Leaving... on a jet plane...

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We've been busy here getting ready for the trip to Atlanta. Tomorrow quickly approaches. Rollie is convinced since he can fit in my luggage bag there is absolutely no reason why he cannot come. I'm going to miss the boys so much. I look forward to getting home to them and spending lots of time snuggling with them. I've had a lot of time to get ready, but this week has been almost entirely a write off. When I'm not in bed, I'm struggling through. I was finally able to sleep last night because we (my surgeons office and I) came up with some pain medication I can still have before surgery, at least for a couple more days if I need it.

We have decided to fly instead of drive. Cleaning the 5th wheel is impossible for me right now, and aside from that, the four day drive home is really what pushed us into flying. It will just be too hard on me, driving and bouncing for several hours a day after this operation. Driving and bouncing for me right now is a horrible experience, I cannot handle even going into town very well, and what makes it worse is leading up to the operation I have not been able to take any pain medication, so any extra aggravation is really good to avoid.

So we decided to fly from Syracuse NY which is a lot cheaper than flying from Canada (and by a lot I mean like $500 in difference a ticket) So we'll drive the 3 hrs to Syracuse, spend the night and fly out of there at 6 AM (ick) and be in Atlanta in a couple of hours. The only thing is, I have never flown in a plane before.

OK, I have, one time. I flew in a Cessna 172 on floats over the Rocky Mountains with a German bush pilot who used to fly big game hunters in South Africa. It was a tiny plane, we had gorgeous views, and I loved every minute of it. But I have never flown commerical in my life. I'm not afraid to fly, but I'll admit I have my reservations about it. It's great fun that I get to fly for the very first time, to Atlanta, to have surgery. The whole situation is so strange, I really have to keep reminding myself it's real. I feel like I'm dreaming.

Because we'll be flying, I don't need to pack a whole lot. We won't be going out a lot anywhere (at least I won't) so my main concern is comfy clothes for pre surgery, lots of jammies, and something to wear home on the plane. I can only really wear sundresses because of the swelling I have in my stomach throughout the day, so that's all I'll bring. Aside from my laptop (we have WIFI in the hotel thank heavens) I'll bring crossword puzzles and a few books. Pretty easy. As long as I can keep the dogs out of the bag.

Monday afternoon our farm caretaker Jim arrived. He's been helping us with a few small projects and also getting into the swing of things... Also him helping with chores this week has given me a break from the heavy work I've been continuing to do - I haven't stopped cleaning the barn because I can't, so at least I'll get a bit of a break for my body before we head to Atlanta to hopefully calm down some of the swelling and bleeding inside. Mornings and nights are the worst part of my day right now, not because of chores but because of pain spikes. I cannot wait to not have this constant exhaustion anymore. The pain is completely unbearable at times, and I walk around crying, which is also hard on Kevin, and no doubt the animals.

The little dogs know very well something is very wrong but they don't know what. Norman is mostly closely connected to my emotions - he always has been. When I cry, he blames Kevin. Even if Kevin is not anywhere near me. He usually looks at me, cries, and then takes off barking and growling at Kevin, as if yelling at him for hurting me. All the dogs stay with me all the time, but Norman knows a lot of things they don't, because he reads me best. He knows I'm hurting, and he knows something is up. When Jim arrives he also knows it means either we are going camping (which means he gets to come) or me and Kevin are leaving. All the dogs love their Uncle Jim, but they don't like being left, especially Douglas and Norman because they are used to going everywhere with us. Rollie isn't old enough to quite understand yet.

While Jim has been here I was hoping to get some hooves trimmed and dogs groomed. Flavious got his butt cleaned up and shaved, but that was it. I couldn't trim hooves. The pain is just too much. So my list of things to do just got tossed out and my main goal is just to do some laundry and finish packing my bag.

