The Weekly Muse

I am quite scattered this morning.  My thoughts are jumping from one thing to another like a butterfly in the summer heat.

Not that I'm complaining. Most of the reason for it is quite simple: as of 2 days ago I am finally off of all medications from my surgery.  I had stopped pain pills at around day 10 post-op; kept taking sleeping pills for another 2 weeks beyond that.  I have continued to take muscle relaxers for all this time - nearly 7 weeks.  Two nights ago I just forgot to take one...and I was fine.  So last night I didn't take one and today?

I'm fine. In fact, while it might be a cliche to play this at this time of year however...Vivaldi's notes are exactly how I'm feeling.

Buoyant. Joyful. Filled with possibilities.

I am now walking around the house with no walking aid of any kind.  And my gait gets smoother each day; there is still a trace of a limp when I first get going but after a few steps - it's getting to the point where you can't tell I had anything done.

Which is the entire point of the surgery and the hard work that follows. 

I am trying to do my P.T. exercises everyday and I have to be careful - I can easily overdo it today and will pay for it tomorrow.  I try to add additional repititions to each movement each day - some days I succeed, others I don't.

And yet progress is now visible nearly daily.  For example: yesterday I did the "mall crawl" all by myself.  Walked around a large mall for an hour without taking a break to sit down.  Did some shopping (of course) which involved standing around to pay for my purchases. And sitting down.  So I remained on my feet for over one hour, hardly ever stopping the movement of my body.

By the time I got to my car I was moving pretty slowly and yet - there was no pain.  Some muscle soreness of course which is to be expected.  Other than that ... it was just alot of walking around.  And I continued my day by making a surprise visit to an old friend, getting home at 5:00pm.  Then we had a church obligation last night and ended up going out for drinks with friends.  We didn't actually get home and settled until after 10:00pm.

Today? I feel fine. Ready to take on another day!  In fact, I tried getting on my elliptical machine this morning and - WOO HOO - I can. Safely and without any concerns about falling or not being strong enough.  So now I can start slowly adding some actual workouts to my exercises.  Which is beyond wonderful because I need to continue walking as much as possible and with the cold weather coming - and along with it the usual snow and ice - walking outside will become unsafe.  So now I can keep up my walking all the while slowly ramping up to actual physical fitness.

Sigh of happiness.

Absent the guidance of a physical therapist, I have been setting goals for myself at the start of each week for the past 3 weeks.  My goal for the end of the coming week?

Walk outside the house without a walking aid.  This is BIG - the cane I'm using now is as much for me as it is to alert others that I'm not 100% stable.  To walk in public - crowds jostling, people being their usual clueless selves - is scary and exciting at the same time. It is an achieveable goal - particularly if I get on the elliptical every other day to continue to strengthen my thigh muscles. 

I go back to work in 2 weeks; I want to be able to walk in under my own power and just get back to living my life.

Living. My. Life.

The point in recovery when I am tired of having to plan out every move - has arrived.  I just want to stand up and move.  I want to just simply put on my shoes without having to use 2 or 3 grabbers and shoehorns.  I want to be able to get dressed without thinking about every move.

I want to shave my damn legs.

This too shall pass.  My next post-op appointment is November 15th; at which point I expect all my movement restrictions to be lifted. And that's when my life will truly start again.

In the meantime - it is exercise, focus on walking smoothly and enjoying the progress I see every day.

And again, I'm not complaining.  I have been blessed with an amazing recovery, ahead of all expectations.  I'm just an impatient person by nature.