Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 1

So I had scheduled to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed at 8:20 am on Thursday. Three of them had grown horizontal in my jaw. Only one grew straight up, but needed to be pulled anyway and before now had begun to rot. I was told over 2 years ago to get it done “soon.” The oral surgeon said I should have got this done when I was 16, not 33. (Financial/insurance issues.) Even now I have to be observed carefully to make sure everything heals okay.

I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight because I was being put to sleep. My last meal Wednesday evening consisted of beef udon, edamame, kakuni, and ramune. (I’m hoping it helps with any future Japanese food cravings.) Any meds I had to take in the morning had to be taken with the smallest sip of water I could manage in order to get them down. (Antibiotic, painkiller, and my beta blocker.) I spent the day before being nauseous from the antibiotic and still feeling miserable when I arrived.

When I got there I was brought into the surgery room and lied in the chair. Then began the usual going to knock you out surgery routines. (I had an endoscopy so I’d been through the motions.) Finger polsock on left hand, blood pressure cuff on right arm, 3 EKG leads on my body. Next came the laughing gas, which I’ve never had before. It was put over my nose and my husband who was in the room remarked about my green pig nostril. I told him he could throw an angry bird at me. (Nervous as hell, but still had my sense of humor.) I breathed that in deeply for a minute or two before they saw in my eyes it was working. My feet started to feel like they were going asleep, then my hands. That was the work of the gas. Then they put an IV in my left arm. They also put a band under my hair to tie it up for the surgery. My left arm was strapped to my body for safety.

Then came the IV. I don’t know what the heck the medicine was, but I did not like it at all. I began to get a taste in my mouth, said as much, and they said that was normal. I didn’t like the taste and started to mouth breathe and get a bit nauseous. After a minute or two the taste passed and I returned to breathing out of my nose. Then they were about to start to knock me out. I said goodbye to my husband as he left the room and they injected the meds in me. Out like a light.

Next thing I knew I heard a woman ask me, “Christine, can you wake up for me?” I slowly opened my eyes, still in the chair in the room. A bed was pulled up against it and I was told to move over onto it. It’s kind of weird because I think I saw more of the room out of my memory and mind’s eye than my actual eyes. After scooting onto the bed I was wheeled to the recovery room to face a wall, and with a wall to my right side. I began to look around. A nurse asked me if I was okay. Now at this point I realized I had two huge rolls of cotton in my mouth like two strange tusks. Plus I was numbed up a lot around my mouth. So naturally speaking was a challenge. I wanted to say “maa maa” which means so-so in Japanese. (The fact I could remember my limited Japanese in this state makes me feel a bit proud.) Instead I just shrugged and made a sound, relaying the fact I was probably as good as one could be in this state. Then she asked how my stomach was and thankfully it was 100 percent better and I gave her a thumbs up. She went away and I looked around some more, wondering when my husband would come in. The nurse returned and asked if I felt ready to sit up. Right. Just woke up. Drugged up. Sitting. Yeah. I shrugged again and kind of went “eh” as best as I could. That managed to buy me some time to lie there, thankfully.

Finally my husband came in and rubbed my head and smiled at me. Amazing what the human touch can do to comfort. The nurse asked again if I could sit up so we could leave. Well alright I figured I’d try. So she helped me up and moved the pillows against the wall so I could sit against them. At this point I noticed my bottom right side of my jaw hurt. I let her know and the oral surgeon decided to put some more meds in my gums. I was lied back down and he injected medicine in my bottom and top right gum. It hurt when he put it in the lower, which surprised him. After a moment to let that sink in, again I had to sit up. At least this time went a bit better. I sat there for a minute.

Then the nurse asked if I could stand. She wanted me to put my right food on a chair there and my left straight on the ground. Now my feet felt alright, but I knew from past experience that I may not be as confident as I think I am at this. So I put my right foot on the chair, my left on the ground and made sure it felt firm. The nurse helped support me as I brought my right foot to the floor. Then my husband helped support my other side. I walked with help but actually it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. I walked out the door and to my husband’s car waiting outside. I was told to watch my head as I ducked into the seat.

