Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moving right along

DJ has made great progress today:  she walked around the unit today, ate solid food for the first time since last Friday night, and had her drains removed.

She is feeling a bit antsy today because her energy is returning, she's on very little pain medication and she is finding it increasingly difficult to be still, but she's hanging in there.  She's working her way through the "Harry Potter" movies but still can't do any drawing because the head of her bead is only raised to 15 degrees so she is still essentially flat on her back.

On removing the drains, the physician's assistant also removed some of the tape holding the dressings in place and it's remarkable how good she looks already with very little bruising. Tomorrow they will cap her urinary catheter so that the urine will collect in the urinary bladder like it should and then when she needs to relieve herself,  she will empty the catheter into the toilet.  This process is important to "retrain" the bladder to recognize when it is full.  Then the catheter is removed next week and DJ will have to learn to hover over public restroom toilet seats, if she hasn't already mastered that skill.

Maybe the intricacies and details of this kind are not interesting to my readers-if that is the case, please accept my apologies.  But I think there are some that might be curious about the process if they are considering it themselves.

What has been most bothersome to DJ is that the inside of her nose felt dry and uncomfortable today...that's pretty much been "it" for her complaints.  This is nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be thus far.  Yeah, easy for me to say, I know.  But I thought she would be having a harder time, physically.  Being young and healthy helps, I'm sure.  Not smoking is a MUST.  Not that DJ would be caught dead with a cigarette, but smoking is so hard on the healing process that DJ's surgeon reserves the right to perform nicotine tests to be sure her patients are compliant with this policy.

Tomorrow, in the late afternoon, we check out and head to the accommodations closer to the surgeon's office where DJ will check in twice more before going home.  The hospital staff has been great, but we're looking forward to a less hospital-like environment and DJ's looking forward to being able to be a  bit more upright.

Gay Marriage

DJ is napping so I am on a tirade about the current news:

Can we please stop arguing about the Gay Marriage issue?  Can politicians please stop calling this a "state's rights" issue?  Does anyone else remember another time when barring people from civil rights was called a "state's rights" issue?  Hello-the same argument was used to defend slavery, if memory serves.

The Constitution clearly states that States "may not abridge the rights and privileges" of its citizens.  Why does no one mention this?  Why?  Why? Why?

Having a job is a right, some say a privilege-gay people can't be denied that.  Voting is a right-they can't be denied that.  Owning property is a privilege, they can't be denied that.  HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT? (legally speaking, although it happens all the time.)

And please DO NOT play the religion card.  The "this country was founded by Christian men" argument is lame and full of holes and I caution you to do your homework:

James Madison fought for and was successful at making certain there was verbiage in the Constitution to separate Church and State and why?  Because even back then there were Christian groups who disagreed with each other on what was moral and immoral, on what met with Church teachings or not, on what constituted Christian ideals, or not.  The founders of this country left a CHRISTIAN country because of religious persecution for God's sake!! (no pun intended.) The last thing they wanted was another form of government that was controlled by any one person's, or any one party's, view of what was religiously acceptable.  This is why they separated Church and State and why it remains separate to this day, much to the chagrin of many on the very far right.

Let the churches decide who they will allow to marry in their religion but the states do not have a Constitutional basis for denying liberties or privilege to any of its citizens.  As far as the government is concerned, marriage is a contract between two consenting adults who wish to join their lives, both personal and economic.  This contract allows them to take part in the same rights and privileges that others can enjoy such as tax relief, rights to pass on property or to inherit property, rights to collect life insurance, and rights to own property together.  We allow it for straight people-not everyone is married in a church and this is why we have justices of the peace- for those who want the legal rights of marriage without the religious strings attached.  Why is it different for gay people?  There is a constitutional basis for them to share in the same rights as everyone else so why are we skirting the issue? Why will not someone publicly point this out?  Because our government is being held hostage by those who want to foist their religious views on the rest of us.  If you're active in your church, that is where your strongly held beliefs about marriage can be exercised-you can bar homosexuals from marrying in any number of churches.  I suggest you bring your strongly held beliefs there where you are "safe" from government intervention.

And no, my believing in gay rights is not foisting my religious views on those who don't agree with it.  If you believe that then you also believe that those who dislike African Americans are being "forced" to live with them or accept them, and that those who think women don't belong in the work world are having women's liberation foisted on them.  You can think what you want, you can own a business and bar women and black people from it, but don't expect to get one red cent from any form of government because you can't discriminate and get government funds.

So yes, you have the right to discriminate in your house, and in your business, as long as you don't expect the government in any form (otherwise known as the citizens of this country) to subsidize you in ANY way-no government sponsored loans for your business, no grants, etc.  So go ahead, keep your home as you like it-bar gay people from it, or women, or foreigners-your home is your castle and you don't have to share.  But this country is OUR country damn it all and you may get away with ripping people off from getting their fair share of rights and privileges for now, but you won't get your way forever.  Women will not leave the workforce, African Americans will not ride in the back of the bus, "foreigners" will not stop emigrating here, Gay people will not be shamed into silence.

But there are still plenty of countries in the world that will allow the religion to rule the country and I'm pretty sure they don't allow gays to marry either.  Yes, some of these places are so "pro-marriage" they'll allow one person to have multiple spouses.  Perhaps a person who feels strongly could emigrate there.  Saudi Arabia comes to mind, as does Iraq and Pakistan.  What's that?  You wouldn't want to live there because you would not be able to enjoy the freedoms you have here?  Oh, but it's ok to deny someone else THEIR freedoms?  Sounds like you need your own world-I think there's a religion out there that promises that too, perhaps you should look into it.  I'm pretty sure it's Christian as well.

Day 4 begins

Bulldog has been pulling the night shift with DJ.  I sleep during the night and relieve him during the day.  We usually spend a number of hours together with DJ and then he grabs sleep through the afternoon and returns in the evening.

I walked in this morning and DJ was awake and looking slightly exasperated.  She is tired of being on her back and is feeling fidgety this morning.  We all take that as a positive sign, but that might mean I'll have to be on my very best and patient behavior today.

A woman came by to see DJ yesterday. She had her surgery some 5 or 6 years ago.  She was able to share insight with DJ that I simply do not have. And she was so damn genuine and frank-I loved her.  She, like so many folks who are born in the wrong body, has lost many friends and members of her family in being true to herself.  It's gutwrenching to hear.  And she made DJ feel like a million bucks when she complimented her on how beautiful she is.

I believe today is DJ's last full day in the hospital.  She stood up twice yesterday and is supposed to walk two times today, as well.  If all goes well, then tomorrow she'll be discharged, and we'll head over to the accommodations that are closer to her surgeon's office where we will stay until her surgeon says she's ready to travel home.  

Bulldog's sister out west sent some beautiful flowers yesterday.  This woman is easily the most "hip" of all of Bulldog's siblings and he has seven of them. Don't get me wrong-Bulldog's family is fabulous and each of his siblings has his or her own wonderful quality, but this sister is particularly cool, and all of the clan knows it.  She is recovering from breast cancer and is scheduled for reconstructive surgery to get her new "rack" this summer.  She and DJ can swap notes on the experience.

And today is Goodwrench's birthday.  Yesterday when we spoke, he said he was looking forward to seeing DJ's "transformation" which I thought was particularly wonderful.  Romeo has been seemingly nonplussed assuming DJ will be just fine, and it turns out he was right (knock on wood).  More later after her first walk.