Once I was Home…..
When I came home on the Monday after my surgery, I arrived home by taxi late in the afternoon. Because it was taking me so long to drink the apple juice they supplied with my meals, I actually was able to bring home three of the juices and put them in the fridge.
My right side was very painful. I decided I wasn’t going to try to get in or out of bed for a few days, so I slept in my recliner for a few nights before I even attempted to get in or out of my bed alone. I placed a grocery order online for delivery the next day, so I would have food (liquids) in the house and one of the first things I did, after very slowly unpacking my bags, was to make some jelly (jello). At least by having my groceries delivered, I didn’t have to worry about trying to pick things up or carry anything even remotely heavy for a while.
I was given a number of different medications when I was released from the hospital. One was a series of injections I needed to give myself every morning. These injections need to be into muscle, not into a vein. A bit like an insulin injection for a diabetic. When I started doing the injections, it would take me five minutes or more to get up the courage to actually put the needle into my skin. By the end of the first week, I no longer hesitated. I would just sit down and put it straight into the leg and push the plunger. I was very proud of myself.
I was given very strong pain killers too. The surgeon had prescribed a dosage of 2 tablets on a regular basis. I have only taken just one at a time, and usually only once a day. Mainly at night. I have to crush the tablet and put it in a small amount of water in order to take it.
I started walking on the weekend. There is a park on the street above my own. The Council has installed some gym style equipment in two places in the park. Steps, bicycles, eliptical walkers, and some others. They also installed a walking track that goes around the park. There are some seats placed around the track too. On my first walk, I walked to the park and then started my walk around the park on the track. I stopped and rested for about five minutes about half way around the track. Then I got up and finished the circuit and then went home. The next walk, I walked up to the park and then walked twice around the track, without stopping, and then walked home. I was feeling a bit sore on the right side, so I waited a few days before I went for my next walk. This time I walked up to the park and then walked three times around the track, without stopping, and then walked home. That was just under 2km. That was a good start. Other than some pain in my stomach muscles on the right side, it felt good.
I am lucky with my house. Once you are inside the house, it is all on one level. No stairs, or different levels to negotiate. To come in at the front door, there are about four steps. There are no hand rails on those steps, but because the door is recessed into the side of the house, the walls are quite close, so you can use the walls to steady yourself. At the rear of the house, there is a ramp to the back door. This means that there is only one step into the house from the top of the ramp. For the first week or so, I only went into or out of the house by the ramp and the back door. I made a mistake one day by leaving the house by the front door to go to the letter box to retrieve the post. There was a slight twinge going down the steps, but the biggest problems was the walking back up the steps. The pain in my stomach really let me know it wasn’t happy with that. It meant that sitting down hurt too. Once I was in my chair, it was alright, but it was the getting seated that hurt. Getting up could be a problem at times too.
When I went to hospital in such a rush, I had put my blood pressure medication into my toiletries bag. Only problem was, by the time I got to the hospital, I had forgotten that I had done that. I thought I had put them into a pocket of the wheelie suitcase, as I had originally done with the original carry bag I had intended to take to hospital. So I thought I had accidentally forgotten to bring my medication to hospital. The anesthesiologist was actually pleased I didn’t have my medication for the surgery. He didn’t want to run the risk of my having a sudden drop in blood pressure during the operation. I told the hospital the name of the medication, but I wasn’t sure of the exact dosage of the tablets. I told them that if they checked with my GP, he would be able to tell them the exact dosage. During the time I was in hospital, I was never given the blood pressure tablets. They were taking my blood pressure multiple times every day and were happy with the readings. So when I left hospital, the surgeon told me to keep off the blood pressure medications until I saw my GP. I saw my GP a week after coming home. I took all the medications I had been given when I left the hospital with me to show the GP, and he made a note of them all on my records. He took my blood pressure and was very pleased with it. He has told me to keep off them until he sees me again (next Monday). He said that sometimes the readings can be good, but sometimes high blood pressure can come back a couple of weeks later. If my blood pressure is still good next week, I think he will tell me I don’t need the tablets any longer. That’s not bad. It’s a lot faster than expected. Originally he had said he would reassess the need for the tablets when I got to 120kg.
