May 21st, 2014

art, collage

Art and Eyes

Tuesday's Total Tylenol+Codeine Usage
2 1/2 Tylenol #4 tablets

Today in the art room, we all got to talking about the upcoming swanky charity event to raise money for Bonita House, the larger non-profit organization of which CWC is a part. (The organization also runs some housing for people with disabilities & runs some other mental health-oriented programs.) This is an annual event to raise money for the organization.

A couple months ago, the director of Bonita House asked the head honchos of CWC if our members could provide some artwork to be auctioned off at the event, with proceeds going to the organization, of course. Many of us submitted stuff for the auction, and there was a big portfolio stuffed with stuff, along with many larger canvases. Bonita House sent over someone to go through the submissions & decide which works would actually be offered in the auction. Last week, Katy (the art teacher) told me that both of my submissions had been chosen. (Each artist could only submit 2 works for consideration, and I submitted my elephants collage and a collection of 4 winter-themed collaged postcards.)

Katy talked to Bonita House about the possibility of also hanging up some other works on the walls of the event, since so many had been submitted & so many were really good & might actually sell to raise even more money for the organization. They agreed, and so many more works will be hung on the walls with set price tags, completely separate from the auction.

So today Katy and Sarah (our art room intern) were frantically mounting pieces to be hung on the walls at the event & choosing prices for them. (I also have two more pieces that are going to hang on the walls: a decoupaged mask & a funky old collage I did in PHP in 2005. I told Katy she should put a $10 price on the old collage, because I have absolutely no attachment to it.)

Anyway, we got to talking about the event, and someone ended up asking Katy how many pieces were actually chosen for the auction, since they haven't really been telling us much.

It turns out that only 4 works were chosen for the auction ... so mine were half of the pieces they chose. I'm incredibly flattered. I guess mine were 2 of the pieces they considered most likely to sell & earn money for Bonita House. Wow!

And my second (and final—duh) cataract surgery is in less than 12 hours! Julia ended up suggesting that she just pick me up and drive me there, then hang out in the waiting room until they call her in to Recovery. This is really sweet of her, of course, and I accepted gratefully.

This time tomorrow, I'll be wearing another great big colander, and I'll be peering through the little holes to see what my binocular vision will be like. The doc says it may continue to fluctuate for up to a month, but by then we'll definitely know how I'll be seeing long-term. My vision will continue to change much more slowly over time as my body ages, of course, but this will be my relatively stable vision for the next several years.

So exciting!

And people like my art!

And soon I will most likely have really truly sold art to people who don't even know me! Wowza!

Cataract Surgery II: Anesthesia Suckage

Terrible anesthesiologist today. I was awake and alert during the surgery, which is fine, but I kept noticing--and commenting--that every muscle in my body was tensed. The anesthesiologist just told me to relax. Bitch, that's YOUR job!

Each time, I would consciously try to relax my muscles, but then I would notice--and announce--that they were all tense again. Again, they just told me to relax. I have no idea how many times we repeated this exchange.

Also, I was very nervous during the surgery, and I remember asking them several different times, in response to things they said to each other, whether something was going wrong with the procedure. Again, they just kept telling me to relax.

Then, on the drive home with Julia, I realized that my whole body ached like I'd just suffered a severe beating. I just hurt all over. My jaw, in particular, ached terribly, as if I'd been clenching my teeth for hours.

Now, a few hours later, I still ache all over like I have the worst flu ever, and I'm having pretty bad nausea, too.

When I see my surgeon tomorrow for the post-op, I'm going to ask if she can give me the info about the anesthesia that was used each time, so that I can provide that info in case of future surgeries. I'd like to avoid feeling like this in future, if possible.

They also bandaged the eye differently this time, which my surgeon told me also had something to do with the anesthesia (something about being afraid my eye would dry out ... possibly related to the fact that the entire upper right 1/4 of my head was numb?), and so I haven't gotten to see through that eye yet. We're supposed to take the bandage off (then tape the colander back on) around 6 pm.

Oh, yeah, the other thing is that I keep starting to cry for no real reason, like because I don't want a sandwich for lunch as planned. Sometimes without even that much reason ... sometimes for no reason at all.

Whatever this anesthesiologist woman did to me, I don't like it. I hope the eye is okay, at least. I should know more in an hour or so.

me blue hair

Cataract Surgery II: Return to the Lower Classes

Also, I forgot to mention that the surgery center here in Oakland had none of the spa-like pampering I got last week in Walnut Creek.

They gave me a "warm" blanket, but it wasn't any warmer than room temperature.

I had to walk everywhere, instead of getting wheeled on gurney or in a wheelchair.

In the recovery area, they gave me a Dixie cup of orange juice, and that was it. When I asked for more, my recovery nurse reluctantly went to refill my Dixie cup. She suggested that I might want water, instead, but I reaffirmed that I would like more OJ. When I asked for a second refill of my OJ thimble, she actually made a remark that she'd give me the whole bottle if she could, but "they're stingy around here."

(At the Aspen Surgery Center, they gave me a regular 8-oz cup of OJ (with a straw! straws are apparently too expensive in Oakland ... and they would be too tall for the Dixie cups) AND a regular 8-oz cup of ginger ale (also with a straw! a SECOND straw!) AND a little pack of graham crackers AND a little pack of Saltine-type crackers.

In Oakland, the recovery nurse repeatedly urged me to eat something when I got home, but they themselves gave me nothing besides my strawless Dixie cup.

Oh, and when my surgery was all done & they decided I was ready to leave, they walked me out to the lobby, sent Julia to get her car, pointed me at a chair, and then walked away and left me there alone.

When I get cataract surgery on my Third Eye, I'm definitely going to Walnut Creek.