This time four weeks ago I was lying in Wycombe hospital having made the scariest decision of my life. But I was awake, I was ok and I had started the next step of my journey.
The weeks have gone past quite quickly, but at the same time, one or two of the weeks, have felt like the longest weeks of my life. My progress so far will be slightly different to others due to my extra admittance to hospital for the week. This episode has set me back a bit. I am still exceptionally tired and can only do a few things at a time. A mid afternoon nap (or two) has proved most beneficial!
Physically, I can move around much easier and I am using my arms much more. I can get in to kitchen cupboards, pour myself cereal and get myself dressed. Lifting heavier items such as a kettle or pulling open things, like the dishwasher is a no. Not being able to do the housework is such a shame… J I am ok to potter around the house by myself for a few hours, however I cannot be on my own for any longer than this. There are several reasons. Physically there are still things that I cannot do, open heavier doors, unscrew lids, get anywhere with any great haste but also frustrating things like taking a jumper off if I get too hot. Also, being on my own I would do more and risk either over doing it, or hurting myself. There is also the anxiety of ‘what if something happens’. I think this is amplified in my mind because of how quickly and seriously I got ill the other week. I am naturally quite frightened of it happening again. However, positive spin… to ensure I am not on my own I have been shipped off to my grandparents for a few days. Any grandchild will know, being around your grandparents when you are not feeling tip top is lovely, because naturally they spoil you and make you feel extra special. A change of scenery is also nice, I have been stuck at home or staring at hospital walls for the past month, somewhere new is refreshing.
Can and Cannot Do Timeline- Update at 4 Weeks
Cannot quite wash my hair properly yet, but I give it a jolly good go. I can’t quite get my hands above my head to do the scrubbing/lathering/soaping action. So, I tilt my head and use one hand to attempt this. I am getting better each time, so I do not think it will be long (perhaps a week) until I can do this normally again.
As stated above, I can do much more, but it does trick you in to that false sense of security. I stretched for a drink of water in the middle of the night, not thinking at all and boy am I suffering for it today. It is a bit like pulling a muscle… but in your boob! Logical explanation is that it is in fact my chest muscle that I have hurt as mine was sliced and diced during the op… but it feels like it is in my reconstructed boob! So be careful, and try not to forget that you are still recovering when you get to this stage.
Twisting bottle tops or pushing down to close shampoo lids for example is still a real struggle. It sounds insignificant, but it’s the fact that it is such an insignificant action that frustrates me so much. How bloody hard is it to twist open a water bottle?!
In a nutshell at 4 weeks…
- You are still recovering but you can be more independent
- DO NOT DO TOO MUCH. Do not risk overdoing it and delaying your recovery
- See if you can stay with family or friends for a night or two. Change of scenery is refreshing
- A 15-minute task will still feel like you’ve been at work for 12 hours therefore, NAPS are essential
- Pain- I now take pain relief as and when, rather than every 4 hours without fail
- Psychologically it is going to be a long journey with ups and downs. Seeing my scars is still very fresh, but the progress is I do not cry each time I see them. It is a small step, but it still counts
- Stay positive and find something to keep you occupied. My next post will be about the different things I have done to keep myself from dwelling