An Emotional time
I was able to FaceTime my kids today, the first time since before I went to hospital. It was wonderful to speak again, although a little tearful at times for me in any case. We were all relieved that the critical stuff was over as the last time we had really connected in any way was when I sent both of them my pre-op emails and the just in case “farewells.”
I explained before that I hesitated about sending those notes but knew I would resent it and perhaps they wouldn’t have forgiven me if I hadn’t.
It is always amazing how any major personal event reminds you of what is really important in life and where your priorities really are.
I also called my folks and brother back in England and we had an excited and long conversation. Naturally they had so many questions and it was great to be talking again.
By the time I had showered and tried a short walk, I was exhausted. A real emotional roller coaster day.
You’re always tempted
Being back at home in a familiar environment with your own things around you is wonderful, but the temptation I found right away, was to start doing the things I have always done as a result.
Just sitting in my favourite chair without hesitation, climbing the stairs, and reaching to the draw the curtains. Normal stuff until my body screams “no” and the resulting pain stops me dead in my tracks.
A regular routine?
I need a regular routine mentally and soon learned that it’s all about what is manageable within the pain that I can take. When I change position from seated to standing, when I walk and when I know I should to relieve the cramping in the leg where they took the grafts; I have to bring a mental focus to the movement and make everything a slow and measured process.
Any rotation of the vertical or horizontal axis of your pulls at that split breastbone and newly closed up rib cage.
Even the day to day stuff like using the toilet and showering is restricted. You have to shower so as not to immerse the incisions but you can’t bend so how do you wash your feet?! It shows how much we normally take fore-granted.
It takes your breath away...
Like being winded but not just for a few minutes, but more like 10-20 minutes at a time.
...and soon slows you down!
I have said this before, but it is incredible how many of these simple physical actions engage muscles and tendons in different places of your body to happen.
Breakfast was simple that day - coffee and toast and I was hungry!
A few bites in and this burning feeling started across my chest and it felt as though my chest incision was burning. I had a little panic thinking that I was having an allergic reaction or something and was mentally reading my heart to see if it was racing. I took painkillers and then tried to sleep and eventually everything settled down again.
The only safe way to sleep is to lie on your back so you don’t put any pressure on your chest. I have never been able to sleep on my back and have suffered in the past from insomnia. Needless to say, I’m not sleeping more than a couple of hours each night and the need to stay still for five to six hours makes my back cramp up.
So the cycle begins again the next day. Relief that the night is over but then the realization that the day ahead is going to be slow and limited.
This is going to take a long time...