TIRING, BUT REWARDING DAY! 👌🏻😊👍🏻
Day 25: May 11, 2018
Today was a big day! I went to work for a Team Meeting.
It started at 9 and I had to be ready by 8:30. I started my process at 7:20.
1. Took morning meds
2. Took bath. Laid back in water and it felt great!
3. Washed hair and tried getting the residue off my hair by my incision. I got some of it off. I can’t stand to take a shower, so I use a handheld that’s long enough for me to sit in the tub. I am still not using the full force of the water pressure on my head yet, but it’ll happen soon!
4. Washed my face, body, etc
Was out of the bath by 7:52
1. Wrapped myself in towels. I had to figure out how to dry my hair more prior to using the hair dryer because I have a max of time that I can hold the brush and dryer above my head before the pain is too much. I’d prefer to have my hair as dry as possible since I have to wear my neck brace in cars and, well, it gives me helmet hair. I finally found a solution. I found a smaller towel – between wash cloth and regular sized towel. Is that a hand towel? Anyway, I was able to take that smaller towel and squeeze my hair and head very carefully. I would not have been able to do even that last week. It’s getting easier every day. So I had decent hair today, considering the neck brace.
2. I clipped my toenails. That’s the first time since surgery. I hadn’t even attempted it until now. It was relatively easy, which was great! Let it go. No one will judge you for letting go of stuff.
3. I put on my deodorant, which still hurts, but not a lot anymore!
4. Cleaned out my ears. Still painful, but easier
5. Brushed teeth. Still painful, but easier. I can bend over even more, and now when I spit, I don’t even worry about missing the sink.
I pet the puppies because they feel neglected while I’m getting ready and I have to tell them to lay down on the bed so I can finish. They don’t move from the bed again until I say, let’s go.
1. Put on my underclothes and headed downstairs at 8:10
2. Put on clothing fit for public
3. Makeup started at 8:13. Makeup is the hardest activity I do right now in the dressing process. It’s about putting my hands up to my face, which is painful. Mascara is the most painful.
In my past life, it took me 30 minutes to get ready from the time I woke up until leaving the house for work.
**Side note: when I got home, I realized there’s a hole in my pants, and it was noticeable in placement. Luckily, no one looks there. But, it can be sewn. I really like the pants**
9:00-10:30am – TEAM MEETING
1. It was fantastic seeing all of my coworkers!
2. I couldn’t eat the tacos as they were. So I ate the eggs or tried. I realized quickly that I can’t eat in front of people until I can eat without having to clear my throat. Talk about distractions.
3. I didn’t realize it until I was in mixed company. The egg kept getting stuck and swallowing was…. well…. difficult. I would normally do some serious clearing of my throat. Let me tell you that there is nothing more annoying to me than hearing other people eat, chew, crunch, make noise with their mouths while eating, talk with food in the mouth or smack. It’s just one of my pet peeves. It’s much more irritating listening to myself do all these things. I’m hard of hearing, but I hear all my own eating noises in my head as I do it. This whole not able to swallow thing has been a test in patience for myself. I usually turn the tv or music up when it’s eating time to avoid hearing the eating process for others, but I can’t tune out my own noises. So frustrating.
4. Wes welcomed me back formally, as did everyone else. It really was wonderful! I was so happy to be able to be there.
5. After about 30 minutes, the pain started. I didn’t put my neck brace on because my muscles have to become stronger. I didn’t put my neck brace on for the duration of the meeting. One, I was testing myself and two, I didn’t want to seem weak. I can’t help it. I hid my discomfort well. And, honestly, it’s going to be painful during the transition back to work process. I’m ready!
6. As a company, we are rocking it. Our team is stellar and Wes is working hard to bring in more jobs. It’s an exciting time!
I want to thank my Team for the warm welcome. I got one of my fave hugs from Matt, which I missed. I got to talk to Meghan about foods that are good for Calcium. I’m glad my diagnosis for osteoporosis is making the women around me think about their own health. It’s so important. Sandie and I talked about it on the way home.
