Wednesday, June 12, 2013


So here is the alternate narrative to Sundays 'frustrated' post, see here. As I pledged, I did write it on Monday, but I wanted a couple of days to reflect on it before I shared it with you Clanettes.

I suppose the easiest way to see what I can do now, how much my life has improved, and how grateful I really ought to be, is to look at specific things I couldn't do before surgery - how handy that I have a blog and can reference such things!

The first post I wrote back in February, see here, and at the end of the blog I wrote a list of things I couldn't do.The most important para's in that post are these few:

'Now that I have a specialist appt through, I sat with Paul today and have made a list of things that cause me pain. I am outraged at how I have had to modify my life since Christmas. I feel so sad - I have become so sedentary, and I worked so hard last year to become so full of movement.
Activities that cause me acute pain:
Running (fast walking sometimes!)
Swinging my leg over my bike, sometimes being on my bike actual
Sewing - the action of lifting my foot for the pedal, and bending over the machine is painful
Wearing my long boots - again, the action of lifting my foot and stooping to put them on, is painful (Some days I can't even take my own socks off)  
Lifting the kidlets into the car, or carrying Niamh on one hip
Collecting tesco shopping bags, bending to pick them up and put them in my kitchen
Jerking/making sudden movement
'bumping' my pushchair up steps
bending to do anything, like the washing machine etc
Sitting on tall or low chairs, where I am awkwardly positioned.

The pain is not constant. I refer to it as a 'catch'. Something in my back gets caught, and when it catches I am immobile for a moment, unable to go back into the position I just left, or forward to complete the movement I was attempting. Rather like a labour contraction, I forget the pain until the next 'catch' and then immediately it arrives I am thrust into a wave of painful remembering. And so I just grind to a halt and wait for it to pass.

And that is the crux. I feel like I am waiting. Waiting to get better? Waiting to get worse? Just waiting to get Back to my life.. I had thought I was getting better, but actually I am doing less and less to compensate.'

Then if we look at a post I wrote 5 days post surgery, see here, the specifics are as follows:

* Walking is a slow shuffle with sticks
* Getting to a sitting position (bending my back and legs simultaneously) hurts
* 'Log rolling' (literally rolling your body like a stiff log) into bed hurts like a very rude word
* Bending to pick something up (or to kiss the kidlets) is not an option, I am simply too stiff
* My hips ache like another rude word
* I can't lift my arms higher than my shoulders as my back isn't strong enough
* My wound ITCHES! (Obviously I shouldn't be scratching it, it is bandaged and too new, but the irony of not being able to reach round and scratch it even if I did want to is not lost on me!)
* my wound is swollen. If you look at yourself in the mirror, side on, your spine dips in and curves in from your shoulders, before coming out again to form your buttocks. Mine currently drops down to my buttocks in a straight line. Looks most odd.

Improvements I am already noticing:

* From day 3 to day 5 my core movement has already improved enough for me to shuffle my hips and 'wiggle' slowly into a better position in bed, rather than getting out and starting a 'log roll' again.
* I can get out of bed on my own and with less discomfort
* I can wiggle my foot vigorously enough to get my slippers on by myself

Even just by cutting and pasting both sets of descriptions here, I can see how far I have come and what a massive achievement I have both been through and made in the last 11 weeks. The old pain is gone, there is now no 'catch', I am obviously moving freely without walking sticks, my wound has healed, the swelling has gone and my scar is neat. I can sit and lie as I like and I am back to sewing and sitting on a stationary bike.
I am back at work and have just upped my hours from 8 to 16, and although it is pretty chronic after 8 hours stood on the shop floor, I couldn't have done it beforehand and I am really grateful for my job and the feeling of accomplishment it brings.

There are things I still can't do, but they will come, I haven't given up on them just yet, so although I do feel like I am still waiting, I know it comes from a place of healing and moving forward rather than static injury.

I will leave you with my check list, it still stands.
Thanks for reading x x

1 comment:

  1. You know, after I read your post on Sunday, I thought back to that original list of what hurts - specifically pressing the sewing machine pedal. And then I thought about the alphabet bunting you made recently.

    You have come a long way, and this time in 12 months, you will have come even further and will have the summer you expected in 2014(growing, cycling, running etcetc). What is 12 months of 'rest' in the grand scheme of things? Frustrating, yes. But small fry compared with how much you will now be able to achieve becasue of surgery. Chin up x