L.J. Holmes

L.J. Holmes
In her many Guises.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Over the years I've learned I am not the only writer who has the need to write 

no matter where we are. I have resorted to grabbing paper towels from a public restroom when the need arises for me to write.

You all know about Nudge, 

my inner nuisance...well Nudge was with me before, during , and after my surgery. Luckily for me there was a tiny pad of paper and an even tinier pencil in my room.

Nudge saw them and wanted me to do 

back flips. Naturally I had to explain the limitations that come with spinal cord surgery. Back flips are NOT on my 

To-Do list for at least six months to a year from now.

I'm not sure Nudge fully understands, but every now and then, my own will is strong enough Nudge HAS to back down...Since I don't want to break my spinal cord, this is one of those times.

Since we could not celebrate like out-of-control lunatics, Nudge compromised. So I grabbed the paper and pencil and let Nudge loose.

Here's what Nudge wanted the world to know about THE DAY OF MY SURGERY.

The waiting...

Arriving early with our heart in our throat and our stomach roiling dangerously, all we want is to get into the waiting room of Entrance D...but 5:00 is a half hour earlier than the 5:30 we were told to arrive for pre-op blood work and EKG. The door is most definitely LOCKED...and the bus we arrived on has zipped off to take the woman we shared our trip with to her dialysis. 

We know it's probably a good thing for the bus driver delivering us early, but now we must walk to the main entrance of the hospital, all the way over there...and of course we left our walker at home. 

Slowly, painfully, we walk there where we're told to plop ourselves down on one of the lobby chairs and wait until someone from D arrives and opens the doors.

Nudge and I have not slept...what good would sleeping do? Wouldn't it give our gut time to spin its evil fingers so we'd have to spend a good hour in the bathroom upon waking?

So we are very, very tired. Should we lean back and shut our eyes here? 

Not a good plan...not when it's only a half hour before part D opens up. Our body hurts, and we are beyond exhausted.

When was the last time we slept? Oh yeah...we got four hours two nights ago. No wonder we're tired.

Fifteen minutes to go. If only we could walk, even a little. We'd walk around and look at the multitude of framed black and white photos showing nurses, doctors, patients, and the rooms they had to work in circa the early 1900's. We can't even arch our back to look at the ones behind us.

What a waste...we really would have enjoyed seeing those pictures. It's history...history of this world we have entered into, hoping the surgery on our spine works.

Of course the operating rooms of today are quite a bit different from those displayed in those pictures.

Finally Section D opens up. The reception lady, relieved by a male Reception operative, sees how hard it is for us to walk when she calls us to follow her down a long inner corridor (Nudge and I are limping REALLY bad) so she rushes into the Admin office to get us a wheel chair...

a  wheel chair minus the place for your feet...and our right foot and leg aren't doing so good. 

We're not complaining though...Sighing relief, we thank the receptionist and give her a half-smile as we lower ourselves into chair. Finally we're heading in the right direction...to Section D! AND riding with having to keep our feet up using our minimal strength was easier than walking the long connecting corridors and doors would have been. 

Happily look around as the receptionist pushes us towards the inner entrance of Building D...(anything to take our mind off of what we're here for...surgery on my back...spinal cord actually... getting operated on sometime this morning)...keeps our mind from dwelling.

That's a scary place to get operated on, the back. We've heard others speak of THEIR surgeries, and scary is mild. 

BUT if it really does relieve the extreme level of pain we've been enduring for just one month and ten days shy of a year,we will gladly kiss the surgeon's feet for the rest of our lives.

The door to D is finally open and we push through. Oh WOW, we silently gasp They have a vending machine with my favorite 

soda in it. Since most places down here carry the OTHER brand, so finding our favorite was cause for joy...and we haven't eaten or had anything to drink since before midnight, so seeing OUR favorite makes our salivary glands glands begin panting. Shame we had to wait until AFTER the surgery before we could indulge. 

Still, seeing our favorite diet cola felt comforting. Was that an omen of good things to come? We chose to believe that.

The receptionist pushed our wheel chair up to the inner window we'd have to sign in at, get our cute hospital bracelets and pay the fifty dollar pre-entry co-pay we both felt was unrealistically HUGE.

One of the band's has a PC code on it! Hmmm, are we about to be sold? Oh geeze...we're a walking...well not-so walking...billboard. Boy would whoever might buy us be ticked off when (s)he learns what a medical mishmash we've become over the years. 

The other bracelet, a yellow one, tells them I need a wheel chair...our third bracelet for allergies will come later.  

