A Cancer Patient's Perspective on Today's Politics
ELDER MUSIC: NAIDOC Week 2

Surgery Recovery – Day to Day

(NOTE: This is a report about my personal progress – no one else's. Maybe there are hints for others in a similar recovery, maybe not. Aside from the general path toward recovery, none of us can know another's needs or solutions. This is one person's journey to wellness that might - or not - have a little value for some others.)

* * *

Nothing anyone told me prepared me for how hard this recovery is. I think that unless you are on a second or, god forbid, a third major surgery, you have no idea.

This is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Two weeks after the surgery, Wednesday, was my first pain-free day. The only discomfort was, and still is, where the 20-odd staples are in place down the middle of my torso. But that's only an irritation, not pain.

(If I were 40 years younger, I'd plan for a zipper tattoo when I am healed.)

The sorriest difficulty, which continues so far without improvement, is that the thing that most heartens and inspires me is also the most exhausting. Let me tell you about exhaustion, the kind I have never imagined:

A walk from the bedroom to the kitchen requires a sit-down rest. Scrambling an egg and washing up the pan and dish is equally tiring. Cleaning the cat's litter box – even with a special long-handled utensil (I'm not allowed to bend or twist) – requires a lie down.

But worse than that is how much a friend's telephone call or neighbor's visit depletes me while, ironically, also invigorating me – if only in my heart and not my body.

Any phone or in-person visit longer than about 15 minutes results in an hour's nap but I know they also make me feel better. So I try to balance but other forces get in the way.

On Tuesday, a woman from a home health care service came by and spent two hours taking my medical history, medications, inspecting my home and taking notes. She is smart, knowledgeable and spelled out a good course of help.

But after those two, long hours, it took all of Wednesday in bed to get back to my (admittedly, low) normal. A phone call that day with the pharmacy to sort out a prescription took more attention than I was capable of giving.

Eating is difficult. I'm almost never hungry so must force food in five or six small meals a day. Most of the time it feels as though I've just finished Thanksgiving dinner so I worry that I'm not getting enough calories and protein. I've not found a solution but to hope for improvement as healing continues.

There is a dreaminess to my days. I've made myself a schedule of one hour up and one hour in bed that I intend to expand to 90 minutes when I feel ready. The in-bed time expands and it's not that I sleep. Nor read. Nor watch television. Nor listen to music necessarily

I'm in a kind of stupor then, aware of what's around me if I care to pay attention but mostly drifting to head places I don't recall when I “come to” again.

Although it takes several sittings over two days to get one done, writing these blog posts keeps me focused for longer periods. I've decided that's good for me.

Recovery from something as big as this surgery is, I think, living in another world for awhile that I never imagined existed.

Watch this space for a story about the ingenious tools some neighbors and others have invented to help me through these weeks of recovery.

* * *

FACEBOOK: For many years through Typepad, the company that hosts this blog, each post has automatically posted to Facebook. A week or so ago, Facebook, without announcement or notification to Typepad, stopped this connection so that TGB posts no longer show up on Facebook.

Typepad tells me that I can let TGB Facebook readers know about a new post by including a link to the blog in a "status update" on Facebook. I have no desire to learn any more about FB than I already know but apparently I am being forced into this much. Anyone who can explain what a status update is and how I do it, please let me know in the comments below. And thank you in advance.

Comments

Ronni, your candor and determination in the face of this hardship are inspiring. I am learning from all that you share. Thank you.
Faith

If I were in your situation I would be curled up in bed, phone and doorbell disconnected and shades down. I would forget blogs..curse Facebook and ignore emails.
I would live on ice cream and Pepsi.

So, dear Ronni, my message is... WOW you are a strong and smart woman. Please be gentle on yourself. Pain and exhaustion is normal.

Ronni, thank you for keeping us up to date.

Your balls up determination is motivating me to write.

Some days I don't feel like putting down words, but, like you, words can help sort out thoughts and emotions.

This one H of a roller coaster ride. It's good to know you have health providers and friends to assist you.

Writing is a personal sanctuary where you are in control.

Keep the lights on.

***

Here is a quote from today's newspaper:

Re: President Cheeto

"Do not be fooled into believing that because a man is rich he is necessarily smart. There is ample proof to the contrary.

