Still Ow, But Getting Better

December 17th, 2007

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with get well wishes and reassurances for my surgery last week! I’m happy to say it went really well, although there were some surprises (no cancer though, which was my biggest fear, of course) that are going to make my recovery longer than expected. The ginormous cyst ate my ovary, so my doctor had to take out the cyst AND my right ovary, along with about five tons of endometriosis.

This last part came as a shocking blow, of course, because I never even knew I had endometriosis. As a cybercondriac, it kills me that I’ve apparently had a disease for twenty-eight years and never even knew it.

That is just so wrong.

The surgery, as all of you assured me it would, went swimmingly. I announced to everyone I saw at the Lower Keys
Medical Center

from the moment I entered it that I was super nervous and had never had surgery or anesthesia before. Everyone was just as nice as could be and when I finally got down to the pre-op room (wearing my socks, which I got many compliments on) and met the anesthesiologist and explained how nervous I was, he said not to worry, slipped some “anti-nausea” drugs into my IV, and left me chatting with a nurse who told me she’d had the same surgery, and they’d had to take out part of one of her ovaries, but she’d had two kids in two years anyway (I said, “Wow” to this).

Then—and I am not exaggerating in ANY WAY—the very next thing I knew, all these people were gathered around my gurney, and I asked, “Is it time for my surgery?” and they all said, “YOU ALREADY HAD IT!”

And I looked at the clock and two hours had gone by!!!! What was in that “anti-nausea medication”???

SURGERY IS AWESOME!!!!

Well, except for right after that the mind-numbing pain kicked in and they asked me to point to my pain on the pain chart
and I was like, “TEN! TEN!” but they got it down to a four right away and by the time I left the hospital a few hours later it was like a two or three.

At the moment I feel pretty raw and sore (a two pretty much all the time), and this whole thing has basically shot my holiday plans of going to Bloomington, IN and visiting my old friends.

But it mostly only hurts when I laugh (thanks to those of you who had this surgery for warning me in advance about this! Also to hold my stitches when I cough).

I never thought there would come a day when I, Meg Cabot, would hate funny things, but that time is now. DO NOT MAKE ME LAUGH! It hurts SO MUCH when I laugh (or cough. Or move, basically, although that’s getting better every day).

Since I can’t do anything but lay (lie? I am too drugged up to look it up) here with Lefty, my remaining ovary, I have been watching tons of UNFUNNY TV. The best thing so far has been the DVD my friend Beth sent me, NORTH AND SOUTH starring Richard Armitage (yes, of BBC America’s Robin Hood!). This is NOT the North and South miniseries from 1985 about the Civil War, but the gorgeous BBC America period drama based on the Elizabeth Gaskell Victorian novel about a vicar’s daughter who moves to the north of England and meets and instantly clashes with this HOT HOT HOT cotton factory owner in the 1800s.

Words cannot describe how good this series is! I am not the only devoted lover of it, either, if you have time, you must watch this loving YouTube tribute someone has crafted.

Why can’t NORTH AND SOUTH just keep going? I want NORTH AND SOUTH 2! Why did Elizabeth Gaskell selfishly have to die in the 1800s?

Elizabeth Gaskell: Probably only had one ovary. Also, endometriosis. You can just tell, because she was SO COOL

Beth says to watch this now if you love Christian Bale as much as we do, and Mindy Kaling (Kelly from THE OFFICE) says if you ever find yourself dating Bruce Wayne, wear these:

(all super sound advice.)

I also watched DISTURBIA (perfect…SHIAHHHHH) and since I have been DVRing Nigella Express (10:30AM Sunday mornings, Food Network) for months, I had tons of those to watch. Possibly I saw too many of those in a row because suddenly I began cyber stalking Nigella and I discovered that—as many of you are probably aware—Nigella lost her first husband to throat cancer, then married tycoon Charles Saatchi, loves men with hairy backs, and often forsakes underwear.

Nigella Lawson, so cool, she must have one ovary and endometriosis, as well

Because I am a member of the WGA, I have been getting Oscar screening DVDs, so I have TONS of stuff, some of which isn’t in wide release yet, such as The Zodiac (so good and scary), Into the Wild (nice try, not watching it), The Brave One (maybe later), Michael Clayton (my mom says this is really good so I’ll watch this later), 3:10 to Yuma (3:10 to YUMMY), There Will Be Blood (There Will Be No Watching This), The Savages (which I loved so, so much…the last three seconds made me weep with joy…though that might have been Lefty. No, really, it was just such a great ending),Knocked Up (seen it already), and Juno (I haven’t seen this yet and I’m sure it’s as good as everyone is saying, but I have a slight problem with all these screenwriters using girls who haven’t properly protected themselves against pregnancy—and also STDs–as a plot device. It really, really, REALLY bugs me. And not just because I used to work for Planned Parenthood. Unplanned pregnancy! HAHAHA! SO FUNNY! There are other plots you can use that involve girls, screenwriters! And I have two words for my readers: Check it. The facts will set you free, ladies and gentlemen.)

Oh, I also got Dan In Real Life. This, in contrast with The Savages, which is also about a family, made me throw up a little in my mouth. Who does crossword puzzles and aerobics all together as a family? Once my mom tried to make us all watch the Mr. Rogers Christmas Special as a family and it ended up with my mom crying in her room because my dad and heterosexual brother wouldn’t stop singing, “Do You See What I See…Lady Aberlin’s Enormous Knockers!”

