Today's floral sketch. My house is overrun with a riot of delightful scents and colours this week. Very, very unusual for January in Alberta. While I'm not a "say it with flowers" girl in general, this has been quite enjoyable. I wrote " I've been too busy to write or draw. My dad is in town and I've spent the past few days being alive. I realized I've pretty much been housebound for almost a month. Now that I'm feeling okay, I just want to move and do things. Not sit and blog or draw"
One week ago I was waking up with a nurse feeding me ice chips. My throat was burning from intubation and I was hooked up to all sorts of beeping machines and monitors. Today, my dad took me to Costco, I will be completely honest, I did NOT expect I would be up for a Costco trip one week post surgery. Yet, here I am and my pantry is filled.
This recovery is nothing short of miraculous (whether you believe in miracles or not). When I put my hair down over my incision, you would have no clue that I had major surgery last week. As far as I can tell, I read as regular old Michelle to the average passer by. I don't think this is one of those situations where people talk to me for a bit and then lean over to their spouse once I've left and say "you know, after that surgery, she just hasn't been her old self". If I was annoying to you before, I'm sure I'll pick up right where I left off next time I see you. No Frankenstein shuffle, no vacant stares as far as I can discern. Either that or everyone has been really, really nice about letting me believe I'm doing good.
This is my paradox.. Last week I did have major surgery. This past Sunday was the first time I left house.since coming home from the hospital. In order to get moving and aid my recovery, I went walking at the track on Monday. It is a big piece of humble pie one needs to eat knowing that only a few weeks earlier, you could effortlessly run 5 km on the same track. I walked around 20 minutes. I kept getting lapped by the senior citizen walking groups who passed me swinging arms with the 1 lb weights strapped to their wrists. At the same time there was one of those boot camp classes in full swing full of fit young mothers. I watched them as I circled remembering all those kinds of classes I've done before, knowing I would literally have a stroke if I did one at the moment. Yet, I was there. Not in the hospital, not at home. I'll take slowest over what I've had for the past few weeks.
Excursions feel so great right now. My mind is clear and I've been cooped up. Excursions also equal a big nap afterwards. It is so funny how I feel totally fine while I'm out but I come home and I'm completely ready to hit the pillow. My dad has been visiting to help and we shifted our focus from him helping around the house to helping me push my limits. I won't be driving for months so we've used our time during the day to get set up around here so I know I can start easing back into my regular routine. We've reduced the level of outside help dramatically too - that is a good problem to have. It's been reassuring to have stuff in place should our family need it, and we are thankful that it looks like we won't need it all either.
Post Surgery Observations
- My scalp is waking up and it is crazy. All tingly and strange. My husband has to put ointment on my incision twice a day and its only been since the weekend that I can actually tell he is touching my skin. My shaved head is starting to grow in and it feels so funny. I just run my fingers up and down the edge of the shave line for entertainment. Staples are so weird to encounter too (I avoid them as much as possible because the idea of them kind of grosses me out). Everything is healing up all clean and fresh though.
- Post surgery fatigue will drop you if you aren't paying attention. The day I walked the track I was going slow, but was totally in command of how I felt. I knew I was done when I rounded a corner and the next nearest chair felt like a thousand miles away. Again, I had a good nap when I got home.
- There are a million post surgery blog posts about how awful and painful my type of recovery is. This post I'm writing is one of the few happy ones out there on the internet. I can honestly say, my pre-surgery symptoms were much worse. I do get a little head pain now but not much. I'm being careful and my head looks gnarly but things are quickly improving.
- I am finding subtle limitations. Last night I discovered that at the moment, I cannot track two conversations going on at once. I literally cannot follow either conversation at all. Not sure if that extends to things like the radio or tv going while people are talking. The amount of selection at Costco was a bit much after a while today. I told my dad that before my surgery, if I didn't have a list, I would go into the store and be absolutely blank on what I needed. Shopping was super overwhelming. Today, I didn't have a list and I stuck to my budget exactly. Impressive for Costco on a regular day.
- Drawing is a little unfocused on where to start and finding the order that is most efficient for building a picture. I am seeing things better than I was pre surgery, so that encourages me. I just need to sit still long enough to actually draw. It does help with the processing part, so I know I will return soon enough.
To read the whole story of my Meningioma click here.