(Julius Rosenwald)


G'day Ronni! It's amazing to see you back online so soon. As others have said, look after yourself and pace yourself. And take whatever home help is available while you need it.

As for Facebook, when you open it, there's a box at the top saying something like 'create a post'. For now, until you feel like posting each column, you can probably just put in a sentence to say things aren't happening automatically any longer, and ask them to go to the website and just put in a hyperlink to your website. Or a hyperlink to the current column. I think it will default to a Public post. Then hit Post. Good luck!

And as Linda said, eat ice-cream!

Ronni, The hazy daze of post-op recovery from a looooong and complicated surgery. I recognize your situation; have been there. Not sure I could have done so well describing it at the time, or even now.

One thing for nutrition is to drink at least one Ensure or similar a day. They are not to be heated, and for me, do not taste too bad cold.

I have only used the chocolate flavored--I think there is a similar one called Boost.

I haven't tried it, but, for replenishing electrolytes and staying hydrated: Pedialyte or Gatorade (I cannot abide gatorade because of having to drink it for prep for colonoscopy.

So glad to hear you have people checking in and that you have the time to recover from their checking in.

As somebody once said, "Surgery is stabbing somebody to life."
The human body was never meant to endure that much trauma. It's just not natural to be splayed open for 14 hours and still be expected to function normally.
But take heart. Just the very fact that you are able to get up and walk at all so soon after surgery is a step in the right direction.

Your comment, "...writing these blog posts keeps me focused for longer periods. I've decided that's good for me" prompted my association with "Journey to the End of the Land" by David Grossman (awarded the prestigious Man Booker International Prize in London, last month). When the novelist was completing this multiyear writing project — a narrative woven with threads of war, death, memory, bargains with fate/the devil — his younger son was killed in war. In interviews, Grossman tells that pulling himself up from the bottomless depths of parental bereavement to compete the book was his salvation.

One question (not that I would do it!) I ponder, Why not plan for a zipper tattoo when you are healed? What's age got to do with it? xoxo

Hopefully someone made a sign for your front door ... no drop-ins, call first. Ten minute max visits please. And your voice mail greeting changes to suit new status "rough day, messages accepted but may not respond"

Let us sign up for Ollie poop duty, taking out trash, bringing in mail, etc. I'd sign up for one day a week OR getting mail for you (I'm writing from St V after knee replacement do walking over would be great exercise!)

I volunteer to put link on your FB page for you.

You are such an inspiration to all of us (I feel confident that others feel as I do). I feel better with each blog post I read, that you are going to be well soon, maybe quicker than most in similar circumstances, because of your well-tested ability to take control of your life and give it meaning--for you and for us. Thank you, Ronni

Bless you Ronni for persisting until you succeed. You are such a blessing and a positive role model for all of us. Major surgery really takes its toll and you will surface slowly, but it will happen. We all appreciate you including us in this difficult journey that you are on. Have a restful weekend Ronni!

Ronni, I cannot think of another blog where the comments are as worthwhile as the posts. What a legion of supporters you have, and what a tribute to you they are. Rest as much as you need to, knowing we are all behind you, thankful you are sharing this tough journey with us. Godspeed.

Any procedure that disrupts the energy flow through the abdomen disrupts the entire system big time. Your extreme fatigue is normal and will lessen gradually but likely linger several months. I highly recommend acupuncture to help with restoring energy balance, it got me back on my feet in record time after hysterectomy. You're doing the right thing to pace yourself. Know that the energy depletion is more noticeable to mental senses even than to body. Be patient with yourself, you're coming along amazingly.

Your reactions to the surgery are normal. I recall that fugue state was not so terrible -- it gave me utter and complete permission to surrender to the universe, to let it do with me what it must. A strange detachment takes over, but you'll know when it's time for you to return.

CVS has a product that is as good as Boost, but MUCH cheaper. For me, it'd be ice cream! I cannot imagine how you are doing all that you described without someone's help at ALL times. Bless you & keep on keepin'! I know the writing helps. It is part of a well known therapists's (MD) road to wellness for depression. Hugs, lightly. Dee:)

Ronni--I am amazed you can function so well after such a long surgery. Do not underestimate the affects of proplonged exposure to anesthesia.

From the American Society of Anesthesiologists: "Confusion – Confusion when waking up from surgery is common, but for some people – particularly those who are older – confusion can last for days or weeks....."

