Sunday, January 31, 2010


1 : lacking strength: as a : deficient in physical vigor : feeble, debilitated b : not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strain c : not able to resist external force or withstand attack

My recovery has not been smooth sailing. It's not been steady or easy or consistent. The first twenty-four hours were predictably rocky, followed by three tough, but not impossible days once I got the post-op nausea under control. But then... then I hit bottom. Days 6 and 7 were honestly some of the most difficult and painful days I've ever experienced. And they caught me by surprise because I thought my recovery would follow some sort of predictable pattern. It hasn't.

This has been difficult not just physically, but emotionally. I don't know how to prepare myself for what the day will hold because I don't know what the day will hold. Circumstances have made this even more challenging. Last Thursday night we got the phone call I had been dreading: the one calling off school for Friday due to an approaching winter storm. I didn't know what to expect. The after school hours were tough for me, in part because I needed to be up and moving around when the girls were home. So what would I feel like after an entire day of the four of us home alone together? I didn't really have to find out because A went to play with a friend mid-morning and J got to come home early from work (huge blessing!), so I had help starting around noon.

Then the weekend arrived and it went pretty well. I spent part of Saturday helping B bake five tiny cakes to take to a birthday party she was attending. I was on my leg a lot and it went OK. I was tired, but not in a ton of pain, by the time we finished. I was feeling pretty good. So I thought I'd be fine to handle a trip to church this morning, followed by a visit from a friend.

Ummm, no. The car ride to church was tough. At this point, there is no comfortable way to sit in a car because my leg can't bend and just hangs there unsupported for the entire time. So a twenty minute car ride left me tired. And then I had to do it again in two hours to get home. I canceled our plans with friends in order to take a much needed nap, which I hoped would improve my mood, decrease my pain level and increase my emotional stability.

All was well until I received a call from the school system... canceling school for tomorrow. I cried. And I felt selfish for crying. I want to be happy that I get more time with my daughters, not fearful of how the day will go, anxious about my pain management and overwhelmed by the thought of ten hours alone with them while J is at work.

Let's be honest: I don't want to feel weak. Even though I am still "lacking strength," I want to be able to do more. I am tired of asking others to help me. I wrote a post for a friend's blog yesterday about perfection not being my goal as a mom. I still believe all of what I wrote yesterday. I'm not asking for perfection. I just want to be able to get myself a glass of water, make lunch for my daughters and be able to function independently again. Please?


Allison said...

Oh, Shannon. I am so sorry it's been so rough. It's pretty typical to have good and bad days after surgery, though. It's also typical to overdo it when you are feeling better. My advice as a nurse is this: take your pain meds, even if it is a couple weeks later, get plenty of rest, and cancel plans even if you don't feel like you "need" to, but you know it would help you feel better. Just because you can survive it doesn't mean you should put yourself through it. You can always say, "My nurse told me I shouldn't do it." (I always tell my patients that :) lol). As for the snow day, my advice as a mom is this: no one is going to report you to the parental authorities for letting them sit around watching TV and playing video games for one day. Ask any dad. Consider it a medical crisis. Go into crisis mode. Now, I will stop with the advice. Sorry! Hope tomorrow is a better day!

aimee Guest said...

I second the nurses opinion, and will send homemade marshmallows soon to speed the process.

RBM said...

I didn't have a surgery like yours recently, but I can empathize some as I did break my toe in early December and was VERY frustrated that it kept me from all standing poses in yoga and walking for 8 weeks. As these were my normal exercise routines, I was angry at times that I had to rethink all my regular plans and goals for such a long time. But I did learn how to use some new (to me) equipment at the gym and am grateful for the experience pushing me out of my comfort zone. And now my 8 weeks is over and I can slowly return to my other activities as well. So hang in there, it will get better!

Also, situations like this always remind me that we do nothing without the grace and love of God, even simple things. Letting friends help with such simple tasks is very hard, but it helps me refocus on the idea that all of us are interconnected and depend on and need each other in God’s plans. It also makes me cherish the gift of my body when it is healthy and strong; because, as a woman, I am pretty critical of my body at certain times. Having a broken toe or even a cold makes me grateful for my body in ways that I forget when I am healthy.

Hope you continue to recover and feel slowly better and remember we all are thinking of and praying for you.