The Update

My one-month post-op appointment with Dr. Steppacher was last Monday. He pushed all around on my incision and told me things looked good. (But that one of the little knots was going to pop through my skin and need to be stitched up again. And that painful lump at the top of my incision will be there for a good six months.)

I told him the surgery was a success: I tested my stomach with some carnitas from Sonora Grill and a slice of greasy pizza. He was impressed, but told me to be careful and ease into things slowly. And then he lectured me on eating a balanced diet. He is funny.

I should have written an update right then, before I got hurt. I overdid it that day and spent the next few days (and nights) in pain. I wasn't feeling very positive about things . . . probably lost six or seven days of recovery. But, I suppose I learned my lesson.

So I'd like to say that I'm feeling wonderful, but I'm not. (And I'm not sure when I will.) It can be frustrating. Because although I am out and about a bit, most physical activity comes with a cost. Going to church on Sunday meant that I spent a couple hours laying in bed that evening. Folding and putting away the laundry means that I need to sit down a take a break for a while. But I have enjoyed reading, organizing photos, and even practicing the piano. I spent the afternoon reading books with Adam while Kaleigh napped. Slowing down can be good.

The eating is fabulous. On Thursday night, I had my first piece of bacon. Rachel and Lucy's response was automatic, "Mom! You can't eat bacon!" But it looks like I can! I had a sirloin steak on Saturday night and some delicious filet mignon tonight. (So much for a slow transition.) It is amazing. I haven't had any stomach problems in the last two weeks. I'm starting to gain weight and warned Steve to get ready for forty pounds.

I feel like I understand a little of what Steve felt after his surgery when he had cancer. Everyone kept asking him when he was going to go back out on his mission, but he didn't feel well enough. There are still days that I would rather not get out of bed. (If I didn't have kids to take care of, I wouldn't.) And I wonder when I will ever feel well enough to swing my kids by their arms, spinning around in circles. But I have much to be happy about.

Like how well my incision has healed.

Quite remarkable, don't you think?

I suppose my theory on recovering was a little off. I assumed that because I was young, I would recover much faster than the seventy-five-year-olds who Dr. Steppacher usually operates on. But now, I am thinking that if I were seventy-five, I would probably be fairly satisfied with my current level of recovery. It is because I am younger and more active that I have so much further to go to return to my normal level activity. Does that make any sense?

I had big plans to accomplish all sorts of amazing things during my recovery. I was going to organize my office, scan all of my documents and photos, and write thank you cards to all of the wonderful people who have done so many nice things for me. I envisioned having lots of time to go to movies with Steve while our kids were gone and accomplishing projects around the house. But my office is messier than ever, the stack of papers on my desk is a good thirty inches tall, photos are still unorganized, and thank you cards have yet to be written. And there was not one night that I felt up to going to a movie.

Today's household accomplishments were limited to two loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, and cleaning the microwave- that's all. But it will come. I will get caught up on things. And life will be so much better without my stomach problems. Hooray for modern medical technology!


Stephanie said...

I am the world's worst scar patient. I scratch myself and scar. You scar looks amazing. Mine wouldn't be a nice small line, mine would look like a fat ungly worm, brown and everything. I think you're the only woman on this earth that wants to gain weight:) And with all that yummy food, who can blame you?!

cathy said...

yeah, your scar does look a lot better-stay strong-which you obviously are-

Jenny said...

You'll get there, and then you will be unstoppable :). Your scar does look awesome, not nearly as impressive as I thought it would turn out.

Lori said...

i'm sure its a frustrating recovery process. sending good vibes your way.

yay for food !

Molly said...

oh you poor thing. i would be THE worst at slowing down and not over doing it. hang in there. glad you can eat and enjoy some of the yummy things in life again. let me know when you are ready for an adventure and we will make it happen.

Joanie said...

I can imagine how great it feels to be able to eat without a fear of pain. I struggled when I was gestational diabetic but I knew there would be an end to it. I'm so glad you found an end! By the way, I think I found the cause of my stomach problems: broccoli. Weird, but I'm pretty sure that was it. The body is very complicated.

The Ballard's said...

This is all good stuff to have documented. I have to laugh about you thinking of all the things you were going to do while recovering...I guess even with as smart as you are, you don't understand the meaning of R.e.C.oVE.ry!! Good luck, as soon as you get better it will be summer and I NEED you back!