From a journal on anesthesia: "All these changes in mental function occurring after an operation actually affect the process of cognition, which is why they are bundled under the term POCD (PostOperative Cognitive Disorder). Cognition is defined as the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. Typical complaints of those people reporting POCD are:

*Easily tired.
*Inability to concentrate. For example, they cannot concentrate sufficiently to read a book or newspaper.
*Memory dysfunction. For example, they have a reduced ability to remember things recently said or done.
*Reduced ability to perform arithmetic. For example, they make mistakes with normal money transactions while shopping.

An enormous amount of effort has been invested in studying this problem. The final view of this research is that POCD is a real problem affecting a significant proportion of people after undergoing an operation. (Hanning 2005, Monk 2008).

So what you are experiencing is not abnormal, but certainly underplayed when physicians talk about preparing patients, especially older patients, for surgery. Be kind to yourself, have a "gatekeeper" (person who screens your visits and calls), if you can. And set a timer for those calls and visits!
Oh, the Ensure suggestion was a good one. And you can make your own electrolytes with diluted juice to which you add salt, and honey. But you probably have a prescribed diet, I would think. Did they suggest probiotics? Maybe Kombucha tea?

You amaze me, dear Ronni! I have been through multiple surgeries, so I understand what you're experiencing. I can't believe you can even focus enough to write TGB - that alone is super-human. It takes weeks and weeks for the brain fogginess to clear enough for me to even be able to do more that leaf through a magazine and look at the photos, much less read anything. Don't despair, your brain will come back little by little. As for the eating, I second what one above wrote about Ensure - it will give you the calories and nutrition you need with no cooking or cleaning. Also, when in this condition, one has to forego a few environmental concerns for a while - use paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils so there is no dish washing needed. (If your dishes are heavy stoneware like mine, even carrying a plate from the sink to the cupboard is too tiring.) It's hard to be patient, but know that all through this ordeal, many hearts are with you, many arms are holding you (if only virtually,) and many minds are sending you positive vibes and good wishes. Thank you for sharing with us. Take care!

Tamar...
It's not age that will prevent from getting a zipper tattoo - it's is ANYONE poking anything sharp anywhere near my midsection ever again. It's a fun idea but only that for me.

Dear Ronni, Reading your blog is inspiring. You have so accurately described major post surgery life. After my first major surgery (both hips spontaneously broke due to large IV doses of prednisone), I finally was allowed to take a shower. When I got out, I layed on the bed in my towel & cried from complete exhaustion. Since then I've had 3 more major surgeries One of the most important things I was told and accepted was: "The body heals when you sleep." So all that resting is extremely important. You have an amazing ability to heal. I look so forward to seeing you at the ACC again. Our little group is carrying on in your absence & awaiting your eventual return.

We would like to help you with anything we can do. Right now we are away but will return to LO July 18. Please email us then. Love & healing wishes

From what I can see, it looks like type pad still supports automatic posting to Facebook.

If you want to manually post a link to your blog post inside Facebook just enter from the link of the URL of your new blog post on Facebook and hit enter and it will share it.

Making the Facebook thing easy, there's a box at the top of the page that invites you to with "What's on your mind?"

Copy and paste the following, which will take people always to the top of your weblog, your story of the day.

http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/

Just do it from time to time.

Hang in there, friend.

Paper plates for sure. I was shocked after an illness when I found my beloved Fiestaware was too heavy for me and all that Pampered chef clayware was never going to be handy again. Adjustments were required daily. Glad that it is summer and you have light and can see the lush greenery and flowers. LO is a is a pretty place. Keep on healing.

I want to thank you for taking the time and energy to write about your experiences. It is very helpful to try and understand what may lay in store; a friend's mother has just been diagnosed and your blog will help my friend a lot.

At the same time, don't forget to save your energy for healing and strength for the journey ahead. As you can see from the comments, we all care about you.

Thank you.

One thing our cohort has in abundance is experience.

It is easy to see that the " Ronni Team" assembled here not only recognizes what you are
going through, but has the knowledge to help you through it.

That you are managing your own household all ready is just amazing.
I am in awe...and Olllie should be very, very thankful!

:)

Just...YES! Please get someone else to attend to the litter box. For people who love cats (and love you), it's not too much to ask.

