Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Six Month Check Up

Hi everyone,

I've just re-read my last post where I said that I would blog again in a couple of weeks. Ooops - that was the middle of May and here we are at the end of July. I am sorry, doesn't time fly when you are having fun.....?

Joking apart, the last couple of months have been eventful and it feels only right to update those of you that I haven't been in touch with. The most significant event probably was going to see a pain management specialist. This was suggested by Amy, my wonderful physiotherapist, and thanks to my private medical insurance I was able to see him within a matter of days.

Doctor Berman took a full history, examined me, and was very reassuring. Just to hear someone agree that you have been through a massive surgery and are bound to be in a lot of pain makes a tremendous difference. He gave us an hour of his time and laid out the options, of which there were many. The first thing to try was a daily dose of amitryptiline and to date this has proven to be effective. It took a few weeks to kick in but it now takes the edge of the pain and also seems to make other painkillers such as paracetamol more effective. It also helps to ensure a decent nights sleep.

It's not without its side effects of course - fluid retention and a dry mouth being the most obvious. but at present they seem a smallish price to pay for some relief and compared to the last post the pain is much more manageable.

I saw Mr Tucker yesterday for my six month check up and he is clearly delighted with the results of his handiwork! The scar is healing and fading well, I have a reasonable amount of flexibility in my back (still can't touch my toes though!), and the correction is very good. I was explaining to him how I used to look for clothes in the petite department as I was so short waisted, the gap from my bra to my belt was practically non existent. Now it is a real novelty to have a waist and yesterday I brought a dress which I shall belt to emphasise this!

He went on to say that the conversations he has with teenagers about this surgery are completely different from those he has with adults. He then went so far as to say that having this done at 50 is completely different from having this done at 40! He made no secret of just how tough it is in a way that he wouldn't have done pre-surgery. He seemed to be congratulating me on toughing it out.

We skimmed over the pain issue somewhat - in some ways I hate to raise the subject as in every other respect the surgery was successful and it seems churlish to be complaining! However there are days when I want to scream and shout or thump something because I have simply had enough of it. The answer of course is to stay calm and take a painkiller, and it has to be said the post op pain responds more readily to these than the pain before the surgery ever did. Mr Tucker expects there to be an improvement in the pain as he feels it is still "early days" after such massive surgery!

I plan to return to work on 1st September and of course I am looking forward to seeing everyone again - though I have tried to visit the office on a weekly basis so that the first day/week back is not too overwhelming and emotional. When I take the train into town I am always reminded that it isn't going to be easy but as with everything else it's about taking one day at a time.

If you'd like to see the journey in pictures here's a link to a few - enjoy!

That's enough rambling for now - thanks if you have been reading this and for all your continued support and prayers.

Linda xxx

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