Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miscellaneous Musings

Lipstick? Really?

If you were going to see someone waking up from a heart transplant, what would you bring her? Maybe a soft blanket, a favorite book or relaxing music? I didn’t want anything those first couple of days; I was perpetually hot, couldn’t focus enough to read anything and I wasn’t interested in music. But that’s not the point. The point is that I couldn’t have been further from caring about what I looked like – I was focused on not vomiting or moving. So when my mom showed up with a hairbrush and lipstick (which I don’t even wear outside of the ICU), it was a little ridiculous. In her defense, she tried to put herself in my shoes, and lipstick and a hairbrush were what she thought she would have wanted (though in that situation, I think even she would get over that). And I was eventually (several days later) grateful for the hairbrush, but lipstick? Really?

New Arrival

I can’t resist addressing the numerous “congratulations on your new arrival” and “it’s a boy” e-cards I received while in the hospital. During my first hospitalization, the selection of e-cards was even slimmer than it is now, and people sent the new baby cards just to be weird and funny, which I totally appreciated. On almost every one, the sender felt the need to explain the joke to me. During my transplant stay, I received even more of these cards, and the explanations became more and more detailed. People continually explained to me that my new heart really was a new arrival, so the card actually made sense. The funniest part was that every person who sent one of these cards thought it was the most unique and amusing idea! Don’t get me wrong, though, it was very amusing and I LOVED reading every one of them.

Nurse, my Bumex is working.

My neighbor in the hospital last month was one of many patients not allowed to get out of bed on his own. Therefore, every time he wanted to get into his chair or visit the little boys’ room, he had to ring his call button. When one rings the button on that floor, someone picks up a phone at the nurses’ station and asks what the patient needs. I heard it all from this restless neighbor over the course of a few days, but the best request for help was when he rang his bell and simply said, “nurse, my Bumex is working.” Since Bumex is a diuretic used to help people shed fluids, the subtext here is, “I have to pee…and I’m going to continue needing to pee every half hour for a couple of hours, so get used to it.” The only scenario more amusing would have been if he’d said his Colace* was working.

*Colace is a stool softener. :)


  1. Okay I would have been right there with your Mom and brought lipstick( or gloss), hairbrush and lotion for dry skin. What silly things we think of at such a time! So now you know what to bring her in her time of need! and it's good to have a Mom think of these things , just in case! Keep writing, it definitely brings a smile to my face on crazy days! Sending love and strength your way as you continue to get stronger! Linda Barnes :)Tell Mom and Dad hello!

  2. Darnit!!! So I wasn't the only one who thought a baby card was funny/unique. You totally called me out in your blog. Love it, though. Some of us have to work at being funny--unlike yourself! I hope your new baby is doing great. :)

  3. OOHHHHH! Now the lipstick comment this past weekend makes so much more sense! Weird that you didn't want to put on lipstick in the hospital. When I think Andrea Fuller, I always think updo and lipstick. Ole' sticky fingers here, wondering if you have had a chance to hit the breadbasket at all this week...xoxo

  4. Soo--it seems that I have to come to my own defense. You probably don't remember (conveniently) that before you went into surgery, we talked about keeping your mouth and lips moist as you woke up from anesthesia. I made sure to inform your nurse so that she could have available and use vaseline, etc. Well, as long as you wanted something on your lips, why not a little color?? I even tried to choose a color that would compliment your scars. Unfortunately, you woke up before I could get it on your lips. It is thrilling (I think) to watch as you get stronger and "more tolerant." (One of your dad's nicknames has always been "Tolerant Tom" so we know where that came from.) Actually, you have been most tolerant of your roomie, and I love that you will soon be able to function on your own again. Much love.

  5. You and Mom are a wonderful pair, individually and jointly dear to me. Mom will soon depart NJ, and I shall happily transport her and her abundant cosmetics to ATL. I celebrate with love your impending independence and your growing vigor.

  6. Love that your mom thought of lipstick and love even more that she defended herself on here! What an amazing family you all are! Continue to keep your sense of humor and know that we are always cheering for you here in Texas!