So how’m I doing in my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want?
I had a sneaking suspicion that my great plans for a blitz of writing productivity après surgery might be just a tad over-ambitious.
It turns out that convalescing is a lot of work.
Pain (I do not like it)
First, there’s pain management.
This mostly involves regular doses of Percocet (or, to be more precise, Endocet, which, it was revealed in a simple Google query, is in fact the “generic” version of Percocet, made by the same manufacturer in a sneaky maneuver to retain market share after their initial patent expired).
Two pills every 4 to 6 hours was not nearly enough in the first 24 hours after surgery, since the pain was waking me up every 2 hours. But Mom pointed out today that I’m now going 4 or 5 hours between pain alarm clock calls. So, improvement!
Percocet/Endocet really does help minimize (if not eliminate) the pain. However, it comes with a cost: extreme dopiness. I’m sure there are people who would pay good money for this drugged-out feeling (did I mention this drug contains a narcotic and is a federally controlled substance?) Me, I really prefer having maximum control of my mind and faculties.
Not happening right now. All fantasies of spending my days in bed writing reams and reams of blog posts have yet to materialize. Mostly, I’m lucky if I’m awake.
But all of you concerned for my well-being, rest assured that I’m allowing myself to enjoy my little “vacation.”
The Work of Resting
Then there’s the the Kodiak cold therapy machine, which requires restocking with ice-slush every 6 to 8 hours (this is where the minions come in very handy, since I’m not quite up to shlepping a 6-pack-sized cooler over to the sink on my own).
And most impressive, the Continuous Passive Motion machine, or CPM.
I’m strapped into this rather torturous-looking device as I type this, and it slowly bends and straightens my knee to the precise angle I specify. (Currently 50 degrees; I’m supposed to increase the angle by 5-10 degrees every day.)
The doc originally said to spend 6 hours a day in this contraption. Then the nurse at the hospital said 8 hours. Thankfully, I’ve been able to sleep in it, but I’ve also discovered that if I keep my leg out of it for any length of time, starting it up again really hurts.
So, another good reason to just give myself over to the full-time convalescent plan. Forget 6 hours, forget 8 hours; I’m just letting my leg be passively bent 24/7.
The biggest trip I’m taking these days
Except when I have to go to the bathroom.
Which, it turns out, is a bit of an ordeal: I have to unhook from the Kodiak (note: it’s very good to have a towel nearby to catch leaks), unstrap myself from the CPM, lift my leg up with one arm while sliding my awe-inspiring hinged Robo-Cop brace under my leg with my other arm (thank goodness I’m a yogini), then secure no fewer than 7 pieces of velcro.
All this (and none of it painlessly) before attempting to stand. Which also involves using upper body (mine and/or my minions) to lift and gently lower my leg to the ground as I swing and scoot my body around in preparation for standing up. (Which in itself creates a unique searing sensation in the incision site.)
Before any of the leg maneuvering, however, there is always furniture to move out of the way: tray tables with pill bottles, glasses of water, cell phone, etc.
What do people do who don’t have the benefit of minions?
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude
Can I just take a moment to state publicly: I love you Mom and Dad! Thank you soooooooo much!
And I should mention that all of the above proceedings are carefully watched over by Chloe, the nursemaid German Shepherd, who appears to be the most concerned for my well-being of anyone. She spent both nights post-surgery sleeping in the door to the guest room, ready to provide soothing licks and/or protection from intruders at a moment’s notice.
As far as following my Blisses and creating the life I really, really want, this week has felt a bit more “holding pattern” than “forging ahead,” but some weeks are like that.
Plus it’s always good to remember that, just like a seed germinating below the surface of the soil, profound changes and forward movement don’t have to be visible to be happening.
Which reminds me, stay tuned for some announcements and updates on the Thriving Artists Project and other endeavors. I’d fill you in now, but this post is already over 800 words, which is short for me, I know, but the Percocet is kicking in again, so I’ll have to keep you in suspense until I have full control over my faculties once more.
Have a great week!