When my doctors told me I would have to have major abdominal surgery, they warned me that the recovery would be very slow. Any of you who have had abdominal surgery know first-hand that this is true. I asked the doctors for an estimate of how long it might take, assuming of course no complications would take place, and they said about a month after leaving the hospital I would probably start to feel a whole lot better, though probably not 100% back to my usual self.
I think I've been in France too long because I seem to have adopted the snail's pace on the healing track.
My surgery was December 18th. Today is January 9th. That's 23 days, a week short of a month. And I'm still spending 98% of my time lying down.
I thought that by now, I'd have built up enough stamina to at least be able to walk across the street to the Franprix market and pick up a few groceries, or walk to the end of the street to the pharmacy. I didn't expect I'd be hopping buses or the metro all over town, or that I'd be up to having dinner out in a restaurant, but I thought at the very least I'd be fully mobile, albeit moving more slowly.
That has not proved to be the case. For whatever reason, in the past 7-8 days my abdominal muscles on the left side (where the scar starts, but not the side where they had to remove the kidney and tumor) have become even more painful than when I first got out of surgery in the hospital. And it's been a different sort of pain - instead of feeling like normal sore, post-op muscle pain, it's been more like a knife-sharp burning pain. It prevents me from standing up or sitting up straight, and the bad posture is wreaking havoc with my back which is already overtaxed from the surgery itself and from having to sleep only on my back for more than 3 weeks.
Consequently, I still can't do ANYTHING physical. If I walk across our small apartment once or twice, that's about all I can take before pain forces me to sit or preferably lie down. Now, I'm not an athletic person and it's not like I want to go out and run a marathon, but DANG, it sucks to feel like you can't do even the simplest things without wanting to collapse after only seconds. And the type of pain is such that I was really getting worried that something might be wrong internally -- such as the interior sutures tearing or an abscess, for instance -- even though my visible scar is really healing very nicely and I've had no fever to indicate infection.
Finally this week, I saw my doctor, who conferred with the surgeon, who arranged for me to have another high-res scan to check it out. And there was good news: no sign of any bleeding, rupture, abscess or infection. And as an added bonus the radiologist couldn't even see the blood clot, so all those shots 3x/day of blood thinners have been doing their job.
So now the doctors have to figure out some better pain meds for me to take. It seems clear that for whatever reason, my healing is going to be slower than expected, and in the meantime I shouldn't have to suffer this much pain on a daily basis. I'm waiting for some answers on this later today.
On the flip side, getting the level of pill-form blood thinners just right has been taking longer than expected as well. I had hoped the injections would have stopped at the beginning of the week, but the levels in my system weren't quite high enough, so the doctor decreed 3 more days. Then yesterday after another blood test (I am SO sick of needles, you have no idea) it seems my levels had actually dropped a little bit, so now I've got to continue injections through Monday (plus increase the dosage of the pills) and have another blood test to see if we're going in the right direction. At this point I'm no longer predicting when this will end but just praying it will be over with soon. My thighs are in pretty rough shape from all the shots, which now number well over 60 (the nurse told us to get some arnica gel from the pharmacy and it really does heal the bruising much faster).
I've never been a patient person when it comes to having a goal and wanting to make progress. But this is one time when there is literally nothing I can do to make things go any faster, other than to follow doctor's orders and to allow my body whatever ridiculously long time it needs to heal.
I'm sure there is some valuable "life lesson" for me in all this, about patience or not forcing something to happen, or whatever.
Screw that shit. I just want to go shopping. I'm missing the damn January soldes!