18 days post spinal fusion.
We are leaving my parents and going home this weekend. Sunday to be precise. Paul has an 86 mile cycling commitment for his neuroblastoma charity on Saturday. He will drive to us on Saturday night, once he is finished, and we will all go home together on Sunday morning.
I haven't been in my house, surrounded by my things, my life, for three weeks. I am very nervous. My parents have looked after us with such love and care for two weeks, and I have wanted for nothing.
Paul is working from home next week, so he is in 24/7. The Bigs are back at school, so they are sorted day time. Niamh will fall in with whatever, as she always does with amazing grace. I know my fabulous friends will be round all the time. I know that I shall still want for nothing. But somehow, going home represents a return to a normal that I'm not feeling right now.
I need to acknowledge that I am a new normal I guess, and recognise how lucky I am.
On a physical level I am improving daily. I have been out for two 'walks' this week. On Tuesday, my dad drove me to the end portion of a little route my mum had taken the kidlets on, with their bikes and scooters. I probably didn't walk further than 250 yards, before being driven home (and then going for a nap!), but the act of being outside was uplifting.
On Thursday my mum took the Bigs to an activity at the library. This encouraged my dad and sister, together with Niamh, to take me out for a walk. I pushed myself to my limit yesterday, by the time we got home I was physically uncomfortable and ready to stop. I managed 0.8km.. In 34 mins.. I'm immensely proud of that. I was running 5k in 34 mins before Christmas. What a base line for improvement!
Lucy and I are already talking about my come back strategy.. Once I've ditched the walking sticks, I will need to learn to run again, and get back on my beloved bike.
Range of movement on day 18/ improvements from day 13:
* I am still shuffling with my walking sticks, but I am definitely getting quicker - on the stairs too. I am even brave enough to use just one stick on occasion.
* With the help of my 'handy grabber' (a long metal stick with a pincer hand thing on the end) I can now shower and dress myself. It is painstakingly slow, but it is something I can now do for myself. Apart from socks! Socks are so frustrating! Bebe is particularly good at helping me with my socks. Niamh is the queen of slippers.
* 'Log rolling' in and out of bed is so much easier. I am already forgetting just how stiff and awkward I was only last week.
* Bending to sit is still improving.
* I am still unable to bend forward because my back is too stiff. I can lean forward a couple of inches and then everything just stops. There is nothing else to give. We are still putting my food plate on a tin to raise it up for me to eat etc. Physio starts next Friday and I am eager to re-train my muscles into being useful!
* My wound is looking amazing, all 19cms of it - do I start referring to it as a scar now? The swelling is getting so much better. It is still bruised and tender, but the new pink skin is shining through. Being on my back, I obviously can't see it easily, so I have a million pics of it that I scrutinise regularly. To have such a thing on my body, and to not be able to see it, frustrates the life out of me!
* There is no change to my 'blank' skin. It is a horrible burning sensation.
* I am really down on my painkillers, which I'm thrilled about. There is no back pain as such now, my discomfort comes from a place of healing I think. My body has to get used to having metal in my spine and that will take some getting used to. Things ache and things are stiff, but there is none of the old 'catch' pain. I have experienced my first post op sneeze this week and it was a revelation. No pain! It used to cut me in half, and on a bad day, make me cry. Not any more!
I'll leave you with a pic of the crochet I have been learning this week. A gift to keep my hands busy. Plus a hideous pic of me wrapped up, post walk, in my mums big chair, choosing a necessary choccy biccy.. My sister took the photo and I told her it wouldn't make the final editors cut.. Well I guess it did!
Thank you for reading Clanettes. Thanks for your support x x x