My main goal is to heal well after this surgery, something I did not do after my last abdominal surgery two years ago. That's part of my pain problems today. I was trimming hooves a couple days after being home with a 6 inch incision in my stomach, cooking, falling over dog gates, and on ice. It wasn't smart at all. I have no intention of repeating it, or creating more injuries, adhesion's, or scar tissue than necessary. Very likely the reason my abdominal muscles have come apart is from injury, I was lifting way, way, too fast after my last surgery. Kevin and Jim I know are already dreading controlling me when I get home, but I've promised them and myself to be good.

One thing I'll need to do is stay out of the barn. I can visit the animals, but I do not have to get involved in things I think I should be doing, that I can't be. I'm also going to keep myself as distracted as humanly possible, via the computer, crossword puzzles, games, books. If I don't heal well, I've wasted this chance at finding relief from my pain, and I can't risk that.

So the next time you hear from me, I'll be writing (hopefully) from Georgia! Sunday and Monday we have free to collect our thoughts, hopefully rest a bit, and pick up some groceries. Tuesday my pre op appointments start with all three surgeons and Wed starts my surgery prep. 

Thursday morning is the big day. I think my surgery is scheduled for 9:30 but that doesn't mean much. I need to be there about 6 AM. When I wake up, they'll let me know what they did, when I can go home, and what happens next. There is only one of the 7 things I might have done total during surgery that will require me to stay longer than 23 hours.

Between the kindness I've so far been shown by the Doctors in Georgia and the absolutely amazing support I've been receiving from all of you - my nerves are being kept at bay. I really can't put into words how grateful I am for your messages of support. Each and every one is making a huge impact on me, and helping tremendously. I've been a bit behind on emails, in case you haven't heard from me, but I will catch up as time allows me.

I cannot wait to be on the other side of this operation... I don't look forward to recovery but I do look forward to truly healing...  I pray.


Lana88 said…
Your gonna be just fine! Try to relax as much as you can, but know it is normal to be nervous. And yes, definitely do a LOT of R&R after the procedure. That is probably the #1 most common reason we had people come back to the OR - because they would not simply give their bodies time to heal after a surgery.

I am thinking of you and praying for you often. Can't wait to hear your next update from Georgia.

Oh, and flying. I used to have a bit of trouble, but now I just imagine I am flying. It makes it so much easier and more fun.
I'm so excited for you that this is finally here. Of course it won't be fun, but I'm hopeful that it will all be worth it and will help your pain immensely. Studies have shown that a positive attitude is key in healing and post-surgery success, so try to be hopeful! It sounds like you are :)

I bet it will be hard to be away from the animals, but you will be home in no time. I can't wait to hear how successful the surgery was! Take care and you'll be in my thoughts and prayers! :)
You know I'll be thinking of you. I'm glad you have a great person like Jim to take care of things. That's the main reason we hate going anywhere. We don't have somebody like that.

Take care, know I'm praying hard for the pain to end. Keep us posted.

Best wishes for a safe trip and gentle recovery!

When you get nervous flying, just think of what you're flying toward and focus on the hope and promise that Atlanta holds for you!
Sending peace and comfort to you for your journey and surgery.
Since you haven't flown commercial, you might want to read up on what you are allowed to take in your checked bag, carry-on and purse. There are lots of crazy rules since 9/11. You can find the list of what not to bring or how much you can bring (there used to be rules on how much liquid you could have) at www.tsa.gov.
Wear slip on shoes, too. You'll likely have to take off your shoes to go through security. It helps to have shoes that are easy to get on and off. A woman I know who flies alot takes an extra pair of socks. She puts on the socks just to go through security, then takes them off after.
And don't be afraid to ask for a wheelchair to get around the airport. If you have any medical paperwork, you should be able to show that and get one. My mom uses one everytime she flies because she can't walk that far without having to stop. That can make it difficult if you've got somewhere to be fast. You should be able to request it from the airline.
When you are on the TSA website, check out the page for people with medical issues. It wouldn't hurt to call ahead to the care line if you have an issue that might become a problem like being patted down. TSA has no problem with making you miss your flight if they want to. Frustrating beyond belief at times. But knowledge is power, so the more you know and prepare, the easier it will be.

