I love Steve Winwood and “Roll With It” is just what I’ve had to do over the past couple of weeks and what I will keep doing. Despite having had 3 of these major operations or MOAS (Mother Of All Surgeries) in less than five years, I’m still having to remind myself that recovery is not a linear process. The past two weeks have been quite challenging, and I have sometimes felt like I was going in reverse rather than getting better. However, when I think about it, I realise that I am on less pain relief than I was when I first came home, I am doing much more, and all of my organs and scar tissue are still settling.
I continue to wake up most mornings feeling well-rested and full of energy, but that starts to wane by mid to late afternoon. I have a side-effect called Tenesmus which I won’t describe in detail, but it involves cramping in the pelvis and this is what kicks in each afternoon and runs through the evening until I take my pain meds at bedtime. As of today, I am cutting down on the doses of the pain meds and spreading them out from early afternoon until bedtime and so far, it seems to be working…
Last week I eased myself back into work on Tuesday with a focus on meetings in the morning when I feel well and offline work in the afternoon with a nap factored in as well. I was back at Basingstoke last week to see my consultant for my six-week check-in and he was pleased with how things are healing and also that my left leg is no longer swollen. He also reminded me that it’s early days and that I shouldn’t worry about still being on pain meds. Some patients are still in hospital at this stage, so he thought it was great that I managed to recover well enough to go home after two weeks.
Whilst the past couple of weeks have not been easy and a couple of days have been absolutely rock bottom, it’s not all been bad. I’m managing to do my physiotherapy most days and hope that I will eventually regain strength in my left leg, I am able to sit on my Peloton most days for 20-30 minutes and turn my legs at a basic resistance level, and when the weather has been warm and sunny, I’ve been out for some lovely local walks. I’ve even managed to have some of my afternoon naps with Bonzo in the garden in the sun.
I’m looking forward to getting out a bit more and also travelling up to London as restrictions ease a bit more in the coming weeks. I’ve been very nervous to leave the house, not because of Covid, but because of the tenusmus and discomfort. Now that I have worked out a solution with my pain meds, I may be a bit more mobile and I hope that the discomfort will ease as my insides start to heal. If not, I’m sure I will find a way to adapt to another ‘New Normal’. I was able to do so during my chemo, I did so after my ileostomy 17 months ago, and I will do so again. Like everyone else, I am keen to get back to socialising and to being out and doing things and generally making the most of my time while I can. As the blog says, “Brendawontbackdown”.