Hang in there Ronni. You are exceeding all our expectations....again! Have had a few surgeries, but none as serious as yours. Thought my recoveries included exhaustion. Can't even imagine yours. Be kind to yourself and let the help from others flow to you without reservation.

P.S. I found that it was helpful to carry around a small soft pillow to support my abdomen when walking so my insides didn't fall out.

You're the strongest person I know, and you're an inspiration to all of us. Please just listen to your body and rest as much as it needs.

Post surgery I felt a profound despair that I would ever recover or feel better. But time passes and strength returns, and things get back to normal, or perhaps a "new normal." So while you may feel you're in limbo now, day by day your body is healing. Have faith that this interim time of recovery will one day be in the rearview. Too bad patience isn't something we can order online.

And I know what you mean about the tattoo. I feel that way about cosmetic surgery ... having experienced surgery, the idea of ever submitting to it voluntarily is a big NO.

When you feel like you don't have the strength to do anything, you might still enjoy listening to other people's stories. I recommend This American Life, Snap Judgment, Radiolab and I'm sure there are others, all of which are accessible via laptop. Sending you good vibes, Ronni. Hang in there.

Ronni,
The fatigue you describe is NORMAL!! Your body has been through a huge trauma, and now needs "tincture of time" to recover. Listen to your body, and don't feel bad about your alternative state of being. Embrace it!

I had a hysterectomy when I was 50 (many years ago.) I can't remember anything about the first month after surgery. My body put all it's energy into healing, just as yours is now.

Thank you as always for using your precious energy to share your experience/thoughts/musings with us.

Go with the f low. Follow your instincts. You are in my prayers.

Any long surgery requires a lot of anesthesia. Anesthesia does huge energy-sapping things to my body. I absolutely HATE that!

I resorted to small microwaveable TV dinners in order to skip both cooking and doing dishes. Ask someone to bring in some prepared foods from the deli, a rotisserie chicken, etc. Drink until you're ready to float, and then drink some more (says she who was readmitted to the hospital for dehydration despite guzzling what seemed like gallons of Powerade).

Rest, rest, rest.


Ditto all the good wishes and advice above. Sleep, drink water, have someone cook you vats of soup - veggies and chicken, and hard boiled eggs if tolerated, water again and poop (probiotics). Oh, yeah, ice cream. And friends in small doses.

That's all I got...

You're doing beautifully, even though it doesn't feel like it. 🌺✨🎶🌺

You are one tough cookie Ronni. The home health resources are so important; utilize them all. Perhaps you can get a walker to use temporarily as xtra support when walking and standing. Boil a bunch of eggs, good protein. Protein powder mixes are good too. I had a big abdominal surgery a few yrs ago..I did all of the above plus instant packets of oatmeal. Things I might have said "no way" to in the past became irrelevant till I slowly returned to my new me and normal. Continued good thoughts coming your way.

Interesting how much energy the activities of daily living take. Sounds like you are alone. If anyone offers to come over and help you, that would be a good idea. Just getting a new box of Kleenex is a chore. Someone else could reach for you. ...etc. My second message is "patience". Everything takes longer than we think it will. now rest. ellie

Ronni -- there's not much I can add to what others have posted. You are amazing and we are truly grateful that you are able and willing to share so much of your journey. I personally haven't been through such traumatic surgery but the advice of others seems very good. What I can offer is my thoughts and prayers. And know I read each and every post and all the comments too! This is what community is really about virtually or in person. Keep writing -- it really does help clear the thoughts and focus your intention. Even if it's only a sentence or two that can be managed.

You are an inspiration and I, like others, are inspired by your strength and perseverance throughout. Know that we are with you.

Ronni,

I'm a new reader and I love your blog. I'm 65 and feeling for the first time that I'm entering the land of the old. You are so funny and so wise AND such a good writer. Keep the posts coming, even if they're short. I hope your energy picks up soon. In the meantime, continue going easy on yourself. You seem to have exactly the right approach - !

Yours in possibilities,

Debbie

Bless you in your every moment, dear Ronni. Your body/mind has recently suffered a severe invasion, insult, whatever. My theory on surgery is that if they told us how rotten we were going to feel post operative, we probably wouldn't do it at all. Really. Or they are so inured to the after effects. I was told that I could come home from a hip replacement (which is nothing at all compared to your surgery) and totally take care of myself with no help!

