When I left the hospital a week ago, my surgeon said “Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds and don’t do anything that hurts.” Well. All right then.
That got me through the first week. Everything hurt. I had four abdominal incisions and each seemed to tag a different group of core muscles. It hurt to move but moving jiggled loose the gas that was lurking in all sorts of places and made it go away, which in turn made everything else hurt less. So I walked. Slowly. For short distances. And probably drove Phoenix crazy. (For the love of doG, woman, can’t you go any faster?!)
But then something miraculous happened. On the seventh day, I FELT GREAT.
I decided this was dangerous business. I felt great but that didn’t change the fact that I’d had major surgery and my guts were held together with stitches – stitches that most certainly were NOT healed after seven days.
I’m not the personality type that believes in no pain, no gain. If a doctor tells me not to do something, I won’t do it. I know people who don’t share this world view, waving a hand casually and saying, “Oh, I’ll be fine.” Fine for them. Really. Knock yourself out. I will err on the side of caution. A return trip to the hospital for a second surgery to fix something I broke trying to prove how “fine” I was did not sound like fun. Yeah. I’m a weenie like that.
The first week was rough. Did I mention that? I’d never had any kind of surgery before and wasn’t prepared for the post-anesthesia haze. I took care of my animals and slept.
The Farmer was fixing his own meals. He wasn’t fixing mine (he tried) and I wasn’t either. I wasn’t hungry. (Me? Not hungry? Are you serious?) Food held no allure. I nibbled. I grazed. I lost 3 pounds. (At some point I assume my appetite will come roaring back and this situation will be remedied.) I drank water, took pain meds, ate toast and slept.
The highlight of my day was going to the mailbox. We have a long farm lane so going to get the mail counted as one of the four “walks” I was supposed to take each day. I laughed every time I opened the mail box. Get-well cards from neighbors, co-workers and family all said “Take it easy,” ”Take care of yourself” and “Wishing you rest and recovery.” Cards from dog friends said “You’ll be training soon,” “You’ll be back in the ring in no time!” and “Happy heeling.”
I love my dog friends. They came to see me. They brought flowers, chocolate and Extra Strength Tylenol. They took me to the bank, the vet and the grocery store. They threw balls for the dogs that actually went further than 10 feet.
Today marks the start of Week Two. Things are looking up. Most of the pain is history and I’m holding a tight rein on the desire to do something stupid like start a gardening marathon or take a long hike in the timber. Walking has progressed beyond a slow plod. Phoenix and Jamie are taking careful care of me. The safety pillow is often employed since Phoenix is prone to fits of exuberance and forgets I am still broken. We still nap a lot. We sit in the autumn sunshine and just . . . exist.
Yep. Life in the fast lane.