So I happily enjoyed the drive home, biting down on my cotton tusks. Everything was okay. The surgery went well. I was glad it was done. Then three-quarters of the way home the nausea began. And it steadily grew. By the time I got home and stepped into the doorway it was a level 10. The terrible drug taste was back in my mouth and was making things so much worse. I sat down on the recliner sofa and felt the need to throw up. And that was most of my morning. I was just lying there feeling miserable, wanting to throw up. Oh and there was the changing of the guard of the cotton in my mouth, which had to be wet, as I waited for the bleeding to stop.

1pm rolled around and I was still not feeling well. I knew I had to eat so we decided to try to see if I could swallow yet. (And I needed to take ibuprofen.) My husband got some water and that proved to be an exercise in futility. I barely got any down, coughed like crazy, and bloody water fell down my face and shirt. I learned after that to hold a bowl under my chin. I barely got the one ibuprofen down.

Eventually I tried some non dairy food, which was all I could have till the nausea went away. I tried some natural chicken broth, and it did not taste good. In fact it made my nausea worse. Next it was a box of miso broth I bought from Whole Foods. Oh glorious miso broth that I looked forward to. And that also tasted terrible. Damn you miso, you betrayed me. Next was sugar-free jello. But the cherry I had was very strong flavored so I didn’t eat much. Next I gave it a rest and took a bit of a nap. I woke up and decided to try some hummus. It wasn’t easy to really eat, it was more slowly dissolving. Buuut, it got the terrible taste of that IV medicine in my mouth.

3pm rolled around and I wasn’t nauseous for at least an hour. So I decided to try dairy. I have these generic versions of Slim Fast shakes. So I asked for one of those. Oh that was heaven to finally have something to drink that was substantial. It also helped the other 2 ibuprofen I needed to go down. The day progressively got better. I moved onto pudding and had another shake later.

6pm and the pain definitely started kicking in. I was told to take my prescription pain-killer, Lortab, by 8pm. I didn’t last that long. I took it and at 9 I took 3 more ibuprofen for the pain. I finally worked my way upstairs to bed. Now sleeping was going to be interesting as I had to sleep in a reclined position to keep swelling down. It wasn’t easy to get to sleep. The whole day I wasn’t very tired aside from the one 30 minute or so nap I had. Finally sleep came and day one came to an end.

So to sum up day one consisted of nausea and oh yes icing of the cheeks. Lots and lots of putting an ice bag repeatedly against my cheeks.

Day two is when I was forewarned hell would begin as the dental drugs completely wear off.

Learning Hiragana (and Katakana too)

I have gone over this old post, revised it, and posted it again. This is a small list of some nice resources I found online for learning Hiragana, and sometimes Katakana as well. I thought I’d share them here in case they can help anyone else.

  1. Genki Japan – Free hiragana worksheets
  2. Meguro Language Center – Scroll down to see their Hiragana and Katakana Work Sheets.
  3.  TextFugu – You can view the first six chapters of Season 1 for free. This part includes talking about Hiragana. TextFugu is an online textbook for studying Japanese so it goes farther into learning the language.

If anyone else knows of any free or fairly inexpensive ways to learn Hiragana and Katakana online, please let me know. I’ll look into it and I just may add it to my list here.

Blog Update

     I just transferred over my blog entries from LiveJournal earlier tonight and placed them into categories. I will need to take the time later to reformat them to look better and to add missing images. For now though it’s one step closer to having my blog established here at WordPress. So anyone browsing through here, please excuse any mess until I get work out all the rest of the kinks.

Cataloging Log, Earthdates 1/28/10 and 1/29/10

     Thursday was a very very busy day. Procedures discussed late the previous day were rediscussed after we had a night’s rest, and some of us more time to think on things. Then forward we went implementing them. Like trying anything new you find some things you expect, and some things you weren’t. Much of the day seemed to be spent discovering something, discussing it with coworkers to see if they stumbled upon it too, and them addressing me with similar concerns.

     Perhaps it is due to my personality that I’m often a creature of habit and schedule. It’s so easy once as you learn the rules of cataloging to get into a groove, so to speak. You’re used to doing things in order step by step. New or different ways of doing things throws me a bit as I try to combat old habits. So I have to develop new habits, new steps to use, and adjust accordingly.

     I had my serials training, which is a group endeavor. As I expected it was good to get together and discuss the problems we each had with our periodicals. I still think it’ll take a bit of work and practice to really get the hang of them. Sometimes I understand how to do something, other times I’m trying to look up the information. Sometimes I get confused and have to ask for help. Well eventually I’ll be able to understand how to catalog these or else I’ll have serials cataloging rules memorized from re-reading them so much.

