Thursday, August 7, 2014

Post-Op Pushing It & Mind Control

2 weeks ago today I had surgery.  My neck was a wreck and after almost 3 years of "conservative" treatment I still had somewhat unbearable shooting arm pain. The surgery's official name is "Anterior Cervical Diskectomy (I have seen it with a "c" in disc and a "k" in disk and I don't know what is actually correct) and Fusion."

Now - I feel great, other than general post-op recovery slowing down and fatigue and all - my arm pain is pretty much completely resolved.  And my neck doesn't hurt so much (it's still what I would call "sore and achy" but mostly only at night when I'm tired and trying to turn over in the bed and have to use all those muscles. I stopped taking the pain medicine regularly over a week ago (about 5-6 days post-op?).  I only spent the one night in the hospital and pretty much everything went (and is going) 100% swimmingly.

These are my hitches:
1) I have to take *at least* 4 weeks off work. (Sounds nice, and the home part is - but the organizing my 370 open cases for which I'm solely responsible is tough.)
2) I am also restricted on exercise. This makes life difficult because my running partner (Hi, M!) and I are training for the Run Like a Diva Half Marathon in Peachtree City. On September 6.  Which is one month away from YESTERDAY.
3) I'm not so good at doing nothing.  Weird. I always kind of considered myself, if not truly lazy, at least the kind of "efficient" where you do as little as possible to reach whatever is your desired result. It's harder than I thought to be lazy, even when it is mandated.
4) I have very little voice.  No, really.  Me.  Overly chatty JJ. I sound like a little girl whispering in a super high voice when I speak.  Me.  (Interesting situation for a criminal defense trial lawyer.) Though not painful, it does make some things difficult, and I suppose it's pretty understandable as a side-effect.  After all, they cut a hole in your throat and shove your esophagus and your vocal chords/voice box all over to the side - You can see how there would be some hoarseness and general inflammation.
5) I haven't been able to drive.  For weeks.  I'm not used to that limitation on my independent movement away from the home.

All of these things irk me. Of course they are unavoidable and I'm not MAD about it or anything, it's just something that has led me to feel a little whiny.  NO one likes a whiner (See: )...

All of this leads me to my thoughts for the day.  I read this blog post: 21 days of not complaining (though totally exhausting) day yesterday, I realized that I hardly complained all day and that not complaining was such a relief. (I drove for the first time yesterday - that was one of my restrictions as well, and I completely overdid it, but in a very satisfying and soul-healing kind of way.) Also, I've noticed that one of my children has been VERY WHINY AND COMPLAIN-Y this last few days (and it's exhausting) - so I intend to do my best to control my thoughts here the next 3 weeks.  I'm putting on my bracelet right now.
My general rules:
I will try to control my thoughts (that control my words).  If I have a negative thought and resolve it with a solution (as in, I hate how my dishwasher leaves spots on everything...) but I can end that negative thought with a positive solution (...let me go google what I can do to solve that, perhaps I can ask Will to get some CLR or we can clean it or get a better rinsing agent....) then that is acceptable.

I will share this with my children and see if I can convince them to play my game.

General statements of fact (even if they are a sad fact) will not be considered complaining in acceptable contexts - for example when I go to the doctor, if he says "How are you feeling?" I can be honest with him about any pain, problems, etc. as long as I am not "whining" and not presenting it in a negative manner, but rather honestly seeking a solution.

Here's some good news:
- My StitchFix will be delivered today!
- I took a chance and ordered skinny jeans. In a smaller size than normal.
- Although I have not been able to eat as much and as properly as pre-surgery, I have lost 9 pounds as a result.
- I'm going to take a nap today.

Stay tuned for my StitchFix review in the next day or two!  If you missed the first one: StitchFix #1 review post

No comments:

Post a Comment