Post Surgery: Day 17: May 3, 2018 – Recovery Continues!

1. All the steristrips are gone on the front of my neck. There are sutures underneath the skin that you can’t see that will also dissolve. Because I’ve gone through this before (2004), I know in time, the scar will be minimal. But, for now, it looks weird. I washed the front of my neck where the steristrips came off. I panicked a little and called the doctor who said the appearance right now is normal.
2. I talked to a coworker and my boss today! This always makes me feel good. It lifted my spirits today! Work is important to my healing process.
3. With my work area set up, working was easier today. No extra pain added.
4. I enjoyed using my brain today. Structure is imperative in my life and I’m slowly getting back to that. Idle mind equals negative thoughts. Do whatever you can do avoid that and talk to someone. Nothing is hopeless.
5. When I am cleared to drive, which I’ll know on Monday or Tuesday of next week, I told my coworker that I want to meet on our jobsite. It feels great to say that. Bone density scan determines it. Cross your fingers! That’s tomorrow!
6. I fell asleep around 1am last night. I woke up only once last night (big change) and that was because Jamie was snoring. I had no need to take more pain meds during the night. Hope it continues that way!
7. I woke up in major pain, but, I took my meds and quietly waited for them to start working. I also had coffee, that Jamie made before he left. Except for the animals, the house is peaceful early in the morning. I enjoy the morning light coming through the windows and appreciate it’s a new day. Pain or not.
8. Pain makes me angry when I first wake up, so I’m doing deep breathing exercises and reminding myself that this is all part of the healing process. If you have to tell yourself the same thing every hour, do it. Recovery is one day at a time in many forms of recovery. This extreme surgery requires self patience and baby steps.
9. I’m finding myself angry because I feel I’m not healing fast enough. I have been talking this out with Jamie and he’s been so patient and supportive. I wish I was more patient, but I’m not. So, deep breathing it is. You will need to talk to someone about the different emotions you will go through. You can tell yourself you’ll be fine, but then the human thing happens and you just have to remember that and keep moving forward. This is my therapy, but I know other patients who have gone to a therapist who specializes in recovery. There’s nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t make you weak.
10. When I’m in real pain and I’m up and doing stuff, I either deep breathe through the pain or move into it. It seems to be helping. The doc said the pain will be bad for awhile.
11. I did the PT exercises the doc permits right now. I will keep doing these light ones until it feels more normal. It’s already easier to move my neck and do my arm lifts, etc.
12. NO NAP TODAY! Woohoo. I clearly got enough rest last night. Hope for a similar night tonight
13. Jamie and I are sleeping upstairs in our bed! I couldn’t be more excited about taking back some routines.
14. I received my third pillow today, and it’s a hit. So, I’ve got my neck brace (in case I need it while sleeping), new pillow, wedge, Jamie and Dori! I’m ready!
15. Jamie helped me wash my hair tonight because I still had residue on my hair and he can reach better and I got to save some painful reaching. The water feels amazing on my skin and hair. Enjoy all the positives to make sure they outweigh the hardships of each day.
16. I talked to the doc about my swallowing, talking, laughing, and burping, which isn’t improving. She wants to wait another week or so. If I lose more weight, I’ll go sooner. I was happy with my weight prior to surgery.
17. I had pancakes, rice and ice cream tonight. Hard to eat, but so worth it! Google knows everything. Lol. So I asked it what soft foods are good for my particular situation. Jamie and Bella went to H-E-B and picked some items I found on the H-E-B website.
18. I am happy my son is still here and able to drive my car since I can’t. No need to collect dust in the garage!
19. My scalp and neck itch where they removed the staples and I realized they shaved some of my hair during surgery. Good think I chopped it off prior.
Those who helped me in some way today!
Judy, Judy, Jacob, Deea, Matt, Wes, Jamie, Bella, Kathey, Kayla, PT Lady, Sarah (doc’s office), Kim, John, Zoltan, Clayton and Dori!
If you or anyone you know has any kind of cervical or lumbar spinal issues, the staff at Seton Brain & Spine Institute has everything you need. It’s a process, but very necessary! I had my 2nd neck surgery done there, but Dr. Eeric Truumees did this 3rd surgery, and he’s simply amazing, right along with his staff, Sarah, Ariel & Amy. Sarah never ceased to make me feel hopeful while I was in the hospital, and let me tell you, Dr. Truumees comes and checks on you, too! Great staff. Great crew. I recommend all the different doctors at that organization!

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