If May was the month of sadness and fear and surgery, June so far is the month of annoyance.
The first two weeks after surgery consisted of daily doses of progress and the accompanying good mood and hopefulness. The past week or so is more one of stasis.
Not that stasis is bad. I’d rather mostly stay the same than get worse. The drains were an extreme pain-in-the-ass, and with their removal I don’t really have a concrete, this-can-happen-any-day-now goal post. I actually had measurements and a chart that gave me a definite numerical thing to work toward for the first almost two weeks. Now I just have an amorphous “recovered” to look forward to, and I don’t know when I can expect that to happen.
I’m getting better, able to reach more, farther. But I’m still careful not to lift much. I’m dependent on Stuart carrying the full laundry baskets and the vacuum up and down the steps, still asking him to dig the stand mixer and the Cuisinart out from the pantry and set on the counter before he leaves for work. I still can’t walk Kira, the pullingest dog I’ve ever met, much less owned. I still can’t lie on my side.
I still can’t do any yard work. I’m pretty sure the act of pulling weeds or hoeing would result in pain like I haven’t felt yet. Digging holes, not happening. Trimming the wisteria, giant nope. We’ve had a fair amount of rain recently and the growing things are bordering on out-of-control. I am an inconsistent gardener at best, so this is not without precedent, but usually by now I’ve started to get my act together and minimally tidied up a flower bed or two. I’ve had a few friends offer to come and help me with some of this, but I know because of the rain, they must have their own yards and beds and gardens to deal with. I think I may just hire someone.
I know that this is all temporary and will get better.
I can be patient about regaining strength and mobility–it will come and the yard and the house and everything else will still be here. But what I’m most constantly annoyed by, like a persistent mosquito-buzz in the ear, are the sensations happening on my torso.
It isn’t always painful. I’m not miserable all the live-long day, though in the morning, when I first get out of bed, the center of my chest could probably accurately be described as a five on the pain scale. I still get sharp twinges that last a second or two, no big deal. What is driving me nuts is the tightness across my chest and especially in my right armpit.
It’s kind of an itchy burning. Not painful, but definitely uncomfortable. Here is what it feels like:
Imagine, if you will, someone takes a long piece of scotch tape and stretches it across your underarm. If you are a person who doesn’t shave your armpits, pretend, for the sake of this comparison that you are in fact an armpit-shaver. So you and your bare underarm are just hanging and some evil prankster comes up and somehow gets you to lift your arm and before you can react, they stretch a long piece of scotch tape up under there and pull it tight and tell you that if you take it off, a puppy will die. So that’s what it feels like. Pull-y and itchy and uncomfortable and super NOT RIGHT. And if you move certain ways you feel like if you could crawl out of your skin, you would in a hot second.
Also irritating, though not quite to the above degree, are the places where the drains came out. I have two bumps, one on each side of my ribcage, where the tubes exited my body. I can still feel a long, raised ridge where the tube went up under my skin to the chest area. The skin all around that is dry and intensely itchy from the wound dressing that was there for the first week (I wonder if I’m sensitive to the adhesive, cause my skin went crazy train when the dressing came off). Lotion helps but only for the first little while after application. I tried going for a short run recently, but the whole area where the drains were was immediately sore, which I took as my body telling me to sit the fuck down.
On top of everything I have a canker sore on the side of my tongue.
So yeah. I want to be back to normal. I want to be productive again, but more than that, I just don’t want to be continually uncomfortable.
Okay! Enough whining. Time to go get some body lotion.