Ten days post-op, standing tall and ready to go home. As Mr Tucker said to me yesterday in pretty much any other scoliosis unit in the UK I'd be one day post-the-second-op. So in spite of the huge amount of pain and the various challenges during the past week's recovery at least I'm not back in HDU after a second anaesthetic and surgery. Phew!
I've been thinking about blogging a lot, picked up the netbook several times today, but each time I have been waylaid by endless messages/emails/posts etc. In spite of my reluctance to flood Facebook with surgery -related updates it is there that most of the interaction with friends is taking place. That's fine - and I know a lot of you have problems commenting on here (especially Firefox users apparently...) However - perhaps I should mention again one of the ultimate aims of this blog...
It wasn't one of the original reasons for blogging, but within a few posts I started to think that this might be a useful resource for others facing scoliosis surgery - whether for themselves, their partner, a child or a parent. I've been thinking of seeing if I can find a publisher, and gradually as the idea has evolved I think it would have far more value with the voices of those around me represented and echoed there too. Copying things across from FB is an option but less straightforward of course!
Please don't let that stop you commenting either - obviously if this plan goes ahead names will be changed, and in all probability further interviews carried out - for now please just carry on as normal. But if you use Firefox maybe consider downloading Chrome?! And please don't be shy of replying to my post just as if you were sat here with me!
Anyway - back to the blog itself. I'm also realising just how many "issues" I would like to explore in terms of the preparation given for surgery such as this, and the impact on the wider family and friends. I'd like to consider recovery times etc - and will do so as we go along. For now however I just want to capture something of what has happened over the last two difficult days.
I spoke to someone who was herself 9 weeks post-op just before my own surgery. She said that with hindsight she was better prepared for the pain than the emotions she experienced and I found that impossible to believe! Having suffered with anxiety and depression over the years, being something of a thinker and analyser, I could not foresee a situation I would not be prepared for emotionally. I expected to cry from the pain and to feel that no one understood me - wouldn't that be normal and as bad as it got?
Oh no - the past couple of days have revealed depths of emotion and confusion that I could never have forseen. Just like the pain it has been like entering a surreal universe that I never could have imagined even existed. To some extent the pain has been controllable - not however completely - but the emotional rollercoaster has been much more of a challenge.
Before surgery I was very concerned to be "at peace" with everyone and to ensure I had spoken to and caught up with everyone I'd not spoken to for a while with whom there may have been some understanding to be cleared up - a birthday forgotten perhaps. I guess that was natural and went along with the whole "what if I don't wake up?" scenario.
I don't think I had realised or expected the extent to which that would continue afterwards. I am ridiculously sensitive and ridiculously scared of upsetting or offending anyone. Not a great situation as with the best will in the world it's really difficult to be "nice" to everyone when you are suffering pain at a level of about 15 on a scale of 1 to 10! Any little thing upsets me - not surprising when each day I take maximum doses of dyhydrocodeine, morphine sulphate, paracetomal and diazepam. Is it the drugs or is it the pain? I just don't know - all I do know is on top of everything else I am spending lots of time stressing and worrying. And hey - I have just been advised that it would be good to reduce the doseage of diazepam! Oh for a large glass of wine! But that is something to look forward to once I am off the morphine :-)
So what else has been happening apart from the worrying? And what exactly have I been worrying about? Well - the astonishing news is that I can come home! There is nothing more to be done here - it is all about the rehab and recovery now. Rest, gentle exercise, rest, more gentle exercise, eating well, seeing friends, catching up on reading, writing, movies...
I have to be honest and say that I began this post 24 hours ago! The idea was to blog so that I could direct everyone to a central point for updates. As I have logged on each time however I have enjoyed a lovely chat with a friend online and so not progressed it. I'm going to draw a line and write lots of factual stuff in the morning (or the middle of the night if I wake up!) For now thanks again for being a part of the journey - lovely to have you there.
Lots of love