Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21

It's been a month.

One month ago, I had the surgery to (hopefully) end all surgeries.

I'm a far cry from where I was six weeks ago, as far as being able to function on my own. But I'm also a far cry from where I was a month ago, when all I could do was lie in a hospital bed and try to breathe really, really shallow breaths, so the pain of just being alive wouldn't send me through the roof.

This morning, I walked about a third of my walk without my walker. Just me, hands held out for balance, toddling along the sidewalk on May.

This afternoon, I took a 5 1/2 hour nap that culminated in my trying to lie on my side. (I am, by nature, a side sleeper. Surgery interrupts my sleep cycles in about 179 different ways, not the least of which is that it FORCES me to sleep flat on my back. This is not natural to me.) I am pleased to report that I am now able to lie on my right hip, as long as my torso is turned and my upper body is still on my back. .... I know that doesn't sound like anything even remotely comfortable for most of you, that, in fact, it sounds like a contortionist position that you'd never EVER want to put yourself in. But for me, it is an option. A different way to lie in bed. This will give my tailbone a break, if only for a half an hour at a time.

It's been a month since I was able to lie on my side. Exactly a month. In fact, my last memory of lying on my side was in the hospital, in the prep room, as the anesthesiologists started their work before I could go into surgery.

It's been a month. An incredibly difficult, indescribably painful, often downright scary, doozy of a month. But I like to think that (most of) the truly difficult things are behind me. I like to think that in another month, the physical therapist will have my right arm moving in all the directions that the good Lord intended it to, that I'll be able to stand up in one fluid motion, without having to physically hold my stomach so there are no shooting pains associated with the movement. In one month, I'll hopefully be driving again. Here's hoping that the walker can be permanently retired to storage. I look forward to the day that my lungs can expand fully, so a yawn or the hiccups don't send me into orbit.

It takes time to get better. I know this. ... I am getting better. I know this, too. I'm grateful for the experience of having had prior surgeries, in that they have given me the knowledge that my body WILL heal. Our bodies are amazing, miraculous things. (Even the really crummy ones, like mine, can do totally awesome stuff.)

It's amazing to me, all the change that one month's time can bring about. I look forward to seeing where I'll be a month from now. .... In my mind, Nathan Fillion will just show up a week from Tuesday, take one look at me (I'll try not to have my hair in a bun that day) and want to whisk me away with him and take care of me - and my medical bills - for the rest of my life. (I know, I'm ridiculous. But you've got to admit, that would be a much more fun and exciting month to report than this last one has been... Hope springs eternal.)