Where my head and recovery are – 26 days after the surgery

I had every intention of blogging daily following my surgery. I was sure it would be interesting, insightful, and very therapeutic. And then reality stepped in. Pain, lethargy, lack of motivation, poor sleep, etc. have gotten in the way. True, the pain has FINALLY decreased and I should be off of the Percocet by the morning of October 11 (nurse wants me to taper down by one each day). Discomfort, muscle aches, and kinked up joints and muscles from sleeping semi-reclined/sitting up continue. I hoped that by now I would be telling you how wonderful my rehab was going. While I am walking 30 min in the morning and 20-25 in the afternoon and I am walking much more quickly (close to 3 mph), I am not able to do anything else. Luckily, my research seems to indicate that I am ahead of the curve still. I did go grocery shopping with my boyfriend yesterday, but had to go sit in the car when it came time to check out.

What am I learning? No two people experience surgery and recovery in the same way. What is minimally painful for some can feel unbearable to others. Though squats and lunges can make navigation much easier post surgery, physical fitness does not necessarily dictate a seamless and relatively comfortable recovery. In fact, in times of frustration, I have told myself that my pectoral muscles hurt as badly as they do because they were developed from months of exercise and had I had flabby pecs, there would be little or no pain. I doubt that this is true, but it gives me some satisfaction.

How I wish I could be the voice of optimism and acceptance, yet I find myself asking “How much longer?” “When will I feel human again?” “Am I really going to be that much better in two weeks – well enough to return to work?” I fear this means my story is not uplifting and is not likely to make others facing similar surgery feel at ease. Nonetheless, it is important to balance my experience with those experiences of people who have a relatively easy recovery. My recommendation, plan for the worst and hope for the best. That way, if you are one of the lucky ones, you can truly feel lucky and if your recovery is like mine, you will not be blindsided by the intensity of pain and discomfort.

Tonight, for the first time since the surgery, I will be out in public – I am going to a seminar at the local library. For now, it is time for acetaminophen and drink mix. Rather than promising to write again tomorrow, I will just promise to write again when I am able.

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