It's day 2 post op now. My lines and drains are out and I am existing in a pleasant fog, supplied graciously to me by an assortment of Schedule 8 analgesics and miscellaneous medications. The bulk of the pain I'm experiencing comes courtesy of the 6 inch surgical wound they cut to access my spine as well as a headache that occasionally pounds in the background if I try to do too much. Because the lesion was intradural, I lost the bulk of my cerebro-spinal fluid during the operation. This takes time to replenish - hence the headache.
My legs can move, and I can walk - albeit gingerly - and without much confidence. But I can walk, so that is great relief number one. Since I had my urinary catheter taken out yesterday, I have managed to go to the toilet several times. It takes me a long time to finish but I can empty my bladder. I have control, so that is relief number two. I've yet to test my bowel so I can't report on that one just now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The other stuff - the *man* stuff? That will have to wait for the time being. But I would be lying if I said that it wasn't playing on my mind.
How am I feeling psychologically?
At the moment, I feel drained - completely washed out in fact. I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, even as I write this - and it's mid morning! After, seeing the physio, having a shower, brushing my teeth and submitting to nursing tasks of observations, medications, wound care, I'm pretty much trashed.
Mostly though, I'm relieved to be on the other side. This "thing" has consumed so much of my mental capacity and well being for so long, there has been no room for just living. I've neglected my kids - all their end of year school achievements and especially their anticipation for Christmas. I didn't go to get the tree like I usually do and a lot of things have happened around me.
I mean, I've been there - but I haven't been there.
I've neglected my wife. Emily has been holding fort, running around and trying to keep our household together, whilst tidying up all her loose ends at work, preparing for Christmas and worrying about me. She is a very pragmatic woman, not often given to overt displays of affection. She expresses her love though in her devotion to the household, the family. She often moves in a quiet way and it's easy to miss the things she does. Everything she does is done with love.
I need to be more aware of that.
There have been so many wonderful people who have reached out to me these past few days, from all across the world, sending messages of encouragement, love and best wishes. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for them.
I hope to be home for Christmas. I have to make it up to my family for all the chaos I have caused them.
I have to stop now. I'm dribbling saliva over my keyboard.
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