Slow But Steady, And Very Frustrating

On some levels, the recovery from the surgery is not just amazing, but bordering on the miraculous. As I think I’ve noted before, there has been very little pain. The nerve blocks and drugs that blocked the nerves worked wonders, and long enough to get past the worst of the first. The plates in my chest are the other major factor, as they keep the breast bone together and make it where you have to work at it to have discomfort or pain. You can do it, but it takes effort — thank goodness.

Getting back to normal activities has been rapid in some cases, and incredibly slow in others. My ability to look after myself and do normal living things (bathroom, cooking, etc.) progressed very rapidly once I was out of the hospital. On the other hand, doing physical activity of any kind, is slow. Part of that is just I can’t do what I used to do. Part is because despite this there is a temptation to push and to try to do too much too soon. Part is that even when I should be clear to do more, it’s not happening so as to help prevent me from doing too much too soon.

That makes rehab and other exercise activities intensely frustrating on more than one level. That said, I’ve also experienced once before what pushing too hard too soon gets you, and have no desire to ever repeat that. So, catch myself having to pull back more often than I care for. That’s particularly true for walking, as I need to keep my pace down for now. And, yes, I’m actually coordinating my off-day walking with the good folk at rehab so that it complements what we are doing there (though I would just about kill to add some upper body work).

I will also be honest enough to admit that while I have bounced back a surprising amount, I’m not even close to where I need to be, much less want to be. I do great in the mornings, get things done, do my walks/rehab, maybe run some errands even. By mid-morning to noon, well, the charge starts to go out of the battery. By afternoon, well, I’m sorta toast. Six in the evening often finds me starting to head to bed, though I try to stay up until eight. This is why I wish the paperwork for rehab had not had issues — the more I rehab and exercise, the more I will bounce back. It just takes time, and it really does take sticking to the schedule I regard as slow. Me impatient? Never!

The drawback to all the activity is that, not unexpectedly, has kicked off a couple of things we need to deal with. Foremost among them are BP issues. Since BP issues were the first issue after the lightning strike, I really want to nip them in the bud. It looks like we have some progress starting on that, will take another week or three to see if we do have it dealt with. Until that is dealt with and I get some stamina back, I will remain out of work. Right now, given the path of rehab and such, looking more like February at the earliest. Anyone wants to hit the tip jar, feel free, but there is more news coming soon. And, yes, there are a few other things we are having to keep an eye on other than the BP. Surgery can, and has, done a lot. However, it can’t fix everything and one thing about lightening survivors is that both cardiac and neuro issues can crop on a long-term basis.

Which leads to some of the weirdest issues post surgery. First was a change in taste that continues to dog me a bit. Not long after surgery, ate and drank some things I normally like (in some cases, really like ALOT) and all but spit them out. A couple of drinks tasted like a mix between lighter fluid and washer fluid. A couple of meal items tasted like salty bitter decomposing leaves. Couple of other odd taste sensations, but those stood out. Some of that has moderated, but really notice bitter/salty tastes much more than I used to. Have even had to modify my coffee making to adjust to those changes.

Second, Mr-Never-Feel-The-Cold here is feeling the cold. Along with pressure changes and humidty changes, this new feeling of the cold has done a number on me and my arthritis. It also effects breathing and more. I’m very thankful that we’ve had a mild winter so far, as the few real cold days have been brutal. One reason I’m having to do as much mall walking as I’ve been doing is that I’m not supposed to walk outside if it is 45 or below. That can cause bronchial spasms, and those are unpleasant. Heck, if it’s 45 or below, I am not enjoying being outside period, and waiting for the car to warm up is less than fun (actually it can be miserable).

So, progress is being made. Just slower than I would like, though in many ways it is going better and faster than I have any right to expect. Meantime, need to look at some of the other issues going on and make some decisions. One thing I will not do is try to rush things, for that way lies madness and a much longer recovery. Crazy I may be, but stupid I do try to avoid.

More soon.