Rest & restrictions

Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash

It’s been a few days, but I’ve been tired, cranky, and reading articles on Washington Post every time it was time to write. Tired has actually been an understatement. Until the last two days, I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours a night, and trying to nap during the day. Waking always involved awful leg pain that took a good hour to walk off.

Saturday night was the first time since surgery I slept most of the night, getting up only three times to pee and actually getting back to sleep after. Last night, I slept a solid 7.5 hours with only one pee break. It was also the first morning absent leg pain. It was amazing.

Speaking of peeing… I’ve had a few side conversations with various people over going to the bathroom post surgery — and I bring this up because if you watched last week’s episode of And Just Like That, the HBOMAX Sex and the City spinoff, you saw Carrie, the main character needing help to get to the bathroom, and ultimately peeing in a Snapple bottle (well done on product placement, Snapple) after hip surgery. I needed a bit of help the first time getting up to use the bathroom in the hospital, but that had more to do with the need to use a bedpan until the hospital could bring a commode. That plastic wonder was my Snapple bottle.

Every experience is different. Much depends on what is done, how the person is doing, pain levels, and I would imagine fear of fucking up. That last one is real. Coming out of surgery, there are a lot of do’s and even more don’t’s to follow. No bending, lifting, or twisting (BLTs) is drilled in practically from the time you wake up. And, well, using the bathroom tends to involve some combination of what you aren’t supposed to do. In fact, a lot of things involve the BLTs that you never considered until you can’t do them. Pants accidentally slide down? Can’t bend and get them. Paper over to the side? Can’t twist to reach it.

Which brings me back to being tired and cranky. Remove the sleep factor, all the things I did before surgery are either not possible right now, or require me to forge a new path. I’m highly skilled with the reacher-grabber tool. I can use it to scoop and deliver cat kibble to bowls, get pans, put things in the oven, and even play with the cats. What I cannot do is beyond frustrating. Laundry, take things out of the oven, pick up the cats, take out the trash, scoop the litter, drive, and the list goes on.

I’m hopeful to return to work, at least in some capacity, this week. I got a verbal from the doctor for a part-time return, but I’m still waiting on the actual letter detailing the restrictions and authorization. I’m looking forward to talking to my coworkers again and diving back in where I can.

The next three weeks of these restrictions will go by quickly, but it’s really a tough mental game as well.

Song of the day: Last of my kind, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

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