It’s been a Tough Week
I didn’t think I’d be so physically incapacitated. Or put another way, sometimes it’s better not to have full knowledge of the consequences of major surgery, it can lead to pre and post-operative despondency. Having said that, it’s encouraging to be told by friends that I’m improving all the time, looking better, sounding better, moving better even though I don’t feel it.
I bruised my ribs the other day, trying to get dressed. What is usually a fundamental task, that of putting on a pair of pants, became problematic when, instead of sitting on the bed to do it, a place of relative safety, I decided to try and do it standing up. I slipped, lost my balance and fell to the floor, against the side of the bed, so to add to things, my ribs are in agony. It was the first time I had fallen without there being anyone around and it took me a few minutes to struggle back to my feet.
Added to that, yesterday I had to go to the Medicare office to process a wad of claims, the bus ride was lengthy and stressful, I almost fell trying to take my seat as the driver, not realising my condition, paid scant regard for my welfare and accelerated away as I lunged for a railing. I then stood in a queue for too long as I took my place in the brave new world of the department of human services.
I have what is generally known as “frozen shoulder”, it’s a disability emanating from the arm’s inactivity during my eight week hospital stay, I can barely move it in any sort of productive manner, I’m getting regular physiotherapy, which doubles as a reason for me to cry like a baby when treated by my physiotherapist. It’s painful, I am relieved that it doesn’t impinge my sleeping but it does affect what I do while I’m awake.
I am trapped in the revolving door of appointments, with doctors, physiotherapists, throat specialists (I have cancelled an appointment today with said specialist because I don’t need it confirmed that my vocal folds have been damaged but are compensating admirably, I already know that), ophthalmologists, surgeons, general practitioners, INR tests to measure my blood clotting rate following the DVT that I picked up in hospital, as a result of lying around not moving. I am now, sweet mercy, walking much better because I am practicing a lot, I have loaned my car to a friend, I’m not using it, so I walk lots of places, or catch the bus, or get driven by generous friends.
Speaking of generosity, my neighbour cleaned up our courtyard the other day, he trimmed the Bougainvillaea tree and put mulch down. He gave me the job of cutting branches into smaller, manageable sizes for recycling. I was barely up to the task. I felt useless. I didn’t have the strength or balance to keep at it. I wanted to help, which made my frustration even more pronounced. We are grateful for his efforts, we now have a liveable entertainment space outdoors. I should feel guilty that I didn’t contribute to the finished product but I can’t afford to allow those sorts of emotions dominate, otherwise these frustrations at not contributing would overwhelm me.
The before and after photo above does serve however, as a reminder of how far I’ve come. It’s not all hard.