We thought we'd be able to  remove our achy butt from that chair once we were signed in. But no...the lab work...MORE lab work. So okay, we wondered again, does that mean the lab work we came here for a week ago failed? Our stomach flipped.

We have no way home if they cancel the surgery this time like they did with the third epidural we were scheduled for four weeks ago. Today's bus rip was made as a ONE WAY TRIP only. 

Oh God! We're such f-ups.

First we have to pee in a cup. Rarely are we able to pee in cups...and we hadn't had anything since before midnight. Where were we to find the pee to squeeze out? How were we gonna convince our pee-er to work?

Cursing a mild blue streak, we wrestled with the hermetically sealed pee cup package...we will say, at least this cup had an attached lip-like handle on it. Hopefully that meant we wouldn't end up peeing on our hand, should our pee-er be cooperative.

So what happened? Here a drip, there a drip...two long minutes later another drip and then enough...just enough to give the hospital vampires what they needed to do whatever it is they do with pee.

Peeing completed we were led to the REAL blood sucking vampire. We have baby veins...hard to believe since we're actually aliens...but that's for another story...back to having baby veins...Because of no fluids after midnight, by the time we arrived at Countess Suckerella's and she's done pulling the red stuff from us, we look like a dribbling pin cushion. 

Hoping we were done with the medical demons, we were wheeled back into the right place to get ready for our surgery. 

A BED this time instead of the oddly designed recliner they had us sit in before the two epidurals and the one the doctor backed out of a little over a month ago now.

Strip, we are told, and put on this thin thing with the opening in the back. Have you ever tried tying those little straps at your neck and mid-back when your spinal cord has been on strike for damned near a year? 

But...wait...now we get to the EKG part.. The nurse quickly dives past the negligible protection offered by the hospital gown and drops these cold, gluey electrode pad thingies on our chest and legs.

No sooner had they been placed, with very determined adhesive, the same nurse starts removing them, scrunching them, before tossing them like a rim shot, into the trash basket across the length of this cubicle. It makes Nudge and me wonder. They throw away a LOT of stuff each day...probably it adds up to more than we make in a month...probably the whole year...but we were still glad they were gone. They ARE cold, and they itch.

A stream of medicos begin marching in and out of our cubicle, one placing what he believed was a perfectly placed IV needle...trust us...it was NOT perfectly placed. 

We did tell you we have baby veins, right so finding a vein they can plunge their needles in leaves us with black and blue marks all over our arms. The drug guy, though promises to move this hurting one soon as we're inside the OR and out. It would be much less painful for Nudge and me that way. We agree.

Time inched on, but finally the guy with the hypo filled with "joy juice" that IS what HE called it...comes in and slips it directly into my blue IV hypo connector. We think we asked "Joy juice," but that's about the last thing we remember, until we woke in the recovery with our back screaming like

an angry banshee, my throat throbbing from the tube they'd stuck down it, and my BP so high we could have fried an SUV on these arms if the numbers translated to Fahrenheit. It was high enough they told us to take deep breaths...NOW! Emergency level high!

Nudge has decided we are NEVER to go through that experience again...but this is day only one...we were in from 5:00 Monday morning all the way through till 5:00 PM Thursday Evening. We have a LOT more to tell.

 So far Nudge hasn't attacked me with the need to tell about THOSE days...but Nudge does cringe every time I place us near the mirror to apply the antibiotic cream to my 

5 inch incision each day. 

As for me...they insisted I have a hospital bed. 

Spatz has claimed ownership...She's my little queen upon her new throne.

I'd LOVE to say I'm pain free...I know in an alternate dimension that OTHER me...is. Boy how I envy the Lin in THAT dimension.

However' since coming home I have managed to get the following books of mine either ready for release as is the case with 

DIAMONDS FROM THE ROUGHAGE that came out this past Friday. Not bad for a lady with a Nudge AND a screaming spine, hip and right leg. RIGHT!

THE CHRISTMAS WAR has been two years in the making but FINALLY we worked out all the glitches so Book Two of my Christmas Miracles Series is about to be released....

Which is a really good thing since right on its coattails Book Three in this series, CHRISTMAS GOES GREEN...Tierney O'Malley thank you for your part in the creation of this book is coming out in December. (Are Nudge and Me on a roll or what?)

Oh and there's also THE END OF TOMORROW coming out in December too.

There you have it 

Ladybug Lin and Nudge's first day at the hospital. Will there be more? You'll have to ask 

Nudge about that!

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