Saturday, September 17, 2005

Finally had the surgery

Was released from the hospital last night. Quick summary here.

Found out the possible source of my extreme weakness and illness of the past few months. My hemoglobin count before the surgery was around 6.9. I had to be given two pints of blood before I could be operated on. I was given another two units during the surgery, even though I hardly lost any blood. At 2 am the morning after, my hemoglobin count was around 9.8. Just having the transfusions helped me feel better.

The chief anesthesiologist was very worried about how my levels got so low. Asked about if my bone marrow had any problems, but I wasn't anemic three months ago. However, I did lose a lot of blood back then - enough to make me so weak that I had stay with my parents for two weeks. The scary thing is that my body did not replace the blood by now. I have lost 3 pints before and recovered my strength a couple of weeks later.

Anyway, between that and having some breathing problems near the end of the surgery, they decided to make it only a partial hysterectomy, but they said my ovaries looked healthy and it wasn't worth the risk to go after them too.

I am doing well now. Even with the normal surgery pain, I actually can walk farther now, than I could before the surgery. So despite everything, I consider it a success.

Anyway, I forgot to mention that after all that trouble to get the kids to cook before my surgery, and making all those frozen entries - Thursday night instead of defrosting what we already made, my children actually went ahead a cooked a fresh meal for themselves. Apparently, it's easier to think straighter about food when Mom's not around than it is when she's around and sick.

My cat George kept looking for me while I was gone. He kept finding clothing with my scent on to sleep on. We're all at my parents right now, me, the kids and the cats. The kitties have seen how miserable I am and know that I don't liked being laid on. They have beeen very considerate of my wishes so far.

The nurses loved me. They would come and chat with me after they had a rough patien to deal with and I would tell them to take care of themselves, like I was perfectly okay and they were the ones needing the sympathy. But they sort did need it more. My next door neighbor was a very childlike and most of the time she was just cute carrying around her baby doll and chittering. But yesterday, she kept throwing crying fits when they had to take blood for test updates. They also had a patient die yesterday morning and another one who had to be restrained a bit. I don't know what his problem was, but he sounded like he was coming down from something.

I found it amusing that in recovery, the women were laying there quietly as they woke up from anesthesia, but the two male patients were moaning and groaning and making all sorts of horrible noises, but it was the fear noises, not real agony ones. If you've ever raised a toddler, you will know what I"m talking about. The nurses (male and female) finally got both men to realize that they were okay and the surgery was done. But really, I guess it would be really scary to the unconscious to be in a position of weekness as an adult, when you're used to having "control" most of the time.

My children, pets and I are currently with my parents.

Well, it keeps my blood pressure up. Seriously. I was showing a blood pressure of 68/65 about 20 minutes ago. Mom started to tell me I was doing it wrong - like I haven't used this unit several times in the past 3 years. By the time we finished, my reading was 128/67 and my pulse went from 63 to 84 beats per minute.

So far, she's griped about all her doctors, recited imagined crimes of her elementary classmates - "I was too naive to know then, but now I know more and they were actually going to do (some horrible crime that makes no sense without a motive) to me." *rolls eyes*

BTW, the classmate thing came out because she's trying to prove that they got DDT poisoning during their school years.

Also have been treated to a diatribe about my dad and some socioeconomic rant - and I have been here just over 12 hours.

I'm going to go back to sleep. My painkillers are starting to hit me hard.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A constitutional republic

I was sent an article from a major publication recently and it occurred to me for the umpteen hundredth time that most people slept through their US Government classes.

If you check out the US entry in the CIA World Factbook, you will see that we are listed as a Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition.

Federal republic - a state in which the powers of the central government are restricted and in which the component parts (states, colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives.

Now, when this country was first created, it had thirteen former colonies that had very different cultures and ideals. None of these newly declared states wanted to totally give up their rights of self-government to a central government. They wanted to be able to decide certain things themselves. If those people on the other side of the state line wanted something different - more power to them.

But there were worries that a strong federal government might override the states' sovereignty by using the excuse of an emergency to come in and take control. And actually, JFK sort of did this in 1963 against Gov. George Wallace, ordering the governor's own National Guard to turn against him and forcibly integrate the University of Alabama. Of course that was to uphold a federal mandate. In the case of looters, who are breaking no evident federal law, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 explicitly forbids using the military (unless a governor uses her National Guard under "state status") in a domestic police function.

What this means is that according to the law, the STATES are given the chance to solve the problem themselves FIRST. The federal government is not allowed to step in without the governor's permission. After all, the governor is supposed to have a better idea of what the citizens of his state are in need of than the feds in Washington D.C. Only when the state government cannot handle a crisis that the feds have the right to step in. Theorhetically, a president could get impeached for infringing on a state's sovereignty - that would indeed be seen as a move towards dictatorship.

This part of the reason I get so disgusted with the ignorant people make comments about any president having dictator-like powers. The state governors have powers that keeps this from happening. But if we keep insisting that the federal government fix everything immediately, then we weaken that check and balance. Of course, there is something in place when the governor does screw up and the president should step in then, but we shouldn't be so surprised when they don't step in immediately. Presidents who have done so in the past always get flack for doing it, no matter what their political party.

I'm not saying that everything worked like it should recently. In fact, I think there were major screw-ups on all levels and Brown deserved to be removed. I just don't want us to forget why we let the states ask for help from the feds, instead of the feds just moving in like an overbearing parent and making everything right. It's not supposed to be a parent/child relationship between the federal government and the state governments. They are supposed to be more of less equals. If you are a competant adult, you don't want someone else barging in when you have a problem unless it's an emergency you can't handle. That's true for the states too.