Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Progress Report

It has now been over three weeks since the original surgery, two weeks since the second surgery. So, what's the progress???

I am no longer walking like an old lady or like someone who threw out their back, which is great because I was getting mildly tired of having to explain to people what was wrong with me. While I have obviously been fairly public about my surgery in this blog, I have not been very forthcoming with details at work, mainly because of my manager's attempts to get me to postpone/cancel my surgery because it was inconvienent for him. While I know that putting it out on the internet for all to see makes it available for even him to see, but I am only facebook friends with one person from work so it's not widely known. I am also easily annoyed when people state the obvious, particularly when you are physically incapable. For instance, back in 2001, I was on crutches for six weeks after my ACL reconstruction surgery. Week after week, I would have the same people come up to me and say, "You are still on crutches?" "Well, DUH!!!" I'm not carrying them around with me because I feel like my armpits haven't suffered enough yet. Or, back in 2008, when I had my hammer toe surgery and was a boot for a month. "Did you hurt your foot?" "Nope, just wanted to give my left calf muscles a rest." I think I did a fairly good job of answering people's questions and appreciating the sympathy, but I know I snapped at one person and feel mildly bad about that... would have felt worse it had been someone I actually liked.

I got the drains out last Thursday, probably should have blogged about that, but getting those things out was like heaven. I don't know if it was the mental or actually physical pain, but having them in my body made it difficult for me to walk, to stand up straight, and to get comfortable. The drains themselves were these eight inch white flexible contraptions that looked like a rubber covered cheese graters. When they come out, it was this really weird sliding feeling. I am pretty sure that the right one was wrapped around my bladder or something because I could feel it loop through my insides as it came out, a really weird feeling. The difference between having them in and out was night and day. I was able to sit, I was able to stand, I was even able to buckle my pants.

I have started working out!

Last Saturday, was my first debate tournament since November, and I was genuinely excited to be there. I had hopes of being chill and watching my kids compete, but that didn't happen. The tournament was at Stow High School, and if you don't know anything about Stow High School, think of your favorite airport terminal (besides CAK) and that's the building. I spent the better part of the day chasing after judges walking around in my typical speedwalk fashion. The problem with that building is that it's staircases are on the end of the hallways so going upstairs requires going down about a 100 yards to the staircase, up the stairs, 200 yards across the top floor looking for whoever and then down another flight of stairs to the 100 yard walk back to the library where I was stationed. For someone whose biggest exercise in 2 weeks had been walking up two flights of stairs, it was a lot of walking. For the last round (there are typically four), I opted to watch my "A" team debate, and after forty-five minutes of rest, I came out and felt like I had gotten hit by a MAC truck. Every muscle in my back was on fire. My mom wanted me to go to a holiday party with her that evening, but my body refused to let me off the couch. I guess I overdid it.

After recovering from that episode, I went to the gym for the first time in 3 weeks on Wednesday and walked about four miles on the treadmill. It wasn't really exciting, but it was something. Last night (Thursday), I set up the bike on the trainer and rode for an hour. I tried to work on cadence and isolated leg drills, but I found myself pretty tired, but it was good to feel like I was doing something, making forward progress.

The doctor has given me the okay to walk, to swim, to bike, but high impact stuff like running is out for the next month. I also think OTS (out of the saddle) on the bike is also out. I still have to wear a compression garment, but the tape is off the incision so I finally get to see what it looks like, not going to lie, not very good right now.

It should be said that I weighed myself after my workout on Wednesday, let's just say, BIG MISTAKE.

I also mark my daily progress by the pair of pants I can wear and if I can actually button the top button. Today's jeans are my normal nice jeans to wear to work on Fridays, haven't been in option in a month. I can button the top button but it's not comfortable. Hopefully, that will change by next Friday. It's a sign of progress as the swelling continues to go down, and I can start to see the muscles that reside in my abdomen.

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