I confess...it's all I can think about. Okay, that's not true...I think 95% about surgery-related stuff (anterior lumbar interbody fusion....aka spinal fusion...at L5/S1, set for early on Mon 8/8) and 5% about trying a Nutter Butter Blizzard. The insurance stuff is dealt with so my only other task is to avoid catching a cold. I managed to show up for a pre-op appointment for my first laproscopy with waking pneumonia...really this takes talent, folks...I actually didn't feel as awful as one would think but it meant the surgery had to be postponed. I need this surgery, more each day, and I can't live like this. Bring on the Vitamin C (don't know if it works, might as well try!).
I'm trying to get in what I can before I'm sidelined. We had a very fun evening last Saturday, the type my 33 year old body can only handle a couple times a year. Paid for it on Sunday, but it was a TON of fun and let us expand our friendship with one couple and meet some new folks too (and the bartender said she'll totally push "The Cheryl"..see the first bullet-point here). I tried to clean the shower on Sunday and was reminded that I haven't been able to do much of that stuff in months but I was stubborn since I'll definitely be unable to do it soon. I've also pushed through decent workouts and will hit the gym today for lower body, back, and core...delaying the muscle loss as long as possible. I'll miss my cute "baby biceps." I also need to bring the gym owner my "doctor's note" to pause my membership. It's ironic, in junior high or high school, I'd have PAID for a note excusing me from gym for three to four MONTHS. Now, it sorta made me cry
I've been working on preparing for recovery. I have books stacked up, both my Harper review copies and some other purchases. I also got a notification today that my DVD of Community Season One is en route. I caught on to the show this year and love it, though do prefer the more organic episodes to some of those aimed at parodying certain film styles. MM likes it too which is good. I'll spend 2-3 days in the hospital and then be at my dad's for a bit to delay the car ride (sitting is really hard after a fusion...like 20min at a time hard...luckily the car seats recline well). MM will take me home Fri or Sat and is taking the next week off (I didn't ask him too, he's just that awesome). I told him I get the bedroom TV for silly stuff and he gets the living room, but he likes Community too so it is doubly good. I also bought those ridiculous wet wipes for grownups...TMI but I read they can be a godsend.
The harder part is the mental prep. I've talked a lot about the intricacies of chronic pain. People ask how I can stand to work out when I'm hurting, from the endo and, in recent years, the back. It is pretty simple, if I waited till I was pain-free then I'd really never workout. I like sweets too much for that....well, I like sweets AND fitting in my jeans In the past, playing through pain was the RIGHT choice. It is ultimately good to be at a healthy weight. The endo could be worse with extra fat leading to more estrogen and the back would not be helped at all by excess weight). The back docs have okayed my workouts and even encouraged the strength end (which, I'll admit, I dread but I love the results) as a first-round fight. Once I get going, I often do feel better (gotta love endorphins) although I do get rebound pain that can be pretty bad later, esp from the endo.
Recovery is another ball game. It is NOT good to push, especially early. I need to learn to listen to my body and take it easy. Walking is good. One team member said he'd usually say unlimited walking but he knew not to do that with me. A few 10min slow walks on even turf are good, nine miles (even slow as I've been forced to by the back) are not. The fusion process involves encouraging my bones to grow around the insert, with the help of a protein. Someone pointed out it isn't unlike getting a fracture to heal and that they cast the break for a reason. Failure to behave might make it a total failure.
I'd be in denial for a while (poet!!). I kept saying I was "good at surgery" since I've had five. I've realize this is a LOT bigger deal than those. It is pretty major stuff. I'm working on the mental prep (including "allowing" myself a bit of room on the scale and promising myself I'll be able to get back on track when I'm all fixed). I know it will be long and hard. As a girl, my mom often quoted a road sign she'd seen about a construction zone: "Temporary inconvenience for permanent improvement." That's my mantra. Well, that ad my usual channelling of Dory: "Just keep swimming!" (just using "recovering" as the focus instead of pushing through a w/o).
And I'm totally getting a Nutter Butter Blizzard this weekend.