Friday, June 14, 2013

Post op Day 35…a few days late…

It's hard to believe that it has already been five weeks. Things are continuing to go well. I have very little pain most of time, but occasionally it creeps up to a level 1 or 2. Even still, I haven't had to use anything for pain in over a week. My Percocet bottle is still mostly full and I'm sure my stomach is happy to have a break from all that Ibuprofen. When I do have pain, I've noticed it's because I've moved a certain way or have been on my feet for a long period of time.

We had a garage sale on Saturday and I had been on my feet on and off for about 8 hours. The pain did make an appearance that night, although it wasn't too bad. It makes me nervous about going back to my 12 hour shifts with little rest periods as a nurse. Before the surgery Catherine the NP at SDSM had mentioned that it would be really tough to bounce back, and that six weeks may be a bit unrealistic. She is probably right. I also do a lot of moving heavy patients numbed with epidurals, pivoting patients to wheelchairs whose legs may still be a little numb, and pushing hospital beds or stretchers. I will have to talk to Dr G about what he thinks is the right thing to do. I've come too far with recovery, unpaid time off work, and paying for the surgery out of pocket to do anything to risk messing up. In the mean time I'm trying to increase the speed, duration, and number of walks to increase my endurance.

Dr. Goldstein assured me everything looks great based on pictures. It looks like quite a few stitches have dissolved. A few times I've noticed a stitch on the toilet paper after wiping which kind of makes my heart sink. I always pray that they are just dissolving and I didn't pop one out! Even with those stitches out it's still pretty itchy. The ice still works well during the day to alleviate the annoyance – I find myself using it at least 50% of the day. It seems to be a little worse at night so I'm still loving that Vistaril. Due to scheduling difficulties I had my 6 week appointment with Dr. Hartzell via phone a few days early. Honestly as nice as she is her appointments are what stresses me out the most. I'm just not comfortable talking about my feelings. Thankfully, I think the therapy thing is much easier over the phone. She said everything seems to be going well, but is nervous about me returning to work. Chances are I'll end up with a longer recovery than I first anticipated, but we'll find out for sure soon.

My donut pillow is still one of my best friends; I take it pretty much everywhere. I can sit without it unless I'm sitting straight up on a hard surface or if I'm using an ice pack. Rather than shell out the money for a real one, my husband cut the center square out of a cheap kitchen chair cushion and I sewed the material shut. It works well for me with plenty of room for ice. It sounds a bit ghetto but works perfectly and was a fraction of the price! In fact, I like it better than the foam one from Walgreens that my mother in law has :)

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