Crazy as a Loom

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting better

Every time I click on my blog, and see the header, I smile.
I love that quote, that someone (one of YOU) emailed to me.  I loved it so much, I put it up there, and I am touched with it each and every time I read it.
Though I must add, that right now, my life is not very wild, but ah, it is 'oh, so precious'.

Let me tell you about my 'recovery'.
The first week, I didn't move around much.  It hurt so bad.  What on earth did they do to me for 6 hours?  Good God.
When someone called me, and asked if the headache was gone, I could only smile weakly, and mumble, "uh, not really."
Apparently, routing out the monster was tough work, and the aftermath isn't easy.  The headache I have now, is different, it moves around, it comes and goes, it is more post traumatic, than evil demon.
They say I will have headaches for weeks, before finally, everything settles.
My neck is stiff, it feels like someone has poured cement down the back of my neck.   I can turn side to side, a bit more than I expected.  But if I want to look at the stars, I will have to pretend I am 9, and lie down in the grass.  I will start Physical Therapy at 4-6 weeks post op, and will probably be doing it for months.
Looking down in front of me is impossible.  Eating is an event.   I pull a regular chair up to the island in the kitchen, so that my plate is nearer my face.  Otherwise, eating is too painful.

And my jaw has been impacted, somehow.  I can't open my mouth wide enough for some things, and chewing makes my jaws so tired, I have to take breaks.  Or eat less. Jello, mashed potatoes, soup, ice cream........oh, how sweet.  A sandwich is a job.  I eat it, but it takes longer.  Forced, finally in life, to eat slowly, savor every mouthful.  Ironic, it seems.

 I am 10 lbs lighter than when I started this journey.  Helluva diet, though.  I do not recommend it.

The back of my head is still on fire, so ice packs are my friends.  Sometimes, there is no pillow soft enough to lay my head down.  That's tough.  I swapped out the Percocet for Tylenol, and the Valium for Flexeril, as soon as I got home.  I am anti narcotic drugs.  I opted for more pain, and less feeling like a zombie.
Every day, I nap.  ME..........a NO NAPPER EVER.
Yes, it's true.  Sometimes a half an hour, sometimes an hour, but I fall asleep like I haven't slept for a day.
Every day, I walk, no, not alone.  At first it was 4 houses down the street and 4 houses back, then to the end of the street, and then around the block, and then around two blocks.
And then, DH drove me to the bike bath, and we walked along the river.  Sweet Roy looked up at me, as if to say, "are we normal yet?"

I have been to the studio twice, since the 27th of August.   The first time, I did too much.  I was only there for two hours, but I didn't stop to rest my head and neck.  I paid for it with neck spasms and more pain.  Stayed home the next two days.  Yesterday I went back, for two hours more, only this time, I took the pillow that L offered.  I made myself comfortable, and sat.  It was better.  And just being there made me feel hopeful.  Positive.  Myself.

I have not driven yet.  I probably could.  The truth is I am hesitant.  Almost ready.  I am listening.
I read a lot.

I am beginning to slowly realize, how impacted I was by HH, or "the monster" over the last 11 months.
I didn't know.  Much, I imagine, like any depressed person doesn't realize that they are depressed.  They "tell" themselves that everyone is full of baloney, 'imagining' it.

I look back now, and know that the anguish, the frustration, and yes, the depression, was inching up on me so deviously, that I really didn't know that it was there.  I only knew that something was SO wrong.  But like having your nose up to the glass, you can't really see.

I do know that towards the end, for at least a month, maybe more, I cried all the time.  Anything, and everything, brought me to tears. It was like a fountain of never ending tears.  But it never helped.

I also realized that the cough I woke up with every morning for the last 10 months, was gone.  I wonder, how many ways did the increased pressure in my brain affect me, that I wasn't even aware of.

I apologized to DH the other day, in Hannaford.  It was my first grocery shopping experience since the surgery, but wearing the rigid collar on all outings, prevented me from seeing things on the bottom shelves.  He was helping me, grabbing things as I directed.
While I am not tearful of late, suddenly I was, and  I took his arm, and said, "I am so sorry for how mean I have been to you sometimes, over the last several months."
I didn't know I was going to say that.  It just came out. It was the truth.  I have at times been short, and bitchy.   He has tried to to understand, and he has put up with me.

He hugged me then, right in front of the stacks of tuna.   We just stood there, hugging, two older people, realizing many things, and grateful for them all.
We must have been a sight, but honestly, it was the best hug I have had in a while.

I think that's when I let go of the monster, for real.


Country Gal said...

I am soo glad your getting better , one step at a time bit by bit , hey Rome wasn't built in day now was it ? Each day you will get stronger and stronger just give it time don't push yourself let your body rest and recover ! Hope your day is a good one !

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I am so happy to read you are making progress, albeit a long, slow journey, painful and energy-zapping. In the end, it will be worth every ounce of effort you have afforded yourself, to be free from the headaches.
I can relate to your dilemas having undergone a surgery and months of recovering, and leaning on my DH for even the smallest of tasks.
Together we will prevail my sweet friend :)
Hugs to you,

Connie in Hartwood said...

What a story of self realization and hope!!! Between your dear husband, sweet Roy, and the rest of your family, you will get better and you will be yourself again ... whoever that will be.

Susan said...

Dearest Hilary, reading your post brings out such feeling in me for what you're going through right now. My relating to you is that my "monster" has been with losing my daughter. I don't want to take anything away from your experience, just know I'm one of many who love to hear your progress and know that time will ease the pain. Love, XOXO

ain't for city gals said...

