Recovering from any injury with a disability is double the work for both the injured and the care giver.
As a side/stomach sleeper my most difficult struggle is sleeping. Prior to surgery I would just flop onto the bed onto my side and cuddle up into a ball. Unfortunately with the surgery I must sleep on my back, this meaning I require assistance into my bed and out of my bed as I don’t have the core strength to lift my upper body up off the bed from laying position or legs into the bed into laying position. Sleeping while laying on my back is very difficult. Being unable to bend my knees or move my legs as needed I become very restless and wake up multiple times throughout the night. When pure exhaustion comes in I fight the urge to turn onto my side and cry. It seems a bit dramatic but sleep deprivation is definitely stressful. Normally sleep is an escape or way to shut everything out and rest but when your unable to do so your mind/brain never gets a break.
Getting off the toilet has always been a struggle for me. I use all surfaces around me to get up i.e. Bathtub ledge, counter top, grab bars etc. with having the surgery it’s important I don’t put much pressure on my arms or chest and unfortunately using a toilet requires me to do so. Urinating has been done using a sheewee (To be blogged about) in a shower. I’m not yet confidently accurate with my sheewee so, to play it safe I use the shower and once i’m done I rinse myself and the shower after every use.
Fortunately while being on pain medication I have experienced constipation which for some may be confused as to how this is fortunate. But producing bowel movements in the shower is not on the bucket list. Although it was great to not worry about using the toilet for the first couple of days, I was experiencing a lot of stomach discomfort and bloating. Now being off pain medication I finally feel like I’m on the road to recovery. With the constipation I was focused more on my stomach discomfort which was much more difficult to handle than the pain of the incisions. Thankfully my rock (aka mike) lowers me onto the toilet and picks me up from the stomach when I’m done.
I did have a mild sore throat for the two days post surgery due to the breathing tube but nothing some water and soup hasn’t helped.
Unfortunately I have been a big home bug as many of my family/friends homes requires stairs which would consist of me using a lot of stretching , arm and chest work. But luckily I have an amazing family who hosted a fish fry at my house so I could be apart of the fun and was joined by my best friends.
Mike took me on my first outing post-operatively. He wanted to fish around in our local marsh so we took a walk through the conservation area. It was definitely nice to get some fresh air and move around as it has been difficult being so immobile the past couple days. However a huge difference has been noticed in walking and movement. Faster pace of walking and less back pain in standing and walking.
Unforunately this will be the last blog in regards to the surgery until full recovery where I will then report an overall success rate of how beneficial I have found the surgery to hopefully help others gain comfort and knowledge of how something turning something so big into something so small doesn’t have to be a bad thing and definitely doesn’t make you any less of a woman for doing so. Embrace your body and all it has to offer. Every curve and every scar has a story and it should be shared.