Four Days Off The Grid

April 17, 2008

in Personal

It’s been four whole days since I officially took myself off the grid (meaning off the internet). I am pretty much continuously on the grid. Between my twitter, my feeds, my iPhone and e-mail, I am pretty much connected to the web at all times. Try and catch me by phone, or in real life? You might miss me.

So, why did I go off the grid?

Surgery.

Not that I’ve been extra public about it (though not really hiding it), but I have/had uterine fibroids: non-deadly tumors on my uterus. I have had them for about 4 years (according to hindsight) but have only known about them for the past 12 months. I did my best to ignore the hell out of them hoping they would just GO AWAY (I do not suggest trying this), but last month I had my first and last head to head with these bad boys. It took one painful experience with symptoms for me to realize they had to go, ASAP. Anyway, a couple small incisions, one really large fibroid (15 cm!), and a blood transfusion later–I am doing swell. Back home. Resting up.

Besides this experience making me a kinder, more patient person, I learned a few lessons from being off the grid these four days:

1. I truly can’t go off the grid for a few days! Impossible! Due to my trusty iPhone I was checking email sending SMS messages while drugged up in the hospital. I still came home to 500 unread messages, but trust, it could have been worse. I guess I can truly go off the grid when I am visiting my family in New Mexico. They have limited dial-up on the farm out there.

2. If you are stuck with minimal cable, it’s pretty much hell being without the internet. The past four days my only media outlet and source has been TV with poor cable channel selection. It is a very sad existence. My last four days has been filled with nonstop chatter about the Pope, the Pope Mobile, the Polygomyst Moms, and low self-esteem topics. Perhaps these are all related? Either way, I became newly obsessed with all of these topics due to my TV-only predicament.

3. Low self-esteem: Judging by the commercials being aired in the daytime, I am either an uneducated person without a job who needs a job OR an education quick, fast and in a hurry; I have legal problems; and/or I need to lose 60 lbs or more. Between the commercials and Oprah trying to convince me I am  not a good enough mother, and Tyra telling me nobody thinks I am pretty except her, it’s a messed up world out there in daytime TV land.

4. I really do love my BFF. Not only would he e-mail me a tech support question while I am laid up on my sick bed (with full disclaimers asking me not to answer anytime soon), but I sat there and figured out the answer, got back to him within 15 minutes with not only my off the cuff guesstimate, but a link with the right answer and full explanation. There are only a handful of people in this world I’d do that for, and not think twice about it.

5.  Twitter still aces it as my source of information.  I  didn’t have much patience with waiting for web pages to load, or my Google Reader to load on my iPhone (I had ADD/narcolepsy habits for a few days due to anemia). But loading my front page of twitter a few times a day kept me plugged in on the drama, the happs and the bigger news items in one fell swoop. Go Twitter.

I’m not 100% back, but slowly but surely I am getting back up to speed. Thanks to everyone who has sent me  IMs, e-mails, text messages, tweets, and called me with your support and encouragement these past few weeks. I haven’t been able to keep up with everyone this week, but I definitely did recieve your well wishes, and I thank you.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Fave April 18, 2008 at 5:22 PM

I’m glad you took your situation head on and that you’re recovering well. Be encouraged.

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Herb April 18, 2008 at 6:41 PM

I glad everything went okay. I didn’t want to ask about the surgery since I don’t actually know you but I know it can be scary (knee reconstruction during my senior year). Thanks for sharing.
Going off grid can be done – it’s just that you have to be forced to do it by traveling some where with no (or extremely expensive) internet. It can really be liberating. Then again you’re young enough that you don’t remember a world where “off the grid” was the default condition ;)
BTW, stay away from Percocet; oxycodone is a hell of a drug…
Take care of yourself.

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Todd Kelley April 18, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Sh!t girl! I hope they gave you the ‘happy’ drugs to aid your recovery. I hope all is going well. I got prayers going out to you.
Be well.

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Joy April 18, 2008 at 8:20 PM

First time here and I hope you are feeling better! I just left my doctor’s appointment at Kaiser YESTERDAY and I’ll be in surgery next. I have dealt with the pain once a month for a couple of years so I know about the kind of pain you speak of. It made me want to reach in and remove that sucka myself. I can’t take it anymore (truth be told—neither can my husband) so to the operating room I go. I am a tad bit older than you (42 going on 39!)and I won’t be using my uterus anymore for procreation…so I’m ready.
Take care of yourself.
joy

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Cody Simms April 19, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Hey Liz. I hope you’re feeling better. Thinking of you…
-c

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Shey April 19, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Glad to hear you’re doing well! You’ll bounce back in no time

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Liz April 20, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Thanks you guys!
Cody–I haven’t seen you in what feels like forever! No more Saturday morning soirée’s for us :( Thanks for stopping by :)

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TreoBenny May 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Hey Liz, I landed here via Twitter.
I had shoulder surgery recently and was home from work for a month. I initially thought it would be no big deal, kinda like you did. I don’t think a torn labrum compares to your situation, but I can sympathize with underestimating a period of incapacity. My dominant arm was in a sling and I thought using a keyboard would be easy, boy was I wrong. I can’t quite say I was off the grid, (I’m an online Design student so I could totally check out) but taking my face-time with the rest of the world from 110% to 0 was an experience for sure.
Good luck, and happy Web travels!

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Alisha June 23, 2008 at 9:21 AM

This post is so old by now, but I had a similar surgery, so I totally understand what you went through. The blog is awesome. Great job on VSB. That’s ish right there! Oh, and your music taste is awesome…because it’s like mine!

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