Keep the faith, your scheduling yourself sounds spot on.

I have nothing to add to the above. Just want to say I am grateful to you, Ronni, for sharing your experience with us, and for the rest of you in this incredible community.

What is so gratifying, and interesting, is that all this talk of illness and the aftermath of surgery is, in fact, heartening instead of depressing, because of the honesty and encouragement expressed here, and you, Ronni, are a marvel.

You really must have a fighting chance if the surgeons have been willing to put you through such an ordeal. My cancer is inoperable. Chemo is working very well for me, though, and I'll bet that if chemo works as well for you as it has for me you've got a good shot at a cure. The key is to eat well, rest a lot and sleep as much as you can. Walking is good and socializing, too. And don't give up. A neighbor of ours despaired, being both physically and mentally drained, and refused chemo after his third round. (I'm starting my 5th round today.) He was gone in weeks. So it's important to doctor your pain and your moods, with narcotics if needs be. If black despair comes after you, treat it immediately with whatever you have to combat it. Don't let anything sap your will to survive.

My friend ...

Surgery and recovery - each is a bitch. It's a tough haul coming back to that "new normal" and we have to, at this point in a chronological scale, go a little slower. Really, that's important and quite hard for "hard-chargers" to do. Pay heed to an old comrade who's been down that path. Friends will understand

Brian

Thanks Ronnie for your post. Having been in the hospital for two months with a broken neck and a closed head injury I can appreciate your situation. Rest rest rest. Chicken soup made from a real organic (if possible) chicken cooked for several days on low heat. The nourishment in the broth is easy to assimilate in a g-i system that is a bit impaired. Where is your friend Autumn.? Can she train the home care workers? Get good ones. They can make all the difference. You will need them. They are frequently underpaid and sometimes do not show up. Be cautious and have Autumn supervise for you. Good home care workers can make a big difference by improving the quality of your life. Bad ones can take more than they give and should be fired soon. Have Autumn do this for you.
Have her deal with the agency. The agency will charge you or your insurance company $35 an hour but the home care worker will do well to make minimum wage. Some steal from you. Have Autumn there and supervising so you can rest. Prayers for your radiant health and for emotional stamina for Autumn and good home care workers.
Ellen Greenlaw


Oh yes...I had open heart surgery three months ago, and I remember...and I've heard that Whipple surgery is a real biggie.

I submit that when you are "in a stupor" you are deeply resting and regrouping. And, one suggestion I was given to get some protein into me when I didn't feel like eating was Greek yogurt. Might work if you like it.

Recovery is hard work, isn't it? Carry on -- you're doing great!

I wish you patience with your healing process and many quiet friends willing to take on small tasks on your behalf.

If you can find an acupuncturist who makes house calls, that could be useful.

Dear Ronni,

Having been through three major surgeries in the last 18 years, I can offer advice regarding meals: (1) get a case of Ensure or Boost and use it for at least one of your daily meals. All you have to do is shake it up and open the bottle, and it fills you up and provides the protein you and your body need for healing; (2) have a friend check at your local specialty market for pre-made (and pre-cooked) meals that you can pop into the microwave and heat up; our local Sprouts provides multiple combinations, including delicious salmon, not-so-great meatloaf, and many others, as well as pre-made salads that need only dressing and tossing.

As far as Facebook is concerned, just go to your Time Goes By page on the days that you post a blog and, copying the url from the computer, just put a note that says something like "new post up on Time Goes By" with the url, and you are done. Easy-peasy. If you don't feel like doing that, just depend on your loyal readers to post the url on our own pages for others. I do that frequently.

Best wishes for your healing - things DO get better, I promise!!

I can also volunteer for litter box cleaning, Ronni..should you desire. I've wanted to call you but have held back, clearly remembering my own" after major surgery" lethargy. You have mine, however and feel free to give me a call if you need anything. I know there are several of your internet blog buddies in the Greater Portland area. My vacation trip is over and I'm free to help whenever you need.

Just take care of yourself and ASK FOR HELP if you need...but do what you can because thats what it takes to get better.

Blessings
Elle

I don't understand anything about FB so I just hit the share button. And there it is in my thread. :-)

Thank you so much, Ronnie, for posting! I deeply appreciate reading about your surgery and recovery. Your writing is very important. Prayers for your continuing recovery! The healing has already started.