Good luck and hope you find the pepper jelly!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
i wish you the best surgery and recovery! all of my good thoughts and energy will be with you! i can't wait for you to feel better!
Jocelyn said…

Now you'll be fine, see? I passed on the luck.

I will be thinking about you. Take care of yourself!
Myra said…
I am and will be praying for you, your surgeon, Kevin, and your furfamily.
Ian H said…
I know you will do all right! Just take it easy when you get back.
Kim said…
You will feel so great after the op! You won't believe the difference. Good luck.
Safe travels, I'll be thinking of you and sending lots of super-healing donkey vibes your way.
Denise in PA said…
Donna, you will be in my thoughts a lot this week - I will be praying for you!! I will look forward to updates. I know you know this...but taking the time to heal properly will let you be at your best for all of those wonderful beings you take such good care of. They would want you to do that, because I know they all love you as much as you love them. Poor Norman - give him an extra kiss from me before you go. o:) Sending you strength!
Mary Ann said…
Oh, Donna, I know you won't see this until you're in Georgia, but I am praying so hard for you! I hope this surgery brings relief to your worry and your pain. I know everyone at home will be fine with Jim there, so just concentrate on you and Kevin.
Be positive as you have been!
Many thoughts and prayers your way in hopes that the Drs. will be able to give you your life back!! How wonderful that you have been able to find someone to watch and care for all your animals. that has to be a relief for you and will give you time to rest and think of only yourself!!
When flying- be sure to request a wheelchair. It'll make it much easier for you going through the airport!! Especially when you leave Atlanta. The airport is an absolute zoo. You go to the front of the line and no unnecessary standing. My 83 yr. old Mother only uses a wheelchair. Sshe couldn't fly if she didn't. God Bless and rest and heal!!
k said…
Thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe trip, successful surgery and speedy recovery.
Nana-Bob said…
you got this girl. It will all be behind you soon & next Saturday you will be saying "What surgery?" :) All the boys will be fine until you get better. Prayers and thoughts your way (always) and enjoy your "firsts"! xoxoxo
Sandy said…
I'm coming from Calamity Acres Hobby Farm Blog to wish you well and a speedy recovery. You'll be home before you know it.

Take a deep breath, have the surgery, and remember give yourself time to heal before doing any work at your place.

Sending Prayers to You and Your Husband.
Oklahoma Transient
k said…
Thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe trip, a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.
Linda Parker said…
Hugs, hope and prayers go with you. And yes, the recovery is one of the most important parts of this ordeal. Let yourself heal - you have lots of people and critters depending on you to be healthy and whole!
Dee said…
Best wishes, thoughts and prayers go with you. I hope you are pain free!
Dreaming said…
I'll be sending good thoughts your way on Thursday. I hope the surgeries go incredibly smoothly and that you experience less pain post surgery than you are experiencing right now.
Take it easy... be pampered! Give your body the opportunity to heal.
Cheryl H. said…
Friday this will all be behind you. The people in Atlanta are great!! As someone who has had 4 abdominal surgeries, give yourself lots of time to heal and no lifting!!! Praying for a great outcome.
Ellen in Oregon said…
Donnna -
I hope your flight to Georgia was OK. Tomorrow is your surgery & I wanted to let you know I am will be thinking of you & praying that this surgery will be the start of a new life without the chronic pain your have been suffering with for so long. I'm know your surgerical team will do everything they possibly can to get you feeling better than you have in a very long time. You are in good hands.
YYou can be sure your many blogland friends will all be waiting to hear that everything went well. You will be home & on your way to recovery before you know it. Think of all those doggy kisses you will get from the boys to welcome you home.

wendywoo said…
You had said that today (Thursday, the 18th) is going to be the day for the surgery. Just wanted to say best of luck to you and your surgeons! Hope all goes better than well and that we hear from you soon!

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