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28 January 2011 @ 07:50 pm
Doctor's Orders: Be Active  
I realized that I should pass on the instructions I received to be active so that you aren't all worrying that I'm overdoing it.

If you've never had surgery it might seem counter-intuitive, but you are supposed to be as active as you can at every stage of your recovery. For example, the morning after my heart surgery they had me stand up, turn around and sit on a chair for breakfast. By the next day I was going on a short walk. The bed rest patients used to get resulted in clotting and pneumonia, so the current philosophy is up and at 'em. I was told never to sit more than sixty minutes at a stretch during the day and I was quite active before I even left the hospital, even practicing stairs with the physical therapist.

What I can't do is bend, stretch my arms too far, turn or tilt my head, or lift over three pounds. I have a grabber thingie to help reach stuff when Dave isn't here and I do need for him to reach things for me when I cook unless we've already staged it--I may cut up veggies this weekend so when he's at work I will have all of them in reach. I wish my freezer was on the bottom so more would be in my direct reach, but oh well, this will have to do.

I have a special collar for showers but I haven't been that brave just yet. I did have a bad fall a couple of years ago in this particular bath tub so I won't be trying that unless Dave is right there.

I do take a nap during the day and get plenty of sleep at night, but I try to get up and walk around and do the things I'm allowed to do as much as I can. I need to cook for myself to make sure I get some good healthy food during my recovery. Dave has never been much of a cook. I need fiber and some calcium rich foods and while I did cook some things ahead and bought some good soups and things, I must cook the rest. I want to get some healthy food into Dave too because the stress he was under didn't help him make the best choices in these past few weeks. He's been such a sweetheart through all of this and I want to do something nice for him in return.

I'm supposed to be able to drive in about six weeks if all goes well so I'm highly motivated to get back on the road, since I could barely go anywhere before the surgery. I hope to get "over the hill" to visit my friends in the coming months as my mobility was limited to just a few miles, and even that was painful for me.

I will be glad to see the end of this collar by the time I'm allowed to have it off. It's designed to limit my motion and wow, it works really well. Even chewing food is difficult because my jaw motion is restricted. I must turn my whole torso to turn my head and this impairs my vision quite a bit. In the hospital bed I couldn't see anything right in front of me--I had to find my medication button by touch as well as my suction device and the lip balm I desperately needed at first. My lips felt like they came from the desert those first couple of days. I staged these vital things on my chest and abdomen so they'd be right there.

I had a bit of adventure in the hospital which I will relate when I feel better. I also have pictures. :)

Thank you all once again for your concern and support.
Warrior of Worrywarriorofworry on January 31st, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Good for you. I'm envious of your energy! Heal quickly.
Tapatitapati on January 31st, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
It's funny, my blood count went down a bit but I guess I'm so relieved to not have so much pain that I'm feeling more energetic. People tell me that I look better than I did before the surgery.
Warrior of Worrywarriorofworry on February 1st, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
I might actually get around to an entry on what's been going on with me - an emergency hospitalization and surgery. I am having so much trouble pulling myself back together. Surgery sucks.
Tapatitapati on February 3rd, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
It does take time to get over any surgery and get back to normal. Emergency abdominal surgeries are pretty hard because you didn't have advance preparation or warning.