It has been a few days since I last updated what has been going on in my life. To be honest, it hasn’t been that exciting but I know some readers are probably starting to wonder how I’m doing so here’s my weekly update!
I continue to make gains as each day passes. The progress does not seem as rapid as they have over the first two weeks but Brandon keeps reminding me to look at last week and where I was compared to this week. This time last week, I was psyching myself up for the Relay for Life and only two days out of hospital.
In terms of activity, I have been working on building up my endurance. Yesterday, I was able to do a short walk around the neighbourhood. It may have only been around the block but I was happy with that. Although going for walks is difficult, my breathing always improves following the walk as well as the tightness around my incision. Gotta work on that fascial mobility!!
Some of the movements I still find difficult are:
1) Sitting up from a fully reclined position – it is easy if there are arm rests but if there aren’t I’m left to roll onto one side and then push up.
2) Standing in one spot – I seem to become winded extremely fast. I have used energy conservation strategies like using a shopping cart at the stores or leaning against posts or rails.
3) Moving from lying to sitting – I usually am light headed and need to wait 10 seconds before I stand up
4) Rolling to either side in bed – I predict this will be better in another week as my obliques continue to heal.
5) Sneezing and Laughing hard – I sneezed 1x last week and decided to try avoid it at all costs for the next few weeks. So when I feel a sneeze approaching, I put my finger under my nose and it stops it. It’s a good trick and it works! I learned about the neurophysiological response during my cardioresp course in physio school. Thanks Alice!
Activities I’ve been able to complete over the past week:
1) Go to the movie theatre – I saw Malificent and X-men. Yahoo, up next 22 Jump street (although I’m terrified of laughing too hard so I may have to give it another week).
2) Do small errands with Brandon – small grocery shops, banking
3) Have some friends over for a 2 hour visit
4) Go to a local Buskerfest downtown for 1 hour (with sitting breaks of course!)
5) Eat dinner with my family at the dinner table – up until last Sunday all my meals were eaten in a reclined position on the couch.
6) Watch my baseball team play a game
I’m not driving yet because I feel I am not strong enough to turn the wheel quickly should I have to avoid an accident. I also do not think I’m quick enough to check my blind spot. Next week Brandon returns to work so my driver will leave me. I should be a lot better by Monday to make short trips around town.
In terms of pain managment, I am still taking Extra Strength Tylenol. I am trying to decrease the dosage but the numbness surrounding my incision is starting to subside and I can feel more. There’s no point sitting in a lot of pain if you can take something to calm it down. I have to keep reminding myself about this because I don’t like to take a lot of medication.
This has been my sweet set up for the past week at home
My recovery couch has been priceless. I am SOOO happy we replaced our old couches before surgery. I have had countless naps on this couch. I don’t even know if I would have been able to even get off of our old couches due to the sagging factor.
When it comes to eating, I am doing well but I sometimes over-do it. This leads to a bloated and uncomfortable feeling in my intestines. I haven’t quite figured out when I’m full yet. I over did it with a stomach so it doesn’t surprise me that I continue to over do it without one. Haha. Over the next few days, I am going to work on eating less so I can avoid that feeling.
Two days ago, Brandon and I went to McDonalds. I ate a french fry wayyy too fast and was in trouble. When food gets ‘stuck’ in your esophagus it is not a pleasant feeling. It’s like a bolus of food is pressing on your trachea and it won’t go down. If you drink any liquid – it will further block things up. So you are left to just sit and endure, try walk it off or visit the rest room and try spit it back up. Sorry for the gross detail, but it is reality about life without a stomach. Usually spitting it up is the quickest and gives instant relief.
I have been lucky enough not to experience dumping syndrome yet. I also have been avoiding sugary foods. I really miss ice cream so I may give it a shot next week while at home and see what happens. I heard if you eat protein before sugary foods you may not get dumping. We’ll see. Worst comes to worst, I’ll give my body a good cleanse.
It is frustrating not to have enough energy to do what you want to do but that is all part of recovery. I have to keep reminding myself that I am only 3 weeks out and I had a major surgery.
So that about sums up my week. I hope you all have a fantastic upcoming weekend and Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there!