In Dan’s alleged Real Life, not one teenager went off moodily by themselves to listen to their iPod or watch TV instead of participating in family charades. And the French girl knew the words Zeitgeist and Ozone??? Look, I am a professional writer and a native English speaker and I have never completed a crossword puzzle in my life—except in the back of People Magazine, of course. They should have called this movie The Movie That Made Meg Almost Burst Her Stitches Open Trying to Eject the Disc So Fast (although I think I should get points from the Academy for watching it all the way through, thinking, Steve Carrell is in it, it has to get better. Only it didn’t. I LOVED the The 40 Year Old Virgin. But this made me almost burst a blood vessel in my eye. As HWSNBNITB put it, “Failure to Launch was better, and it had talking animals in it.”).

And another thing. I don’t want to say anything bad about a movie that is currently in theaters, but I went to see Enchanted (don’t worry, I loved it, except the pooping chipmunk. I loved the chipmunk, but why did they have to make it poop? I do not want to see a pooping chipmunk, EVER—which is why I will not be seeing Alvin And The Chipmunks. Nor do I want to see a chipmunk get tortured by hotel room hangers. Please, that is not funny or cute. Actually poop should never be in a movie except Miranda July’s You, Me, and Everyone We Know, which features “pooping back and forth,” which is this year’s “merlot.” If you don’t know what I mean by that, watch this…but be forewarned it’s slightly, um….Actually, words cannot describe what it is, but note that I warned you. Although I love it and HWSNBNITB and I watch it over and over and laugh for reasons I don’t understand).

But Enchanted is not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is the trailer I saw for the movie P.S. I Love You when I went to see Enchanted a few nights before I had my surgery. It was not the short trailer they are showing on TV now, which is inoffensive. It was the long one they were showing in theaters, with the singing leprechaun telegram I guess the dead husband hired to send his widow (it was hard to tell what was going on, exactly, since I was hiding my eyes).

I didn’t read P.S. I Love You. I’m sure it’s a charming book. I didn’t see the movie, either. Maybe it’s great. I know that the way the movie trailer is cut is not the author’s fault. But I would like to suggest that the US Government quit using water boarding as a form of torture on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and instead show them the trailer for the movie P.S. I Love You. I’m sure the terrorists will tell us all their secrets in no time just to make that trailer stop. I know I wanted to, and I don’t even HAVE any secrets, because I tell you everything in this blog, and no one is even torturing me. Oh my God, that trailer was horrible. Probably as horrible as Dan In Real Life but I don’t know because I closed my eyes during the trailer, after I’d curled myself into a fetal ball and started murmuring, “Make it stop, make it stop,” to my friend, who got up to go put salt on her popcorn because she actually DID have a health scare with her husband this year. But it was still going on when she got back.

Why would they try to make a movie about a young woman’s spouse DYING look like a hilarious slapstick romantic comedy in the trailer? OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS!!!!!! I thought the book was supposed to be more like The Notebook or whatever, touching and sweet. The way that trailer was cut, it looked like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (which I love, but no one DIES in it).


I love Samantha Who!, though, by the same author! Amnesia is funny! Death of a spouse? Not so much. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THAT MOVIE??? I’m so confused. Also scared. Hold me, Christina Applegate.

When I got home from the movies I told He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog that if he developed a terminal illness and then scheduled kooky telegrams and hilarious messages to arrive after his death, telling me how to live my life and deal with my grief, I would go to his grave EVERY SINGLE DAY and spit on it. Plus, I would not do a single thing he said.

I already know how to deal with my grief, anyway. Nigella Lawson showed me! Get a TV show, eat whatever I want, marry a tycoon, and never wear underwear again. DUH!

Anyway, HWSNBNITB promised me solemnly he would never do any such thing.

OK where was I? Oh, yes, preparing myself for all the hate mail from Dan In Real Life and P.S. I Love You movie fans.

Look, it is not my fault. It’s Lefty! Lefty is making me say these things! Either that, or it’s the Percocet.

Which reminds me, since I had my surgery, I’ve watched MTV’s True Life I’m in Rehab, I’m on Adderall, and I’m Addicted to Oxycontin. I’ve also grown very fond of the show Intervention on A&E. My friend Jennifer and I like to watch it over the phone, her in Connecticut and me in Key West. We particularly like the follow up episodes, when they make you THINK the person has gotten clean…but they haven’t! Usually they’re living on the streets or in jail…sometimes both! Oh, Antwahn! I just want to say, never get addicted to anything. I am so afraid of my Percocet I only take half of the recommended dose so I’m constantly at a level two or three of pain. And I would never, ever, crush it up and snort it, like all the people on MTV True Life do! You guys! If MTV has taught me anything, it’s never, ever put ANYTHING up your nose.

To make it up to you about Dan In Real Life and P.S. I Love You, I will share this: For some reason right before I went in to have my surgery I became obsessed with finding a certain clip I used to love on Sesame Street when I was a kid. I hadn’t seen it in thirty-seven years, or even knew if it really even existed (a part of me thought maybe I had made it up), but I had to watch it before I went to the hospital (please keep in mind I was 100% convinced my cyst was cancerous even though 99% of ovarian cysts aren’t).

Well, somehow I found the clip. I don’t know how because I couldn’t remember what it was about or called or anything. It’s the best Sesame Street clip ever (you have to watch it all the way through to the surprise ending), and when I was scared in the hospital, I thought about all your emails, and this, and they both made me feel like everything would be OK. And in fact, everything was (or will be, if I could just stop laughing).

Enjoy!

More later.

Much love,

Meg