Friday, October 1, 2010

Recovery Days 3 – 8

Over a week has now passed since the surgery but it honestly feels like a lot longer. I have been home now for 6 days and am definitely getting cabin fever! As crazy as it sounds, I will be thrilled when I can get back to a normal routine and return to work.

The ride home from the hospital was a bit brutal. What should have been an hour and 45 minute trip ended up being a 3 hour and 30 minute trip due to accidents. Every bump in the road was quite painful. I was definitely happy to pull into my driveway!

My first task at home was trying to figure out where to stake my tent. I tried my bed and a couch before settling on a recliner in my living room. This would become my home for the next 3 days. Lying flat felt like it was stretching the incisions which wasn’t comfortable and sitting up straight was definitely not comfortable but the recliner actually felt pretty good. After three days, I did a test run on the couch to see how I would do lying flat all night. I woke up a little more sore than when on the recliner but considered it good enough to graduate to my bed the last two nights! That has been a welcome change!

I stayed on the heavy duty pain meds for the first two days and then dropped them for just a couple of Tylenol in the morning and at night. One of the key obstacles I had to pass before I am released to drive is being off of the prescription pain meds for at least 3 days so I wanted to kick them as quickly as possible. I have really found the incision pain to be quite bearable with just Tylenol.

Sleeping has been a small challenge. The pain meds or Tylenol PM have been enough to get me to sleep pretty quickly but not enough to keep me asleep all night. I have found that I wake up often and it isn’t always easy to get back to sleep. I have been trying to stay in bed for 10+ hours to ensure I am getting enough down time. That combined with a nap or two throughout the day has really helped me keep my energy level up.

Eating has been one of the hardest things for me. I simply have not had any appetite for food. In just 9 days since surgery, I have lost another 5 pounds! I knew I needed to start forcing myself to eat and slowly but surely I have returned to my normal eating habits. I still don’t have much of an appetite but at least I can force down enough calories!

On Monday I started to work some from home. I was hoping to be able to go into the office some this week but ruled that out. Each day I have been trying to spend a little more time working and a little less time resting to build up to return to work next week. One unusual hurdle I have faced is a lack of concentration. The pain meds are no longer in my system so I can’t blame it on them. I feel a little better knowing that it is not just me - Candi is having the same issue.  Fortunately this lack of concentration has dissipated each day.

So where does this leave me? I am feeling pretty good right now. I can now sit at my desk for a pretty good chunk of the day while taking only minimal breaks. My brain is starting to function better and I am becoming more productive. The incision pain has decreased substantially. Coughing and getting up from a low position are still quite painful but most of the day the pain is minimal. The pain does increase as the day goes on and I am still worn out by the end of the day. But when I look back at the progress that I have made over the past 9 days, I can’t help but feel good about my recovery and expect that I will be 100% before long! Thanks again for all of your prayers, well wishes, flowers, and endless baskets of fruit (newly learned fact - many people assume that guys won't appreciate flowers so they send fruit baskets instead - I have a lot of fruit)!

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