Day 9 post-op. I'm recuperating after Day 8 post-op, which was a recovery from Day 7. As independent and strong as I felt on Monday, when Adrian went back to work and I was alone all day for the first time, yesterday was its opposite. I realize now how much time and energy every little action takes, and how limited my movements still are at this point. What felt charmingly zen-like to me on Monday as I made my way to and from the bathroom with great care and much time, yesterday felt like a prison sentence. Apparently in these post-World War II solid brick homes built in this quaint neighborhood in the Eastport section of Annapolis, there was no need to make bathroom doors big enough to fit a walker through. So I had to develop a strategy for navigating through the bathroom door from the first night I was here, no matter what my pain level or the fact that we had to leave the hospital before I was allowed more pain medication and late enough that the drug stores were closed.
Anyway, I spent yesterday recuperating from being so independent on Monday. I also realized I didn't think I could handle another day alone. (I did get a mercy visit from Candy, Adrian's nextdoor neighbor who made me lunch. Thank you.) So I asked Adrian to stay home with me today and tomorrow. I felt guilty about it, but honestly, I've done so much better today just having him here. We've spent countless hours watching episodes of The West Wing, he's doing my laundry, helped with my physical therapy, made sure I ate and was comfortable. Right now he's out getting my prescription for pain medication. The guy's an angel. So again, some advice to anyone contemplating this surgery (or probably any other major surgery), make sure you have someone lined up to help you as close to 24/7 as possible at least for the first two weeks. I think it really helps in the healing process to be able to relax, rest and be taken care of. I need to get back home, especially for Dylan, my 12 year old son. But I live in a townhouse with many stairs and no one to take care of me (at least as well as Adrian does). I want to make sure I'm completely ready before I take that on.
The healing process is actually pretty quick, probably because of a good balance of rest and physical therapy. I'll get my staples out on Friday by the home-visit physical therapist. (I HIGHLY recommend HomeCall in Maryland for this.) And every day I notice more mobility returning. I don't have to cringe and use my handy "leg-lifter" to get in and out of bed anymore. There is still quite a bit of pain (thus the pain meds) but I can feel it easing up. At 2 weeks post-op, which is Monday/Tuesday 1/26-27 (since I had my surgery late on Monday), I should be able to throw my walker to the side and use one crutch or cane for the next 3 or 4 weeks.
I asked my PT about driving today. Dr. Mont had said I'd be driving in 10 days, maybe 2 weeks because I have a manual transmission. She emphasized that I take short drives around a parking lot or a quiet street before venturing out on a highway. You want to know that you can safely and quickly react in any situation. There is the issue of the pain meds, but also the fact that it's difficult to lift my left foot off the ground, at this point anyway. I trust that if I continue with good care, PT and rest, I'll be able to drive sooner rather than later.
Rufus, my estranged husband, has been wonderful with Dylan, who seems to be doing well. And I have good friends who have sons the same age as Dylan, who are being so generous in helping to care for him. And these are busy women! But they've supported us through this as if we were all family, and I'm very grateful.