     By the end of the day I had a terrible headache. The fact that I was so busy that I didn’t have much water to drink all day probably didn’t help. It felt like someone had slipped me a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster when I was away from my desk. Between the headache and the bug I have been fighting, I just collapsed when I got home. I was completely exhausted.

     Friday was a bit better as things had settled down a bit as processes became a bit more polished, so to speak. I guess it’s kind of like someone disturbing a riverbed and all the silt gets stirred up. Over time the silt settles down again. I tried to make a concerted effort to drink more water this day and hammer down any issues that crept up.

     A nice thing about Friday was that I was able to go to a presentation of a potential library liaison. My previous position was at a small private college so we didn’t have any liaisons. I don’t recall any at my alma mater either. It’s good to get a sense of what this person has done as well as learn more about my workplace at the same time. Besides one day after I get my Masters I may be presenting like that for a position. I figure it’s best to settle back and see what I will have to do in the future.

     It was also the end of the month, a time when we turn in our monthly statistics sheet. This means spending some time counting up my hash marks, totaling them, and making sure the numbers add up. Also for me it’s a double-check to make sure all problems are off my desk and shelves and in processing. (I don’t keep anything for long, but end of the month I especially don’t want anything at all. I like to start the new month out fresh.)

     Like with Thursday, Friday had me feeling a bit run down. I spent a good deal of time playing Aion during the night just to help me unwind. I wonder if any other library workers play online RPGs, or maybe I’m a rare breed.

     Lately I’ve been having thoughts about what track I want to work on for a Masters in Library Science. Though I enjoy cataloging, I enjoy web design, wikis, blogging, social networks, etc. So some sort of web design / technology track would interest me as well. So I’m making plans to try to talk with my fellow coworkers and get their input of what kind of track they think would be good to follow, what to expect, etc.

     In other news I got word that my Nook has finally shipped. Though the Kindle had caught my eye quite a few times, I’ve been quite unhappy with them lately. Basically I’ve been taken aback ever since Amazon changed their ToS to not allow mobile software developers to use Amazon’s information in applications they create for cell phones. Amazon is a big player in the field of information/database about books, and I’m not too keen on the “we own the information” attitude. People who want to create mobile cataloging applications (such as Pocketpedia) to keep track of what you own are running against this wall of Amazon’s. (Or in Pocketpedia’s case were since they lost that battle, along with other similar application developers.) Anyway before I tangent further into that rant, let me say that I’ll try to post my experiences with the Nook. I’ve never had an e-reader before, unless you count my iPhone. So this will be an interesting experience.

     Edit: As an aside I had to enter in a comment found under this article on Slashdot because it amused me. “I, for one, welcome our new code-sharing librarian overlords.” 😀

Cataloging Log, Earthdate 1/27/10

     First of all I apologize that this post will be quite short. I woke up this morning feeling under the weather and have been on and off fighting off whatever it is I have. I took the measure of having two cups of hot green tea as well as two oranges. I’m hoping that’s enough to fight it off, at least until the weekend.

     Work was pretty typical as I described yesterday. I had a meeting with coworkers to discuss procedures. It was good to raise issues, bounce them around, ask questions, and get feedback. I also brought up some questions I had on the serial labor periodical I was working on. After some talking with the head of serials I was able to understand what I needed to know. Sometimes I get a bit lost in the jargon of the cataloging rules, and having a bit of elaboration on the rule helps me understand why something is this way and not that way.

     I also found out that it’s that time of year for annual reviews for staff to be done. (And I am staff.) As always I appreciate feedback and help to guide me to work better and learn more. At the same time it’s the time of year that always makes me anxious. No matter what job I’ve had, review time just makes me nervous. Have I worked hard enough? Are there weak areas I don’t know of that will come up and surprise me? Have I done my best work this year or are there things I need to work on? *Deep breath.* Well I think I’m working hard, and I believe in doing my best. I will find out soon enough what my supervisors think.

     Tomorrow morning I work on our department’s wiki again. This means giving myself a refresher on the coding the wiki uses. I don’t mind as I like the opportunity and experience. In fact I quite like working with technology like this.

     Also tomorrow I have a weekly serials training meeting. It will be interesting to see everyone share their work and results. I hope to learn a lot more about serials.

So that’s it for today. I hope this helps someone out there look into the life of a (copy) cataloger.