Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha. ~Robert Brault
I’ve been reflecting on a possible change of sub-title, something that more accurately reflects my current circumstance. “Adventures in strategic pillow placement?” Sounds more like an interior decorators blog than a post-surgical quest for comfort. This too shall pass; I’d best leave things be for now.
It’s nearly two weeks since the surgery. My forearms are still bruised from the iv lines. It took most of a week to detect all the electrodes taped to my body and longer still to erase all the sticky left by surgical tape. I have to say though, I’m making progress! I’m awake most of the day and able to negotiate the house and basic tasks. Still no reaching, bending or lifting allowed; it’s surprising how much of daily life is curtailed with those simple restrictions. I’m strapped into a cervical collar 24/7; the more elaborate of the two inspires Darth Vadar sound effects when people first see it. My movements are circumscribed by these contraptions and the discomfort that arises from moving outside the prescribed ‘zone’. Life would seem very small if it weren’t for the array of friends and family looking in on me – in both real and virtual space.
Although I confess that I thought I might skip ahead, I’m exactly where i should be on the predicted path of a six week recovery. Fatigue is my main complaint; who knew how hard it would be for the this stalk of bone and muscle – my neck – to hold up the mass of bone and brain above it? I’ve never fully appreciated just how heavy my head was. Now I get half-way through a day and struggle to sink into my collar or re-arrange multitudinous pillows to achieve relief from carrying the weight. I’d been expecting to get some drawing done – but it’s not as easy as I imagined to work from a reclining position. Meanwhile I’m bingeing on novels, naps and Netflix – throwing in a TED talk whenever I feel that this isn’t enough to justify my existence. Now that my laptop has been rehabilitated, I’ll be re-adding blogging to my activities – there are tales to tell!
The good news – actually, the great news – is that I experienced the results of surgery almost from awakening! The fingertips that had been numb for months now have nuanced sensation – I can actually pinpoint the margins of the numbness to a relatively small area on the sides of my thumbs. The strength of my grip is restored – I can twist the top off a water bottle again! And open those annoying plastic packages with separate layers! Peel back the seal on a tetra pack! The doors of modern life have re-opened. I’m still not sure about the large motor things – my gait and balance – because the cervical collar constrains my vision (of my feet, mostly) but I’m feeling solidly connected to the ground again. It seems that I go where I’m headed now, instead of drifting off in unintended directions.
So – all good for now and each day a little better.