Sandie offered to take me home. I can’t express how much I appreciate her. I am honored that her and I have a good relationship. There was a time when I didn’t know if we’d ever have a chance to talk and work together. We do it beautifully now, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to know her and work with her. She’s so amazing at what she does, and I enjoy learning from her. Next week, she’ll be helping me get to and from work since I can’t drive yet. I’m just thankful.
I did feel some uncomfortable vibes coming from the room, but, I will figure it out and make sure all is well. I know who I need to talk to. I just hope my scars or my neck brace or whatever didn’t make someone feel weird or uncomfortable. If it did, I totally get it. We’re all human. I highly respect all my coworkers!
After Sandie dropped me off, I was at a level 9 for pain. I’ve been dealing with pain for a long time, so when I say a 9, it’s a big deal. It was med time, so I took those, put on comfy clothes, did some muscle stretches and waited for the meds to settle in. I also realized that I hadn’t really had any coffee, which means no caffeine. I was so tired, I passed out. I woke up with a jolt about 30 minutes later, felt better pain wise, but was no caffeine tired with a no caffeine headache, made more coffee, and got my laptop out and started working. I was worried all day that maybe I wasn’t ready to go back to work part time. I AM. After drinking some coffee, the absolute exhaustion and headache got better. It is now gone. I not only habe coffee, but I had a piece of chocolate cake. Instant happiness!
Fact is, I did pretty well considering it was my first day back. I was in a lot of pain because of it, but I need the following to be successful:
1. Good desk contraption to help with preventing pain while on the computer.
2. My neck pillow
3. To not be embarrassed about wearing my neck brace at work when I get tired
4. Take my meds on time
5. Be honest to myself and others when I know it’s time to go home and rest
6. NO OVERDOING!!!
7. One day at a time!
My expectations for coming back to work in 2 weeks WAS unrealistic and Dr. Truumees warned me it would be 6 weeks before I even stepped foot back into working part time. I am 2 weeks early for that, but 1 week later than I told my boss. I’m doing my best. If I’m being honest, my doc would prefer me staying home until I can drive, which won’t be until the end of next week. I got reluctant approval. I need to be at work. I’m already stronger.
As the day went on, I felt better and better. For the first time since I had surgery, I was able to keep my head up all evening. I usually have to lay back because of the pain, but being at work really helped. Woohoo!
I talked to Kevin for quite a while this afternoon and it was nice getting some work done and catching up. He’s such a great guy! He doesn’t know it. I really like his wife, too. They’ve both been so lovely during my recovery. It’s made my recovery easier!
I’m happier today, but tired. I’ll take that. Today was a productive and positive step in the right direction!
Also, still nicotine free! If you have any kind of surgery, stop all forms of nicotine. Nicotine pinches your blood vessels, which are paramount to the healing process. There is an argument that it’s the cigarette smoke that makes it harder to heal, but the most credible argument is that it’s the actual nicotine that slows the healing process. I hadn’t smoked a cigarette since 2014, but I did vape with nicotine until the day before surgery. I’m not missing it as much anymore.
I talked to Mom, but she didn’t call back. By the time I thought about it, it was too late to call her. I also got to talk to Judy which always brightens my day!
I hope everyone had a great week! It was long, but successful for me, and I look forward to continue the journey of healoing. Baby steps. Whatever recovery process you’re going through, be kind to yourself. There’s a saying that seems to only be connected with AA, but I think it applies to all recoveries and all life events. Life is messy. I went through every emotion this week.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference
This is the short version, but it’s so simple in theory.
I forgot to have Jamie take a photo of my back incision. He was sleeping so soundly. I’ll remember tomorrow.
THANK YOU to those who helped me in some way today! Jamie, Mom, Judy, Sandie, Kevin, Matt, Zoltan, Wes, Meghan, John, Clayton, Deea.
I’ve included a link to a post from a young woman who was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Hers isn’t as advanced as mine, BUT she has a lot of great information on the disease.
Goodnight all. Sorry for the late post! I had more to share than I thought.