’s just say something fucking horrible is going to happen to us in June, and we all need to brace ourselves.
But there are new chapters of Her Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend posting on Yonder as we speak, new episodes of Taken by the Alpha King happening soon on Radish, and Taken by the Alpha King will also be coming to ebook and paperback on May 2nd (I’ll post here as soon as I have all the pre-order links, but you can pre-order the ebook on Amazon right now).
In the meantime… stay fishy? I don’t know why I typed that. But I did, and I’m standing by it. Stay fishy.