Monday, November 21, 2011


The miners are still working on the the meantime, I've been doing my daily 1/10 mile walks up and down our deadend street. My highest count so far is five times in a 24-hour period. Folks this is torture for me because I am so used to coming home from work and hitting the gym for at least an hour a night...I love hard cardio workouts on the treadmill and stationary bike. We through in limited weight machines twice a week, which have really helped me build my upper body strength over the past year. That has been immensely helpful log rolling in and out of bed after this procedure...something I recommend doing for the rest of your life to relieve any back stress upon getting in and out of bed. I also love to swim and would do (wait, I will continue to do when I am up to it) at least one-half mile twice a week. So, these measely 1/10 mile jaunts really suck!! Believe me, though, they are about all I can do right now, so I am thankful for the gradual hill on our deadend street. I talked to a neighbor a couple of days ago and apologized for my appearence, especially the long, fluffy teal robe and medusa-like hairdo and his jovial response made my day..."That's what deadend streets are for."

Last night was a terrible night, filled with intense leg muscle pain and general right leg weakness. I did find out something interesting when I was reading my pain med bottle. The dosage is listed in two increments 5mg/325mg. The former listing indicating the narcotic element, the latter the acetaminophan dosage. I noticed this time around that the pain level, even after taking the pain med every 3 hours, was always hanging around a 3/4 level, something that did not happen last year. When I took a pain med last year the pain would be nearly wiped out for the duration of time between dosages. Since I weaned myself off pain meds last year at the earliest comfortable time, I still had about 12 or so left in the cabinet. And, voila, last years dosage of the same type med (Percocet) was 7.5mg/325mg. That answered my question as to why the pain was never truly at bay these past three days, especially at night. Remember when you had a fever as a kid? It would always spike in the evening and throughout the night...that's what's going on with the pain. So, we made a strategic decision last evening...we are using the higher dosage pain med for the 11:00 p.m. & 2:00 a.m. dosing. Trust made all the difference in the world. We do have a call in to the doctor's office to get the higher dosage pain meds from the pharm. Nothing yet...but at least I know I have a few nights of somewhat painfree sleep coming.

Let me say this about pain meds. I am actually a very anti-meds of any kind person. I won't even take headache meds until I am in a severe state. I do realize, however, that after a major surgery such as this pain meds are needed in order help your body (and mind) heal, so I do take them and am very grateful for them. I have never abused a drug of any kind in my life. Period. If you have, that's your business and has nothing to do with me...until you screw it for the rest of us. By abusing prescription meds and having a pain clinic on every corner who's willing to dole out oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. to relieve the slightest paper cut....this scenario puts the eye of scrutiny on ME. I actually felt weird even asking my husband to call for the higher dosage until he pointed out to me the three things listed on the discharge instruction that need to be called in immediately--the 101 fever, oozing/smelly incision discharge and NO RELIEF FROM PAIN.

Speaking of incisions...we took the plunge this morning and per instruction removed the bandage on the right side. My husband used some alcohol soaked gauze, as instructed by the wonderful nurse in the recovery room, to make the process easier. It still hurt like 100 bandages being removed from 100 blisters at the same time...with the adhesive parts on the blisters. As you can see, he did extend the incisions from last procedure, which he told me he was going to do during the pre-operative consult. But this year we noticed a lot of bruising, something that was non-existent last year. There were a couple of spots still oozing a little bit. Thankfully we have a lot of non-stick steripads and medical adhesive tape leftover from one of our cats who passed last year from mast cell cancer. Although you are instructed to NOT cover the area, we did not want the shirt or bedsheets sticking to the incision and pulling off the dermabond, so we are loosely covering it until it dries out a bit. I might get the courage up to remove the other side tonight. I can do my scream song.

Finally, there is something about also healing your spirit along with your mind and body. I strongly feel all three of those things have to work together for complete healing to take place. I can recommend a couple of cd's that I always have in my bedroom player. I turn them on very low before sleeping, not just during this whole recovery process, but throughout the year. This may be something that will help you. Maybe not. But, I just wanted to throw these in the mix in order to cover all the bases in case you need an extra boost during your own recovery from any surgery. Steve Halpern, Music for Healing
Steve Halpern, Effortless Relaxation

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