Journal: News & Comment

Friday, February 09, 2007
# 10:14:00 PM:

Filling the binder, moving the bed

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How to use the hospital bed at
Photo by destinelee

Friday has come and gone with no word about when my cancer surgery might be scheduled, so I'm likely to find out Monday—or if not, I'll call about it. Therefore, I don't know whether this will be my last non-ill weekend for awhile, but if it is, this afternoon and evening were crazy enough on their own to make the weekend a full one.

Somehow, without planning it, five kids and four adults ended up hanging out in the house after school, with merriment including an accidental spill of icewater down one grownup's back, then an unplanned dinner out as a party of eight, then a quick podcast recording session, and only at 9:30 did my daughters get into bed. Plus we've heavily rearranged the kitchen and our bedroom in the past two days.

Here's what's weird about that last bit. My wife and I are moving furniture around in the bedroom so we can bring in a motorized hospital-style bed that my parents happen to own—you know, one of those with switches so you can raise the head or foot and sit up without having to use your stomach muscles. Because once I'm back from the hospital after the abdominal operation, I'll be sozzled on painkillers and probably shouldn't be flexing my abs too hard for a little while.

Let me tell you, the emotions stirred up by hefting around furniture in a hearty, healthy way—when I know I'm moving it because I'll soon be post-operatively injured enough that I'll need the motorized bed—are hard to describe.

Near where that bed will go, I have a binder. I bought it at the suggestion of Bob (whom I do not know) in the comments to one of my earlier posts:

  • Start a binder with all your test results, a chronology, etc. that you can refer to. Take it to every medical appointment.
  • Get copies of ALL test results and clinical notes for yourself. (A friend had her medical file get lost by the cancer centre, and they now use HER file.)

So I have copies of the reports all the way from my initial gastroenterology appointment through my colonoscopy and CT scan, including printouts from my endoscopic ultrasound. I've read through them—and my biology degree has suddenly become its most useful ever, in helping me interpret the jargon.

On the orange cover of the binder I have written SCREW YOU CANCER in permanent Sharpie marker. Once this is all over I'll keep it for future reference, much as I will be tempted to burn it instead.


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