I was originally supposed to pick up Hamish from his ‘holiday’ at the vet on the day I was released from hospital. I decided to extend his stay until the Thursday. That way I had a couple of days at home without having to worry about bending to pick up his bowl or do other things Hamish related. On the Thursday, I left the house (by the back door) for the first time since I came home and walked to the bus stop. I caught the two buses I needed to get to the vet. Hamish had been a very good boy while he was on holiday. They said they were going to miss him because he had been so good and apparently loved getting cuddles from the staff. They brought him out in his carry box and helped me carry him outside. I organised a taxi to bring him home from there. I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry him home on the two buses, and especially not carry him home from the bus stop. I noticed, later that night, that Hamish had changed. When I had dropped him off at the vet, he was still very much a kitten. A big one, but still a kitten. When I got him home, I noticed that he not looked more mature. Not quite an adult cat, but at least a ‘teenager’. He was only gone for nine days. He’s not even 30 weeks of age.
I was phoned a couple of days after I got home from hospital. It was about a job I had applied for many weeks ago. In fact, I had applied for this job so long ago, and had heard nothing about it, that I thought I hadn’t been successful with my application. Well, they were phoning to invite me to interview for the position the following Tuesday. I did mention that I was just home from hospital and recovering from surgery, but that I thought I would be well enough to make it. I was the first person they phoned to organise an appointment. Not sure if that means anything or not. I looked up how to get to the interview, which was being held at the location where the job was to be located. To get there from my house would need three buses and a 15 minute walk, for about 1.5 hours total travelling. The problem is, I didn’t think I would be up to such a long journey at this stage. The problem is the middle bus. It only runs once an hour in each direction. Luckily, a friend and her husband offered to drive me to the interview and I would get a taxi to get home. My GP wasn’t happy about my going to the interview, until I said that someone was taking me in a car and I would get a taxi back. He then gave permission for me to go. I am waiting to find out how the interview went. It’s only Part-Time (30 hours) and a Maternity Leave position, but because I now don’t have any debt, I will be able to easily cope on the lower end of the salary range. I still have some of my Superannuation money left. If I get the job, I will look at getting a small second hand car. It will make getting to work much easier. To drive, it will take about 30 minutes in traffic. Less if there isn’t any real traffic in the way.
The pain in my stomach, nearest the incision where they did the most pushing, pulling and cutting, was doing really well. Not too painful. I was able to stand, sit, bend over slowly to pick small things from the floor and so forth without real problems. On Thursday, the Sister Missionaries came by to help me.
My house is a mess. There, I’ve said it. It was a mess before the surgery, so I can’t use my recovery as an excuse. Anyway the Sisters came to help. We decided to just work on the L shaped hallway. It’s all tidy now, we decluttered and dusted and cleaned and vacuumed the floor. Well, I over did it. I helped get my vacuum ready for use. It is a Bissell and has a water tank at the front where all the dirt goes into the water which makes disposal easier later. Well, I realised I hadn’t emptied the tank the last time I used the machine. So I took the tank and emptied it and cleaned it out and put water into it and put the tank back into the vacuum. Well, it’s not that big a tank, and there isn’t a lot of water in it, but it must have been enough. My stomach muscles really started to let me know that they were no longer happy. So since then, I have been experiencing pain in that area off and on. I have had to be very careful with how I do things, including sitting in a chair since then. I’m back to entering and leaving the house by the back door again.
I’m hoping this pain will resolve again soon. I hate it. It makes doing things, even showering, difficult or painful. If I stretch too far (according to my muscles) or move too quickly, it hurts. The Sisters are supposed to be coming on Friday to work on another room. I think I might cancel them and give myself more time to recover before we attempt another room.
Will see what happens. Talk again soon.