The stay in the hospital was confusing, painful after the spinal block wore off, and incredibly noisy, thanks to the woman in the next bed who always had 17 of her closet relatives visiting her at any one time. Okay, maybe it was only five, but in a room really built to hold one bed comfortably, it was a squeeze. I was in Surgery Limbo/Bonzo Brain Land, a haze that persisted for weeks even after arriving home.
For the first week home, I coughed (pain pain pain) when I talked for more than five minutes. I couldn't pull up the blanket in the middle of the night. I ate applesauce at 3 a.m. in the bathroom so I could take my meds in the middle of the night. I slept more than I was awake, or at least it felt that way. I watched more TV than I normally do. I missed my quilting. I felt isolated, amazed/surprised at "friends" who never sent notes, or even called, to see how I was doing. I was intensely grateful for those who called nearly every day for quick conversations, just to gauge by my voice how I was doing. My husband kept everything going, including too many doctor appointments when I developed some complications.
This week is the fifth week post-op, and I have reclaimed much of my life. I can get in and out of bed, clothes, the car, and most chairs although I still avoid our squishy sofa. I can put a meal on the table, but am infinitely glad when my saintly husband does the dishes. I can do most of the laundry after the basket is brought down to the laundry toom, but when the bending over gets to be too much, he takes over. I can now read a book, a concentrated task unimaginable even two weeks ago. I have driven the car -- twice -- and am down to one short nap a day. My husband takes me out once a day just so the storms of tears and boredom don't overwhelm our calm existence.
But it's a lost summer, to me. The run-up was emotionally draining (worry worry worry). We're incredibly glad they didn't find any cancer, although I still have another scan for the spots in the lung, the little bits of anomaly which led to this whole experience. I knew it was to be a major surgery, but was probably unprepared for how large a space this would carve in my life.
While I'm still not seeing complete popsicles in my way (still a few more weeks of recovery), a lot of the obstacles have been dealt with. After a lost summer, I'm hoping that fall will bring a re-engagement with my life.