Thursday, July 24, 2008

Launch Day

Hockey-Chica NSM says: i'm so diggin on reading your blog every day to see what's new! good luck on the bed rest!
Thank you! Today was the big day! At 11:00am, Nurse Nicki tilted my bed -6 degrees. I had a normal, relaxing morning, and didn't become agitated until the last few moments. It was suddenly an appalling prospect to think Wow, when I get in bed again, I won’t get up for 90 days! I had a brief panic alert down in my reptilian brain... then that overachiever who lives in my neocortex tapped her snarky little foot and said, "You signed up for this, little miss think-you-can-handle-anything, you're going to finish."

The blood-rush to the head is immediate. For about an hour, I concentrated on changes, trying to determine where my body was adjusting (and tingling!). At a head-down angle, I felt my heartbeat more succinctly everywhere, and there was a definite difference in sinus pressure by the time they brought lunch at 12:30.

I put a towel beside me, and pulled my plate close to avoid spills. I cannot use a knife with any leverage to cut things, so it's a relief that most of what is served is in small pieces -- though I might use my fingers more now. To avoid choking, we’re told to prop up on one elbow, but even then, drinking out of a glass is a trick. Straws become a big part of life.

NASA bedrest study
Swallowing has a different feel, and breathing takes more effort, but there has been no pain or discomfort. After a few hours, I could feel a pulsating sensation in my back teeth and some tension in my neck. I flipped on my TV and found an X-Files marathon on Sci-Fi, so that was karmic, LOL... I had Mulder & Scully to take my mind off the blood draining from my legs. Also had my first massage -- the best perk of all! So now I’m in "adaptation" mode. It feels so weird to be typing upward!

Hockey-Chica Mrs. L says: Well, I am still periodically watching NASA channel in case what you are doing shows up. If they have to evacuate you guys, do they take you out in your beds? Grin...
Don't hold your breath, my friend. But if you're serious, write a letter to Oprah! LOL, I couldn't be any goofier than the specimens she finds. If the facility evacuates, they will roll us to gurneys and transport us to the mainland for rehabilitation in Houston. If that happens, we're done and cannot rejoin, and we get paid to that point for time spent. All of UTMB did shut down once, when Hurricane Rita hit in 2005.


Mrs. L said...

Wahoo, day 1!!! 90 days will fly by!

NotSoccer Mom said...

love the photo!!! and your descriptions of how to eat, etc., are great.

barbie2be said...

seriously, this is the coolest and most interesting thing anyone i know has ever done.

i would love to do something like this but my ocd would make it prohibitive. i don't think they would let me get up in the middle of the night to remake the bed. ;)

Anonymous said...

What you're doing is truly selfless and courageous. Like an organ donor in medicine, you're providing a great service to you're Country and all of the members of the NASA program. Bravo and keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

This is great

Anonymous said...

why is there a mini christmas tree there on the shelf??