Thursday, January 29, 2015

Missing in Action

Where have I been?  I haven't been able to craft since my eight-level back fusion and abdominal surgery.

I have scoliosis flat-back syndrome.  Prior to surgery, standing and standing still for more than fifteen minutes was painful and at times impossible.  Shopping and standing while singing in church was very difficult.  I still managed to walk with my friend.  I still maintained my home.  The thing I missed the most was helping out at church events.

I knew this wasn't going to be easy.  This is what I knew going into surgery:
  • Surgery would last approximately eight hours
  • I would be in ICU for one day
  • I would remain in the hospital for five to six days
  • I would need to be at a rehabilitation facility for up to six weeks
  • I wouldn't be able to drive for approximately three months
  • Total recovery would take six months 
My goal was to get home by January 31.  My husband wasn't so optimistic.

This is what happened:
  • Thursday, January 8 Surgery lasted close to nine hours
  • I bypassed ICU and was admitted to my room five hours after surgery
  • I had a morphine pump until Sunday
  • I had to have a blood transfusion - let me tell you, that was scary.  
  • Monday I took my first steps
  • My left arm was a mess.  Since I had breast cancer, my right arm couldn't be used for measuring blood pressure, IVs, or blood specimens.  Why did they need to take so much blood?
  • Wednesday, January 14 I was moved to a rehabilitation facility.
  • Getting the correct pain medication was not easy.  The first day I had any pain relief was eight days after surgery.  The medication didn't work for me. I'm suggested I be given the pain medication I used at home.  It worked!
  • Physical Torture began on Thursday, January 15.  An hour of occupational therapy, an hour of physical therapy in the morning and one half hour of each in the afternoon. Three hours total.  I was able to get dressed by myself  (with some gadgets) by Friday.
  • There were good days followed by horrible nights.  I didn't sleep well and my mornings started at 3:00 am (urgh!)
  • What I didn't anticipate, I cry so easily and at times uncontrollable.
  • My craft studio is fifteen steps down to the basement.  On Tuesday, January 20 my therapist asked me to climb a flight of stairs.  When I got to the top he said, "Eleven steps!"  I decided I could do another flight.  Of course, I then had to walk back down.
  • On Wednesday, January 21, thirteen days after surgery I was home!  No additional physical therapy needed.
I'm home but that doesn't mean I'm back to normal Beth.  I can't bend over, it takes me thirty minutes to get dressed, I have to roll out of bed, I can't sit for more than ten minutes and I walk with a noticeable sway in my back; these are a few of my obstacles.  My days are filled with television, Sudoku, YouTube and online shopping.  The best news - I am 1-3/4" taller than the day before surgery!

I haven't made it down to my craft studio, maybe tomorrow.