Ronni dear

You do not have anyone to help you?
To clean the cat's litter for me is an impossible task one year after my spine operation.
And who is cooking your meals? And changing your bed?And taking care of your bath and of your bathroom?

You need to accept that you helps you during this difficult period.
Be kind with yourself, please

Love

Beatriz

I agree with previous comments regarding Ensure or Boost. When I was beginning to recover from my latest fall and subsequent illness my doctor recommended Boost. I still use it and I feel sure that it is helping me with energy. Boost comes in 3 flavors, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. I wasn't fond of the vanilla, but I drink one of the other flavors every day. It is a small glassful and it often takes the place of lunch for me.

Boost, as well as many other staples, can be ordered on line so you don't need to leave your house to grocery shop. I get mine from Amazon pantry.

Major surgery is a massive trauma to your body and needs lots of rest in order to heal. And it isn't just surgery that tires you. I now have to do exactly as you described, Ronni, I do something and then rest. A busy day (IE: a doctor appointment) is followed by one or two days of doing nothing. I do my own meal preparation (frozen dinners and use mostly Stouffers because they taste better than the others.), clean up and laundry. But after every chore I have to rest for at least double the time the chore took.

The zipper tattoo is funny. That great sense of humor that you possess will see you through the worst days.

Patience.....patience.....patience.....easier said than done, I know....but keep trying.

I've done the major surgery four times....and countless small surgeries to repair my worn out hands. I truly understand. Eat as much as you can and know we care.

PS: I pleaded for stitches when I had the pulmonary surgery and woke up to a zipper. I wasn't a happy person. Today I can laugh.

Wish you had someone there with you to help in the nitty gritty things. I'm sure every one of us would be there if we could. We're here in spirit in any case.

Dear Ronni,

So much love here ... this song says it all

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=HyTpu6BmE88

Dear Ronni,
Surgery and anesthesia are the biggest time/energy sucks there are. You have entered the twilight zone and everything you describe is par for the course. I think you are doing superlatively, witness your writing cogent political and aftermath of your surgery blog posts.
This takes time. Go with the flow. Naps are very restorative.
"What's in the way, is the way."
Can you get chicken noodle soup delivered? It doesn't require much "eating" and it's soothing ,protein enriched and hydrating. Chicken bouillon cubes/powder are also good.
Sending healing thoughts your way.
Lynn


Thank you for your posts, Ronni. Love.

Thinking of you, Ronni. I am deeply moved that you have begun posting so quickly after what you have been through. Here's to feeling better and better each day, one day at a time. In your case with your fatigue, sometimes it is an hour at a time.

Dear Ronni, a few thoughts...

Deep appreciation for your sharing your experience with us.

I had two hip replacements in the last three years, and I used a walker for a month each time. I found a walker tray to be extremely helpful. If you're using a walker, you might want to check them out on Amazon.

I bought three different grabbers to have in various rooms.

For cat care, your local humane society might have a program of volunteers who go to people's homes and help them with the litter box, etc.

I agree with the person who recommended acupuncture to reset your energy balance. I've gone into acupuncture in a traumatic state and come out calm.

One of the most amazing things in the world is the incredible healing power of the human body. The life force is strong in us, whatever our age. I've seen people heal from the most devastating conditions--it is truly miraculous. You are healing and you will continue to get better every day.


Reading a Ronni-post is always a good experience for a slew of reasons and, as one member of Team Ronni said, reading the comments you inspire is, too. Rather unique.
So grateful for your particularly generous posts these days ... but your ability to write them so soon after 14 hours of anesthesia blows my mind.
Thank you and all the best, always.
PS Ditto to so many of the good suggestions made above but a particular shout-out for Greek yogurt.

Thank you for your honesty about how hard this is. I can only imagine how weird it must be for someone of your energy to find herself so exhausted. Hoping you continue to see some progress every day!

Ronnie ...
Be gentle with yourself. And patient. For someone as active as you, I know that is a tall order.
re: Whipple recovery: I know someone who underwent this incredibly difficult surgery back in January. The beginning weeks were as you describe.
HOWEVER: fast forward to June ...She went on a cruise to Bermuda! She enjoyed it thoroughly, ate the shipboard meals (with proper pills of course), and she had stamina a-plenty to get off the ship and explore the island. Never would have thought that 5+ months out she would be doing so well.

