With all this talk of surgery and recovery you can imagine I’ve spent a good amount of time in the last month sitting around at home. As soon as I was cleared to start driving again the world seemed to open up to me. So why am I feeling housebound?
With most abdominal surgeries there is a period of time when it’s important to restrict the amount of lifting you do. With this one, the general rule of thumb is “if it hurts don’t do it.” That’s really not a good guideline for me. Those muscles are not in great shape to begin with. This isn’t my first abdominal surgery. (It’s my 5th.) The likelihood of complications, even this far out, is just a little higher than “normal”.
Pain and I have agreed to pretty much ignore each other as we go about our business. One of the things I’m learning is to allow myself to pay a little more attention to how things actually feel (as opposed to how they relatively feel.). On my 1-10 scale childbirth comes in at a high 7/low 8 and I can’t remember the last time I was below a 3 without serious medication. If I notice it hurts, I’ve already done way too much.
Secondly, I have this “daily life” thing that requires unusual lifting. Daily tasks that once I start, I can’t really stop. I sat down with my Doctor at my post-op appointment and talked to her about it. You see, I have Orion. If I go anywhere I have to lift his wheelchair in and out of the car. It’s an ultralight chair, but after you add the seating system in it still weighs a little over 35 lbs. That may not seem like much, but it’s not a straight lift. It’s up and then in.
“Oh NO.”, my Doctor says, “You can’t be doing that! This was major surgery. We did a lot in there and I don’t want you pulling stiches. Don’t even think about starting to try something like that until you’re at LEAST 6 weeks out.”
Then I mentioned the other “lift” that I might do. Orion is tiny. He weighs 97 pounds. He manages most of his transfers on his own. However, there is this transfer into the tub….. I watched my hispanic doctor turn white as a sheet. I have an appointment to see her again in 3 months. She might be willing to at least talk about it then.
So my schedule is interrupted by visits from Orion’s Dad, who comes by to give him a bath. I have freedom of movement, more or less, during the few hours Orion is off to his day program. But I’m still feeling housebound.
I can’t take Orion anywhere. I need to call on someone to get him to his doctors because I can’t load the chair in and out of the car. I can’t run off to the local afternoon farmers market, a trip he usually enjoys, for the same reason. I can’t take him to the hospital to visit his Godmother, who just had knee surgery. I can’t go anywhere all day on Saturday because there’s no day program on the weekend. Orion and I can’t even go to the movies because I can’t walk that far, much less push him.
Luckily I do have friends who are sympathetic. I have so much to be grateful for that way. I’m looking forward to a trip to the movies this week with a friend and Orion. I’ve got a dinner date planned (sushi is a soft food, right?) I’ve even been encouraged to make arrangements for Orion so I can spend a day sailing.
September is coming soon. I’ll still need a hand with Orion on the distances and rough terrain, but I’m sure my friends will come through there as well. The best cure for cabin fever – get out with a good friend.