The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Smell ya later


Yeah, so, my hygiene has been very questionable since the surgery 11 days ago.

For the first couple of days, I couldn’t really do anything. I couldn’t even sit up. Getting off the couch or out of bed required mighty, mighty good man David’s help. Smelling nice or looking pretty was the least of my concerns. Plus, I have these drains after the surgery — a long tube running from my incision into this plastic bottle … draining … stuff. It’s gross. There were two drains; now there is one. The final drain has to drain under a certain amount in a 24-hour period before I can have it removed, and it is being stubborn. In the meantime, I am not allowed to shower.

Like I said, my hygiene has been questionable.

I was supposed to return to work yesterday. Not only was I physically not ready to return to work (the recovery process is taking longer than I expected), but there was no way I could return to work without showering. Even if I was physically ready to return to work with this stupid drain, well, it just seems mean. It would be cruel for me to drag my smelly body into the office and pollute my coworkers’ air just because I didn’t want to use up more vacation time. Of course, my awesome job told me to take my time and return to work when I’m recovered. Good people over there! If I was still working for The Ex, they would have had me writing The Scoop as the doctors wheeled me into surgery.

So anyway, back to hygiene … Michelle came over last Tuesday and washed my hair with a no-rinse shampoo. The shampoo made my scalp less itchy, but it certainly didn’t do much for my hair. In other words, my hair looked like crap, but it smelled better. On Friday, Michelle came over again. This time, I sat next to the tub and she washed it with real shampoo. Afterward, my hair looked and felt great, but the washing process wasn’t very comfortable. Thankfully, I had my old friend vicodin to help me out.

Yesterday was a low point in the recovery process. I really wanted the final drain out, so I could shower and wear my clothes instead of sweatpants and David’s button-up shirts. On the way home from yet another trip to Kaiser in which they did not remove the drain, I watched all these people outside having lunch, walking around; going about their daily business.

“I bet they showered and got dressed today like it was no big deal,” I thought.

Yep, I was completely jealous of total strangers because they got to practice good hygiene. I wanted to have lunch outside, walk around and go about my daily business. I broke down in the car and started crying. All I wanted to do was take a shower, wear my clothes and feel cute again. Instead, I felt like a dirty, smelly, ugly monster.

David did his best to console me, but unless he could magically make my drain disappear so I could shower, there really wasn’t much he could do. He reminded me that I just had a major surgery; that this was all temporary; and in a few days I would be showering and getting dressed. He also played the “you’re cancer free” card, which always makes me feel better.

Today, I woke up with a quest to get clean and feel as normal as possible.

I sat in the tub and shaved my legs. I washed my face, brushed my teeth AND put on makeup. The works! Then, at David’s suggestion, I visited the salon that is in our condo building. I paid $12 to have someone else wash my hair as well as blowdry and style it. That’s a bargain. My hair looks fab. It smells great. Seriously, it was worth the money, because I feel like a normal person today.

See for yourself …

“Hi, I’m a completely normal person. I’m not smelly at all.”


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

4 thoughts on “Smell ya later

  1. Food for thought: Do I not shower, or do I shower and wear a shirt that says, “I showered, and really appreciated and enjoyed” in order to best honor what you’re going through? Hmm …

  2. I think you should definitely shower and enjoy it. No shirt necessary.

  3. You are very kind kind, Beegs!

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