* This is the post where I lose all my readers. If you're squeamish, skip this post and please come back to visit tomorrow! *
I'm making baby steps in this whole post-car-accident surgery medical mess.
For instance, today I'm allowed to take my first shower!
(I've been bathing in a half inch of water in our bathtub up to this point and washing my hair one handed in the kitchen sink.)
It's all about baby steps …
Each small step is a milestone – minor to you, but huge to me.
Yesterday, I drove myself to the doctor. It was my first outing and, in reality, I was in no shape to be driving but I needed to get there – and I did.
My bandages were removed. My stitches will dissolve on their own, in time. They're covered with surgical glue so I can shower now.
My shoulder looks like this right now:
The electrodes were turned on yesterday and I have one, beginning, program they run on.
As time goes on, I will have multiple programs. Right now my body is still healing and sensitive from the surgery. I will be getting "tweaks" to the programs and the strength of them for probably a few months to come. (I think they told me I will be up and running 100% at the five month point … it will take awhile to get the full benefits of the system.)
I have incisions down my back where the wires were "tunneled" down, and around, to my abdomen. I have no photos of those to share with you. Some of you love science and medical stuff and WANT to see this stuff. Others of you definitely do not. I understand BOTH types of people!
The right side of my tummy looks like this:
My skin looks yellow in the above photo because it's stained from the iodine they used on me during surgery. Inside that tummy incision is a "pocket" my doctor made where the generator (little computer!) is. It tells the electrodes in my shoulder what to do. I can turn it on and off by using a little remote that goes right through my skin. Kind of like a TV remote … but smaller.
The technology is amazing!
This is the good news ….
The day prior to having the electrodes turned on, I took five pain pills to get through the day. Yesterday, with the electrodes working – I took only two! Keep in mind, today is only my sixth day post-surgery. Also, the electrodes don't help the surgical pain in my abdomen which has been significant. As I heal, I expect my need for pain medication to decrease even further.
I can't wait!
The very bad news?
It is going to take me weeks to do a "gradual step down" of all the steroids I had to be put on due to the allergic reaction/medical screw up that took place. The steroids make me feel like crap and I had hoped to be off them within a week. Instead, it will take another three full weeks to be "weaned" off them. (It's dangerous to stop taking them cold turkey, I guess.)
That means another three weeks of feeling like crap on them. Yes, it does make me angry that I'm going through this and shouldn't be. I do hope to hear that whoever's incompetence is responsible for my misery has been fired. I'd fire them personally if I could.
Sorry if I seem bitter, but I could have died due to the "mistake" made. I've been through a hell of a lot in the last four and a half years … I didn't need someone's incompetence to nearly kill me during a "safe" surgery.
Nothing like adding misery to the miserable!
Ok, off my soapbox ….
The other, not so great – but expected – piece of the puzzle is I have to be very sedentary for the next eight weeks. I knew it going in, but once I start feeling a bit better it's going to be really hard NOT to do stuff. The electrodes, the wires, the generator … they all need scar tissue to form around them to hold them perfectly in place. If I do more than I should do – they will become displaced. The last thing I need is to have another surgery to fix them.
So, I will have to find ways to entertain myself in sedentary ways for the next two months. No lifting, no exerting … not much of anything. I suppose I will get caught up on movies, and reading, and do my holiday shopping online this year.
Time will pass, and everything will get better.
When January rolls around, I hope to find an indoor pool and get back to my daily swims. I may upgrade my very old point and shoot camera in the next week or two so I can take some decent photos over the next two months. I'm not sure when I'll be cleared to use my DSLR again, but I know it's too heavy to use for quite awhile.
In the meantime, if you have favorite websites for shopping, good movies to suggest, great music I might be interested in, wonderful books you've loved – I'd love to hear about all of it.
Today is definitely better than yesterday –
Tomorrow, I know, will be even better.
© Twenty Four At Heart