Slowly Recovering But Still Have a Long Way to Go
Sunday, July 07, 2013
It's been four weeks since my surgery and I'm still recovering. I've had several operations in my lifetime, but this one is by far the hardest and longest recovery time of any I've had. It is definitely the most challenging and humbling situation I've dealt with after any surgery I've had.
I'm frustrated by the swelling in my abdomen (which is very normal) because I can't wear any of the clothes that I wore the day before my surgery, so my wardrobe is very limited. If I walk around too much the swelling gets worse and the pain increases, but I try to keep doing it anyway although the results are not what you normally expect after exercising.
I don't get the good endorphins that you normally get, I just get more pain and swelling, so that is frustrating. I know it's not fat or weight because I have lost a few pounds after this surgery although I put on a few that I lost in the beginning because I went without eating for several days. I was down to 116 pounds at one point, but now I'm at 119, which is less than what I was before the surgery.
The crazy thing though was all the water weight I had (from all the iv fluids I had pumped in me) and I blew up to 131 pounds from that. In other words, I gained 10 pounds of water weight after the surgery. My feet were so swollen as was my entire body. Once the catheter was out and I was able to go on my own and the iv taken out, my weight dropped to 116 a few days after I was home.
I know it's just swelling and not weight in my abdomen , but from what I have read online, it takes months for it to disappear so I suppose I will have a very limited wardrobe for quite awhile. Luckily I had my "fat" clothes in storage, which actually were clothes that were a size or two larger than my size I was wearing before this surgery. I hate It though because they are not flattering at all because they are too big every where except my swollen abdomen area.
I'm able to do a little more than I was after my surgery, so I see some progress, but the amount of time it takes to recover from this is not helping my patience. I realize I have to take care of myself right now and take it easy without taking it too easy, but the fine line where that's at is hard to figure out sometimes.
I went grocery shopping at two stores yesterday so that I could finally use my coupons again before they expired (two stores that double coupons). I had my husband with me so he could push the buggy and lift heavy items into it as well as put the heavy bags in and out of the car. I prepared before we left so that I wouldn't be standing up any more than necessary and I wouldn't be frustrated by not being able to find the coupons I was looking for.
Let's just say it was an eye-opening experience for us both. My husband now sees how much effort and work goes into shopping for deals with coupons, and I realized how exhausting and painful it is to walk up and down grocery isles after a major surgery, LOL.
He was great though and didn't complain too much, but instead of me telling him about my great deals, he actually got to see them in action! :-) Of course since I had him with me I didn't get a fantastic amount of money off since h put extra things in the buggy, but I managed to save $30 some dollars off (after coupons) on a $60 worth of groceries, which is great considering my condition and the limitations I'm under.
I'm going to take it easy today and not walk around too much after my exhausting excursion yesterday because by the time I got home I was almost in tears from how bad I felt (looked like I was 5 months pregnant by this point) including pain on the sides of my incision and the back spasms that wouldn't quit.
I've been taking a muscle relaxer at night to take care of the back spasms that I've had from almost the beginning of this journey and I know that's because I'm not able to use my abdominal muscles very much so my poor back is giving me a fit.
I think the lack of energy is another thing that is difficult for me because normally I am a get up and go type of person and I am not able to do anything near what I used to do before this surgery. I keep reading that recovery for the actual surgery is around 6-8 weeks and that the actual healing inside takes 6 months to 1 year, so I suppose I have to be patient.
Normal will be a long ways off, but I am trying to do a little bit of normal. We went to see the fireworks on 4th of July in a nearby town, but instead of taking chairs and walking to a good spot, we stayed in the car so I didn't have to walk around in the rain. There was no way I could walk fast or run and it rained so much that I didn't even feel safe walking slowly on the slippery streets.