I know the progress is agonizingly slow, but progress it is!

sending healing vibes your way as always,
Kathy

Your doing good Ronni. Accomplishing all the little things you listed and keeping us updated is no small thing! The fact that your pain free is something to celebrate. This will take time but everyday your making progress.

Dear Ronni, I think of you each day. I'm at the end of the fourth month of recovery after a "seriously major operation." At 81, I find myself, like you, depleted by the surgery and the pain that went before it. And so when you describe your great tiredness and lack of energy I totally understand. I think of exhausted and depleted and worn down to the marrow of the bones.

One of things that happened to me was that I became emotionally imbalanced. I felt as if life was titled on the axis of my being. Nothing seemed quite right. If that happens for you, please know that indeed time does heal.

There is a mantra that I have said. It's from Julian of Norwich and I've used it for many years when pain and physical ailment and loss has cut across the peace of my inner self. Here it is: "And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well." That centuries-old quote has seen me through the darkest of day. If it appeals to you, I hope that it will help you too. Peace.

Apologies for silence from me past couple of days, been somewhat chaotic here with friends visiting and daughter departing for Greek islands. However, having read all of the above comments, and your excellent post, I can see that my images and emails about Iran may well be furthest thing from your mind given trials of recovery. But I shall be sending another one tomorrow. You are doing brilliantly. I just hope Ollie appreciates his clean litter tray!

You are amazing Ronni, I hope your getting enough sleep. Sounds like your gaining a little strength each day.
Your in my thoughts and prayers.

This is the link for this post: http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2017/07/surgery-recovery-day-to-day.html Copy the link and enter facebook. At the top of your page is a box with a small photo of you. Paste the link in that box and enter.
There are different varieties of cannabis that could help with pain and nausea and might help you generate an appetite.
XO

Ronni,

There is a community here for you. While it can seem you must do "normal things" in order to reclaim your life right now, your job is to facilitate your own healing. If you ask, this community would set up volunteers to bring you nutrition and calorie dense foods you would not need to do anything but warm up and would gladly clean the litter box and take out the garbage while delivering those. Someone here would volunteer to coordinate these and we would all have an agreement to not stay more time than it took to do the task and hug you gently.

I highly agree with the suggestions here that you let the community do this for you, you use paper plates and bowls and disposable utensils if you are alone. The universe will for give you not being so ecologically correct as you normally are.

Nutrient dense foods and snacks are a must. Hard boiled eggs, nut butters, cheeses, even baby food, Betty Lou's organic snacks, and the meal supplements are all great right now, small and packed with nutrients and calories.

Let people help you. it's humbling and gratifying for you as well as those who help. this could be the start of one of those communities of elders we have talked about.

Marcie

Thank you, Marcie and others. This is exactly what is going on here and it works well.

Such clear self-awareness for two weeks post-major-surgery. Yes, a great community has been here and is now "out" answering the call. It's wonderful. And even though I have surgery experience, nothing like this, I am learning so much about how to approach and deal. Thank you for "journaling out loud."

hugs
annie


I cannot think of a thing to add to the comments of your wonderful friends here. So, I'm letting you know that your writing, your progress, and your core strength are moving me to tears. Once again. Sending love.

I once had chronic fatigue syndrome (I recovered) and you describe it perfectly. Someone mentioned the despair at never recovering and that was as bad as the fatigue for me. I have nothing to add to all the advice here and I know you are a smart lady so you'll do the right things. When your old energy starts seeping back you'll be so appreciative!

Everyone has already posted what I would have said. Use Ensure or Boost to help with nutrition. Allow people to contribute to you by setting up a schedule for people to volunteer to do whatever you need, from cleaning to making meals to running errands to driving you to follow up appointments and taking notes while there (I did this last for a close friend during several serious illnesses). Take the pain medication if you need it - it's more important to move around. Use a walker if you need to. Once you're able, start any physical therapy you can.
Enjoy the birds and sunshine and green leaves outside your windows. Give yourself permission to rest. Enjoy the fugue states that can be the source of much creativity and perspective.
...
I have been reading your blog for a few years and it's been a wonderful addition to my life. But I have rarely if ever commented.
Sending healing light of many colors your way and visualizing wellness and strength today and for many tomorrows.

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