Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not Complaining

One, two, three, four. That's the number of large band-aids I see on my abdomen, each tender to the touch, each with a a much deeper echo of unease below it. Comfortable? No, but I'm certainly not in agony, either.

I had hernia surgery Tuesday.

It all seems unreal. That morning, feeling fine, I went into the hospital, where I was shaved, scrubbed, knocked unconscious, inflated with CO2, stabbed four times (six if you count the IVs), patched with mesh and dissolving screws, and here I am typing like it's no big deal.

In my father's time, you'd have been lucky to be standing upright at the end of the week, not gently sanding the drywall in the back room as I was this afternoon. (My father also assured me I'd still be able to father children afterwards — I hadn't realized that was a even a question, but the surgeon also asked me if I was done having kids — Deborah anticipated the question and told me to say no. All these people know something I don't.)

So even though I'm mostly feeling fine, I'm wondering what hurdles (not literal ones, I hope...) I have to clear to be approved to return to work. Obviously, I can sit at a computer, which is what I do for a living — well, that, and unload trucks, but I think I'm excused from that for a while, given that's what got me into this trouble in the first place. I'm guessing the main criteria will involve insuring that I can survive the drive there and back, and won't burst open if I go over a bump. (Sorry to be graphic. It's a real concern.)

In the meantime, people have supplied me with a surprising number of things that they'd like me to get done while I'm convalescing. I've got two websites that want attention, a two-hour speaking engagement to plan, a room to drywall and paint, and any number of other things. A get-well card from my co-workers came pre-printed with 20 things to do while getting better; they added 8 of their own! But for now, I'm doing a lot of something I've neglected over the past seven years: sleep. It's wonderful stuff. Not sure how I've gone so long while ignoring it.



Linus said...

As far as the painting goes...We did two rooms a couple weeks ago and my mysteriously absent chronic pain disorder woke up, roared in protest, and decreed that I wouldn't be able to lift my child for a week or so. Apparently, painting is actually classified in the "work out" category. Maybe not the best 'take it easy' plan of action.

1 said...

When my surgeon was deciding if I could go to work and do research sitting slumped over, he asked if my car had power brakes. (Neither old car we had did.) It's apparently not the bumps, but the possibility that one wouldn't feel like slamming on the brakes hard enough to avoid a crash. Incidentally, both my operations were on my right side; I suppose that has some consideration in thinking through the amount of braking force I could apply without breaking forth. (There was no consideration of this that I remember after the first operation, because I was only 15 months old at the time and my memory of what the doctor said is decidedly hazy.)

Give yourself a break, don't break yourself, and catch up on your sleep while you have an iron-clad excuse (at least while you are partly internally clad in metal). I'm glad they didn't decide on the classical operation while you were out!--Love, Dad

Carolina Kerr said...

Sounds like you're doing well. We'll keep praying for quick healing. What kind of two-hour speaking engagement are you preparing for?

johnsonweider said...

I'm so glad to hear that the surgery was successful and you are healing well. Best wishes for a speedy and safe recovery!

Jonadab said...

You know, I've always said that getting *to* work is harder than actually working, but I was thinking of the psychological aspect of making yourself stop putting it off and actually start that part of your day. I didn't realize it was a significant physical strain as well. Ah, the ironies of modern life.