Well, it is 72 hours after my surgery, and today I was finally able to take a shower. It was with great joy that I was finally able to bathe but the effort definitely wiped me out for most of the afternoon. I have had a few surgeries over the years, and I always forget how much effort and energy it takes to heal.
As you may recall from my previous post, the anesthesiologist went above and beyond. In fact, it wasn’t until Friday evening that I actually had the opportunity to ask my wife what the surgeon said about the procedure and what he found when he finally got in there. Of course, all of this had been explained to me earlier, but I was too high to either process it or remember it. The good news is that my case was somewhat rare for a good reason; the surgeon explained that it is quite unlikely that the MRI gives a complete picture of what will be found once they get inside. Often there are little surprises that pop up during the procedure. In my case, however, the MRI did an excellent job of predicting exactly what was going on. This meant that the surgery was rather “ordinary.”
So far, the pain has been less than I expected. It has been mostly controlled with prescription strength ibuprofen and acetaminophen. On Friday, I took a short walk and found that my stamina was pretty good. Later in the day I took another walk and discovered the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised until the pain block wore off. Since then I’ve had to back off quite a bit.
Tomorrow, I will begin physical therapy. My post-surgery instructions already have me doing pendulum swings with my right arm, but I am sure that new exercises will be added. In the meantime, it is quite an adventure learning to do things with my non-dominant arm like brushing teeth, eating, and opening and closing doors. I have a lot more respect for folks who are missing a limb or are in some other way limited in their use of an upper extremity. And for the record, this voice recognition program is not as helpful as I would have hoped.
Overall, I am grateful that I am doing as well as I am. These inconveniences are only temporary. I will keep you posted on my progress.