Sometimes I do not think they tell you how difficult recovery is going to be because few would go through with a difficult surgery...and make no mistake about it...this was a difficult and extensive surgery! I hesitated to say anything because I did not want to be negative in the least before the surgery but it is tough, tough and more tough! But it will be so worth it in the end. My niece had surgery for thryroid cancer...of course it was absolutely necessary..she had it done at Mayo clinic..the doctor saved her life and your doctor probably saved yours but they should prepare you a bit more of what is in store in recovery. Don't push things...let everything heal...everything else can wait. So glad your husband has been your soft place to fall..a new joyous life awaits you both!

Rita said...

Now you made ME cry! This was beautiful and heartfelt. Take it slow and easy. It was a major surgery. Things will slowly get better and better. :):)

Lee Anna said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better - it sounds like a long road, but better than the one you have travelled in the last year. So glad for you!
Lee Anna

re'New said...

I am so glad you have that someone to hug you. I would think that would make things SO much easier... I know I crave to have someone just give me a hug :)

Peg Cherre said...

I am so glad you are getting better. So glad you are taking it slow. So glad you have such a wonderful family.

And, I must admit, a bit surprised. I assume nurses want to control pain. No, I'm not saying you should take anything you're not comfortable with, nor am I trying to tell you what you 'should' do. I do, however, believe that small amounts of pain killers - enough to take the edge off but not enough to make you a zombie - could make a marked improvement in the current quality of your life. I'm just saying....

It is, of course, YOUR life, and YOUR decisions must rule. I trust your judgement about what is best for YOU. Just ask that you think about it again.

Hilary said...

Awww you.. you made me cry.

Keep on healing.. in every way that you can.

Cupcake Murphy said...

I'm so glad you have Roy.

The Cat Guy said...

Glad the journey is toward healing now. That hug in Hannaford sure sounded wonderful, I'm thankful you had that precious moment.

ladyoftheloom said...

I am so glad that you are inching toward recovery. Nap when Roy naps? Like when you have a new baby? Maybe your new life is your new baby.
Hugs, Alice
PS if I were near I would help you walk Roy he looks so cool on a leash.

Country Girl said...

I loved your story at the Hannaford in the tuna fish aisle.
And whenever I eat tuna fish again, I will think of you.

And smile.

messymimi said...

The concern in Roy's eyes is so easy to see; i'm glad you are getting better, and he is, too.

Donna S. said...

Glad things are going okay. Give yourself time to heal. Try not to get impatient

Anonymous said...

You husband must be elated to be getting his sweetheart back. :-)))). How wonderful!

Deb said...

Life is full of wonderful moments. I'm so happy to know you are progressing each day. Hugs to you, Deb

Need A Latte Mom said...

BIG gentle hugs.

claudia said...

I am so very happy that you are on the mend...slowly but will heal.
You made me cry again. It is just a feeling I get when I read what you are writing. Your husband is such a pillar of strength. You are such a pillar of strength. Roy is fantastic. That look in the picture. He is such a love!
Keep up the good work!

Sweetpea said...

Stopping by to check in on you, Hilary...I'm sorry that the recovery road is so dang tough. Crikey, you need a BREAK. Lovely to have Roy-boy so close at hand & lovelier still to create memories in the tuna aisle with your dear one...

Loomatic said...

I am so glad to hear you are on the mend.

When I was much younger I had my upper back fused. It was months before I stopped taking know your body is just healing itself.

Picking things up and bending over became a bit different for me...but you will figure out what works for you and then it will become second nature to you.

Time and patience and that loving family you have been blessed with will be all you need to get through the next few months.

How are the cats taking you being away so much? I imagine they miss you a lot.

Karen said...

It's a beautiful thing.

The hug and the letting go, not the dang recovery. But thank God there is a recovery.

I thought of you last night, Hilary, sent up a silent offering of peace and healing for you as I floated along the Lieutenant river.

MarthaVA said...

Dearest Hillary, you sound SO different.
It's easy to slip into the awful place of depression and anger and unhappiness, thinking we have it under control. Looking back and realizing we didn't, always takes us to that place of being humbled by it all.
You're doing GREAT! Don't fight the naps. Keep finding solutions that work for you. Hang in there, we're all here rooting for you and I, for one, keep checking Blog every day to see if you've posted and how you're doing.
You're strong, and brave, and now you'll be fine.

DJan said...

I am the same way about narcotics. But I am willing to take one now and then when the other stuff doesn't work well enough. You are very smart to be napping as you heal from the trauma of that surgery. You are on my mind, and every time I see a new post from you, I smile and am encouraged. Hugs anywhere at all are good for you! And I love that picture of Roy.

Dianne said...

Roy is a good companion with a sweet sweet face

I so admire how disciplined you are about walking
and how you keep your wonderful sense of humor

gentle ones

Suzanne said...

Wow, what a journey you're on and I'm so glad that you have so much love and support along the way. And so glad that you have the love and support from Roy and DH too. :-)

Daryl said...

you just made me cry ... i am so glad you've let go ...

Shiralyn said...

I am so glad that this is behind you and in the future you can be anything you want to be. DH sounds so sweet and you two made me cry. Sure glad I didn't see you in the market, I would have made a fool of myself. Prayers for your continued good progress.

Cait Throop said...

Ahhhh...the letting go. Aren't we lucky to have caring husbands! Rest is so important to healing...remember to take it easy on yourself! It's funny, I got to the hug by the tuna cans and took a really deep breath. Nice. You've been on my mind lately.

Leslie said...

It sounds like, between the physical necessity of the surgery and the spiritual necessity of love, you've got all your bases covered.
Best wishes for a steady recovery! :)

Sharon said...

When we have partners, the journey isn't a solo one. What a sweet thing to realize - you've both had medical trauma in the last couple of years. Healing has many levels.

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Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts