about the artist

Trying to Cope


I finished all the hand-stitching on this. I need some more hand work cause I am stuck sitting around here waiting.

Today was the day when I was supposed to get a new knee. Due to a miscommunication amongst my medical team, it did not happen. It has not been rescheduled and I am not very happy.

Let me back up and explain what happened. When I went for my pre-surgery check up, the Dr. I saw thought I should be evaluated for sleep apnea. This was a surprise to me because I have never had what I thought were the symptoms. I don’t fall asleep during the day and usually can keep going late into the evening. I got set up for the home sleep test. I failed it. It was recommended that I go to the overnight sleep lab for a CPAP titration. My team bent over backwards to get all my appointments done so that I could make today’s surgery date. I went to the pulmonary lab and did all sorts of breathing stuff in a glass box and I had blood drawn from an artery in my wrist.

The called me last week-end and said they had a cancellation in the sleep center and could I come in. Which I did. Here is the lovely backdrop to my room that night.


I was fitted with a CPAP mask and took an ambien and went to sleep. They said I did very well and got lots of rem sleep. I moved on, meeting with my new sleep/respiration doctor and we talked about why I needed the CPAP at the hospital when I would be knocked out with opiate drugs for pain. She said my pulmonary breathing tests were great. Next day I met with my surgeon. We went over last minute things. I continued to do things to prepare for surgery like getting a manicure.


And, then, I got a call from the surgery scheduler telling me my surgery was canceled. I was a mess. I cried and I think I might have screamed at her. I am not sure. It was a blur. I couldn’t understand what happened. With Kaiser, you can email your dr so I emailed my surgeon and asked for more clarification. He called me and said that my respiratory dr had suggested it be canceled because I had not had time to complete all the sleep apnea things. I said that I had. He said it was out of his hands at that point. I then emailed my sleep/respiratory dr. She said she had not done that. Well, it turns out that I had another dr, who I never saw, who was responsible for deciding what I needed to have done. He did not know that every thing had been rushed through for me. By the time, my dr talked to him, it was too late to get back on the surgery schedule.

On a positive not, the CPAP and I are getting along really well. It is very high tech with a modem and blue tooth. It sends data to the sleep center and I can download the data to an app on my iPhone so I can see how well I am doing. I used to get up 3 or 4 times during the night. Last night, I slept until 6:30- woo hoo. I think I am beginning to feel different when I wake up. I have less over all muscle pain. My only problem is lower back spasms from my sedentary life.

I am waiting for a call for my new date. I think they are trying to figure out how they can fit me in sooner than the normal 5  week wait. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I had a nice mother’s day yesterday. I made brunch for Stephanie and her family. She brought me these beautiful poppies.


Lisa and Clay were not here because they are in New York for book signing gigs for Lisa’s new book The Joy of Swimming. She has interviewed swimmers and done her typical illustration of all things swimming. If you are a swimmer or know one, you should check it out.



3 Responses to “Trying to Cope”

  1. Claudia McCarter says:

    So sorry for the miserable delay but what beautiful stitching! Thank you for all the info on your CPAP. I go to Kaiser too and I think I’ll request a home sleep test. Good luck with a speedy reschedule and a quick recovery!

  2. Mary Helen in OR says:

    I thought about you all day. Good that you could scream and cry. “Crying lets the sad out of ya” is a line in Marlo Thmas “free to be you and me” song. Let’s hope it is not 5 more weeks and the scheduler’s can fit you in some other spot. Enjoy the sun this week! The hand stitching is beautiful. Such glorious work.

  3. Susan says:

    I’m so sorry you’re going through all this. Now you get to experience the pre-surgery anxiety all over again. I’m trying hard to find a “positive ” . Let’s assume there is one and hope its rescheduled quickly!