Here I sit 7 days post op. 7 days. I feel like I have been hit by a truck. Pain meds do not often work for me, so I quickly needed to transition to muscle relaxers. I make a go of it during the day with just ibuprofen and ice-packs and add in a muscle relaxer to try and sleep at night. My surgery was very successful and the doctors are very optimistic that the results will provide me with long term pain relief.
Extensive abdominal surgery isn’t for the faint of heart. I had three surgeries performed at once, and an additional unplanned procedure to ultimately bring me pain relief. I have been in constant pain since last August. A deep, dense, migrating pain that I am not always able to pinpoint. Somedays, I would feel better and conquer the out of doors and go for long walks. Other days, I would stick close to home and reach for a good book or catch up on a few shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Some days, when I had to go to work, I would cry in pain the entire way there. Pain became a way of life. I expected to be in pain, because I always was.
Here, I sit watching Netflix now and recovering. I am told to do nothing other than rest and try to eat food if I can. I am told to make friends with my couch and my bed and to not bend over or lift anything. This is a challenge for me. I am usually always on the move, always tackling a new project. So sitting still is actually a chore. I may have folded a few bath towels last evening and washed the top of the oven. I was so tired when I finished I had to rest for an hour. My energy levels are so low.
I feel a bit beat up. I have three long scratches down my left arm from the blood pressure cuff, I have a six inch long abrasion across my chest from the heart monitor. My arm blew out two iv’s. My right arm is purple and black and appears to have been in a back alley fight unbeknownst to me. I have three large incisions on my stomach and a large pool ball sized black and blue bruise on my lower abdomen. I look like I have taken up cage fighting. The black circles under my eyes make me question when I last slept. The blue veins popping out of each hand make me reach for the moisturizing lotion every time I think of it.
My daughter walked away yesterday when she saw me dressing. The exposed painful looking skin. The stitches and medical glue used to seal incisions. The swelling. The black and blue bruising surrounding my entire abdomen. It was too much for her. She said it all looked so painful.
I checked in with her and asked if she was okay. She said that she can’t imagine all the pain at once. I told her that yes, I was in pain, but now it was different. I have been living in pain for a number of years and I didn’t really know it. I just thought this is what it felt like to get older. I came to find out that pain isn’t normal. Discomfort yes, pain, no. The pain I feel now is post-surgical pain. I no longer feel any of the dense migrating pain that has plagued me since August. I no longer feel any of the phantom ever-changing pain that roamed freely in my body the last couple of years. All of the junk, the sickness, the body parts that have failed me, have been removed. All of healthy organs that needed repair have been intricately placed back where they need to be, where they will continue supporting my body all the rest of my days.
This surgery may have slowed me down. This black and blue body may need time to heal and regain stamina. But I am not down for the count. This body will recover. This body will gain strength. This body will slowly but surely get back to being amazing. My legs will carry me where I need to go. My hands will once again accomplish all that needs to be done. My arms will hug my children and pull my husband near. This body will make a comeback. It will overcome the black and blue and it will become alive again. My current state is only temporary. And how very exciting the future now appears to me.
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