Hello all! This is my 4-week post-op surgery update. Where to start? I am still experiencing some “burning” and tightness in my pelvic region muscles, but this seems to be a normal part of the healing process. There is still some substantial bruising on my right quad and glute. I have been staying on schedule with extra strength Tylenol and muscle relaxer to continue managing pain and discomfort. They must be working because it is now 6:00am on Tuesday morning, and I haven’t taken them since last night at approximately 8:00am, and I am feeling it in my right quad muscle and also feeling the nerve pain, which I haven’t felt for quite some time. I will try to stay on schedule with those a little more. If it is working, don’t change it is my mentality for now!
One thing I will mention is a few frustrations I have experienced, which are eye opening and overall really a blessing in disguise (once again). I was so blessed to have a lot of help at the very beginning. Now I am back to doing a little more for myself, which I am finding has it’s pros and cons. Like I said, I like being independent but was having to face that I needed to depend on others to help me out, especially earlier on in recovery. Now that Sean is back at work, and Mom and Dad are back at home, I have to fend for myself a little more. Let me tell you, it takes about ten times longer to do anything that you want to do around the house. This includes basic stuff like preparing food, coffee, tea, etc. Trying to change my clothes or Ted hose by myself seems nearly impossible. It is just the little things that you might not think of that are frustrating.
On Sunday we had a tornado warning, so I had to maneuver my way to the basement with the dog by myself because I was home alone. Needless to say this was interesting. It all worked out, but Sean was nervous because if I fall or something, then there is no one around to help me. I am glad though that I remembered that although I only need one crutch while walking down the stairs, I do need both crutches when I finally reach the basement or my destination. I failed to remember this the first time I went from our main floor to the basement. Luckily mom was around then and was able to get my other crutch for me.
Another thing is realizing how much people stare at you when you are on a walker or give you a “look” of sympathy. It doesn’t really bother me that much, but it is something that I am cognizant of now because it will make me more aware of whether I am doing this and making someone feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, many people are very gracious and accommodating. For instance, I went to the restroom. Sean offered to help, but I declined (again, that independent person inside me!). However, I failed to think of the fact that pushing open a heavy door and keeping it open while trying to maneuver a walker into the restroom proves to be more difficult than one would think. Luckily, there was a nice gentleman coming out of the men’s restroom that offered to hold the door for me! It made the process so much less frustrating. Thank God for good and thoughtful people!
One last observation is the lack handicap accessible accommodations and facilities. Oh my! I am still not sure I understand the scope of this issue, but I did make a few observations while attending a wedding over the weekend and being out of the house for quite some time because of that. I was a personal attendant in a wedding, and I felt horrible because I was not able to “be right there”, as a lot of the places they were taking pictures, I could not access by wheelchair. Now, talk about things we take for granted. Also, there was accessibility to the ceremony by wheelchair but the avenue to get there made it more of a hassle; therefore, Sean and I elected to stay in a location that was more convenient to watch the ceremony from.
Once we got to the reception, I needed to use the restroom again (imagine that! Every like half-hour…also not easy on no weight bearing, lol). I hadn’t brought in my walker, as I intended on just using my wheelchair at the reception for the night; however, I maneuvered the wheelchair into the stall, which appeared to be intended for handicap use as it was the largest of the three stalls. I wheeled the chair into the stall, locked the brakes, and attempted to stand out to use the toilet; however, there was absolutely no room for me to stand up and access the toilet. I had to wheel back out of the restroom and ask Sean to go get my walker out of the vehicle in order to access the restroom facilities. All I could think about was if someone was absolutely wheelchair bound and would not have had facilities to use in the building that evening. Would this mean they would have to leave the event they were attending just to use the restroom? There are so many considerations, and it is disheartening to me that individuals have to deal with this. I am a little disappointed in myself that these were not even considerations of mine prior to encountering these experiences myself. Like I said, this has definitely been a learning experience and growth opportunity for me.
These experiences will allow me to appreciate things more when I am back to my “normal”; however, realizing that other have to deal with this day in and day out for the rest of their lives. It is something that we take for granted on a daily basis being able to perform every day tasks, be active like we want to, and in general, just live like how we want to or intend to, while others are not afforded that privilege.
I will keep you all posted with a weekly update next week also! Thanks again for all of your support, concerns, prayers and kind thoughts! It is greatly appreciated!