Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The progress of recovery.

I keep saying I will post about my recovery, and finally I am. Picking up where I left off after leaving Seattle for the Tri-Cities:

It was so nice to get home. There is such comfort in being in your own space. Especially when you walk in and that space is decorated with balloons, 'Welcome Home' banners, and presents from a sweet friend.

It took some effort on my mom and Craig's part to get me comfortable, but they're amazing. When Craig and I bought our living room furniture several years ago, we never expected the oversized chair that contained a twin sized pullout bed to be so useful. I'm able to be tucked into that bed, watch football, and interact with my family when i'm not sleeping. My husband also rigged it so I can sleep propped up, which reduces the back pains.

Luckily, I have these two sweethearts to keep me company. JT keeps coming over to me to say "I love you, my beautiful princess". I'm a very lucky mom.

JT won't let me take a photo without that cheesy smile. His very sleepy dad hasn't slept through the night since my surgery, to take care of me.
My sweet Natasha has been faithfully on or under my bed this whole time. she's a great foot warmer.
The first few days, my medicine regimen included 3 oxycodone pills every three hours, combined with alternating ibuprofen and tylenol. Because the oxycodone makes me sick, I also got to take nausea meds. Between Craig and Mom, someone had to get up every three hours through the night and give me my meds. Since then, we've slowly progressed to taking 2 oxys every 4-5 hours, which helped me go from sleepy zombie to sedentary but awake and lucid. Now days, i'm down to one or two oxycodones or hydrocodones every 6-8 hours, no nausea medicine, and some ibuprofen and tylenol.

The after effects of surgery have been interesting:
  • the nerves in the front of my stomach are looking for the nerves that were damaged and removed during surgery in my back. Since they can't find other nerves to talk to, they are instead hurting non stop. It's like having that pins and needles feeling when a limb falls asleep, but it occurs every time anything touches the right side of my stomach, including clothes, any arm movements,  and showers are a real experience. 
  • My side is numb. The surgeon warned me it would be, but its still weird to put my hand on my skin and not be able to feel it. 
  • The stitches where the drainage tube was were huge, and itchy, and since they were on my side, there was no avoiding rubbing them with my arm. I was delighted to get them out on Monday.
  • The incision on my back has been...oozing....since surgery, which is also very normal, but feels gross. 
  • When I lay on my back, I get strange stabbing pains in my side, and a tight band of pressure forms around my ribs, making deep breaths darn near impossible. 
  • I coughed the other day and tore some muscle in my abs. fun stuff. 
  • My shoulder is very sensitive right now. It was injured when I was stuck on my side for three hours during surgery, and many hours more for recovery. If I approach any position like laying on my left side, shooting pains in my shoulder warn me that is a bad choice.
  • The drugs make me very sleepy, in addition to some other side effects.
I left the house for the first time last Wednesday(?) to get a mani/pedi with my mother in law. We had a good time, but apparently sitting in a massage chair getting pampered is tiring, because I passed out as soon as we got home :). 

On Sunday, we went for a walk to the neighborhood park, which wore me out beyond belief. I was breathing heavy before we made it off our block. I can't wait to regain my back strength and stamina.

Today we took JT to the pumpkin patch to prepare for our Halloween display this year. It's going to be awesome, so if you are in the Tri-Cities area, plan to stop by on Halloween! It was fun, but again, exhausting. It's amazing how little I can do without getting winded. I was back in my sweatpants and in bed within 10 minutes of getting home.

I'll go back to work somewhere around the end of October or first two weeks in November, depending on how I feel, and when I can go all day without a nap. :) In the mean time, I can be found on my pull-out, watching TV series on netflix and doing jigsaw puzzles.

P.S. checkout these beauties that came with our dinner delivery from our lovely friend Linda.

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