Friday, May 4, 2007

Too much info - just having pity party

I will write more when I feel better. The following was dictated at kind of a low point yesterday:

It has been a week since the surgery. I can hardly believe it! My mom is typing for me so I can actually get some ideas down. I feel pretty lousy but I guess that is to be expected. I take it I am in much better shape than anyone expected. Everyone keeps telling how great I look. (except for Jaime, my doorman, who was shocked when I flipped over my hair and showed him the 7 inch incision line. He looked like he was either going to faint or be sick. I guess I should warn people before doing that.)

Because I did not know what to expect, everything I feel surprises me. I have no paralysis. I do have a lot more numbness on the left side of my head. I alternate rapidly between hot and cold, sweating then freezing. I am nauseated and feel sleepy a lot. My appetite is coming back slowly and I need to remember to drink a lot of water. My head sometimes hurts tremendously and the medicine seems to just barely take off the edge.

Walking feels good once I am up, but exhausts me after 10 minutes. I want more fresh air. It is great to get clean even if it is just a sponge bath. My stitches are starting to itch and will come out next Tuesday.

I’m very happy that my mind is sharp. I can have conversations and laugh. I wish I could read or focus on visuals for longer, but I can listen for long periods. I have caught up with some of my favorite shows with my eyes closed the entire time. It hurts my eyeballs to keep them open too long. I can’t knit or doodle because sitting up requires most of my attention when I’m doing it. I appreciate even the smallest pleasures just the touch of my mom’s hand squeezing my shoulders, or a bit of chocolate melting on my tongue, or Lily snuggled up next to my tummy.

I can’t have much physical contact and I didn’t realize how much I would miss it. I really want to kiss Brian, sorry but do. I love the feeling of my head sinking into the pillow, but when I lie on my good side, I am almost deaf, and when I lie on my stitches, besides hurting, the smell of the sweat in my dirty hair makes me gag. It is strange that I have so little sense of taste, yet such a strong sense of smell. For the first 24 hours after getting home, I could not stand the smell of the dog and Lily got sad after being rejected so much.

There are also so many strange things going on under my scalp. There are lumps and bruises, scratches and swollen places.

I am learning to relax and let other people do things for me. My mom has been with me since I went for the surgery and she has to go back to work next work. I am already sad and scared about how I’m going to feel without her. I have not had many visitors, but I really appreciate the people who have come. I told Caroline today that I wish people could just come over without having to call or buzz from downstairs. I love the company but I don’t like the planning! I can’t answer the phone or the door very fast. When someone is around, I just feel happier, stimulated, and more inclined to sit up and interact. So far all I do every day is sleep, make myself eat and make myself get up and walk around. Without other people helping motivate me, I probably would have a hard time doing anything.

So many people have encouraged me to have a positive attitude before the surgery. It was much easier to do than I thought it would be. I think now is the time I need to gather all my strength and maintain a positive attitude. The symptoms will subside and return as I continue to recover, and I will continue to remind myself of how much I have. I told Emily yesterday that there had to be no profession better than being a teacher if you get sick. I feel so lucky having so many people love me and care about me.

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