Last night I had my first post-surgery sneeze. And I can honestly say that I am glad it did not happen any sooner because it kind of hurt. I tried to just “let it all out” but it still gave my body a pretty good jolt, and things downstairs were not too happy about it. It was right before bedtime, too, so I ended up taking a pain med to calm things down and help me sleep.
Speaking of pain meds, I am only taking them every 12-15 hours now instead of every 6 hours. This is good, but because they make me sleepy and I was sleeping away the day so much for the first several days after I got home, I found myself restless and a little bored today. I did take The Stinker for a walk around the block this afternoon. It was beautiful outside too, warm and sunny. The sidewalks were in good shape for the most part, but what would normally be a 5 minute walk around the block probably took me twice as long. But that’s okay…baby steps. And I was tired and a little sore when I got home. So back on the couch I went to read and fall asleep.
I am continually amazed at how easy this recovery has been so far. I read so many stories of women who were constipated, had “swelly belly” for months post-surgery, who were very sore and immobile for extended periods of time…I’ve had none of that. Plus, peeing is back to normal–some women had issues for weeks post-surgery! I was a little curious about the constipation potential, since hydrocodone is a constipating drug, but things have been moving along smoothly, though slowly at first. The nurse suggested I take a stool softener, but I was really hoping that my careful diet of Cream of Wheat for breakfast, broth and saltines for lunch (graduating to a soup puree), and mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner would be enough to help me avoid the need to take yet another drug. And it worked. And I’m really glad I didn’t take the stool softener because this afternoon I actually had a bout diarrhea. I don’t know what I ate that disagreed with me (perhaps it was some of Hubby’s leftover movie popcorn last night), but I can only imagine what a stool softener would have done to my system…yikes. As for the dreaded “swelly belly” I read about, as soon as the gas began to work itself out of my system and my body got over the shock of the surgical invasion, the swelling in my abdomen went away and I look like I did pre-surgery, but with a beautiful 6-inch scar along my pubic hairline now.
To keep myself entertained I’m reading my book Hubby got my for Christmas and perusing seed catalogs, dreaming about what all I will grow this year. This afternoon I noticed that at 4:15 there was still a hint of sunlight in the living room before the sun set behind the hills for the night. It was just a few weeks ago when the sun set behind the hills just before 4:00pm. You know what this means, of course: gardening season is just around the corner. We’re still a long ways from the corner, though. But I really look forward to late January and early February because that’s when I notice the day length getting noticeably longer. I also started studying American Sign Language pretty hard this week. I’ve learned several vocabulary words and simple phrases. I glanced at numbers today–those are going to take quite a bit of practice on my part. I’m hopeful I can find a local class to take so I can become proficient in conversation and get feedback from an instructor. But for now I’ll continue my self-education to keep my brain active.
Only 5 more weeks of recovery to go! I can’t wait to actually go hiking in the mountains with The Stinker again (it’s still walking, after all, and a legal activity for my 6 week recovery!). Maybe in another week I’ll be up for a short jaunt into the hills (with traction on my shoes and hiking poles for added stability while the trails are still snowy).