Recovering Part Two

So, what have I been doing this week (besides missing all the fun at RWA!)?? I have been:

1) Watching far too much TV. Until the last couple of days, it was hard to concentrate on books, so I was mostly reading fashion magazines and watching copious amounts of television. DVDs of every Austen and Bronte adaptation I have, North and South (for the 161st time), Top Gear, True Blood, and marathons of Say Yes to the Dress and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (how did I miss this show before??? Those dresses are a whole new dimension of crazy), until I started yelling at the people on the screen and had to turn it off.

2) Feeling much better, almost human again. I went to Sunday brunch and a friend’s 4th of July pool party (though no bikinis for me the rest of this summer!), and had a whole new appreciation for things like that. Life is good.

3) Drinking chocolate milkshakes, which are the only thing that really tasted good until recently and are probably a big part of my new-found appreciation for the world! Milkshakes are awesome.

4) Being really, really glad I didn’t need surgery in the eighteenth century, when things wouldn’t have gone quite so well. I have a reproduction of a 1712 pamphlet titled “Treatise of the Operations of Surgery” and let me tell you, that is some scary stuff. Their advice for painkillers during surgery is basically a stiff drink and bite down on a piece of wood. And with no x-rays and CT scans their best guess for when and where to perform a surgery was to rely on the weather. For instance:

“A favorable season for an operation is either Spring or Autumn. In the Spring, the blood is revived with greater heat whilst in the Autumn blood is cooler. In the Winter the cold…hardens transpiration and the blood has not the vivacity required to animate our bodies.”

Good to know. There is also this quite terrifying site with photos of old surgical tools, if you’re curious….

All told, I’m glad I got to go to a modern operating room with a nice painkiller drip afterward.

What have you been doing this week?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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Joanna Waugh
11 years ago

Have you read Fanny Burney’s account of her mastectomy in 1811? As much as I love reading and writing about the 19th century, I wouldn’t want to live there!

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Omigosh, those surgical instruments are enough to give me the vapors!

I am so glad you felt well enough to attend a party. And now you know why I love to watch Say Yes To The Dress.

We MISSED you last week!!!

Cara King
11 years ago

Hurrah for chocolate milkshakes! And Jane Austen movies.

For the holiday weekend, I’ve been reading and watching movies — “Midnight in Paris” is gorgeous, BTW.

Hope your recovery continues apace!

Jane George
11 years ago

Good to know you’re well on the mend, and thanks for sharing about the medicinal powers of chocolate shakes. 🙂

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Joanna, I had heard about Burney’s operation before (and that of John Adams’s daughter) and it makes me shudder to think of it! It also makes me even more grateful for advances in painkillers, lol

Cara, I am hoping to see “Midnight in Paris” just as soon as I can sit for a couple of hours again! It sounds wonderful (and I will see any movie with Paris in the title)

Elena Greene
11 years ago

So glad to know you’re feeling better. LOL on the milkshakes. Last week while I was on vacation I took along Jennifer Crusie’s Anyone But You, in which the heroine and her best friend shared amaretto milkshakes. I don’t know if that is allowed for you yet, but it definitely sounds like something to try among writer buddies.

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

LOL Elena! No alcohol for at least 30 days, I was told. But after that I am definitely celebrating with an amaretto milkshake…

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

So glad to hear you are on the mend! We definitely missed you last week. I got NO Laurel McKee autographed book to add to my collection 🙁

Sunday I was back at work and this week has been deadly dull compared to last week, darn it.