Saturday, 28 October 2017

A Sense of Improvement

Its four weeks since the surgery and my third full week at home. I’ve probably been improving very slowly all of the time, but over the past week I’ve felt a noticeable improvement. For a start I’ve become more independent. I can now take all of my own clothes off and put them all on in the morning. I can even stick my own Lidocaine patch on my side. Last week T had to put my socks and my patch on before she went to work. My morphine prescription has been reduced but I don’t feel that I am in any more pain. I was taking 50mg a day when I left hospital, now I am on 30mg a day.

My life has settled into a routine of recuperation. I still sleep a lot. I generally get nine hours each night and a nap of one to two hours each afternoon. I can’t lie flat, I’m still sleeping semi-upright against a pile of pillows. I now get myself up and make my own breakfast. I take T her cereal in bed if she is not working. After breakfast I take the dog for a walk. I can walk slowly without significant pain and we have been to the bottom of the lane and back (a distance of two miles) each day this week. The consultant told me that regular walking was the key to recovery from a thoracotomy.  

During the walk I let Rex run free because he is too strong and will pull me on the lead and hurt my wound. Despite lots of effort we haven’t managed to stop him chasing cars. I think it is caused by fear that has been displaced into aggression. Although he is also afraid of cattle and sheep, but just cowers from these creatures. He also loves to chase rabbits.

After the walk I get Rex his breakfast and then rest for a couple of hours. I sometimes do some work on the computer but that tends to hurt my side after a while, using my arms and hands on the keyboard and mouse works my ribs. Sometimes I watch TV, Inspector Morse is often on late mornings. I make myself a lunch of fruit salad and toast. The aim is to help my digestion and keep me regular. I still take four packets of laxative a day.

After lunch I have a nap. Mostly I don’t feel tired, but I close the curtains, put my earplugs in and I am away for an hour or two. I then get up and take the dog for another walk. This time we go halfway to the bottom of the lane and back, one mile. By the time we get back, T is usually home from work. She makes tea and does the clearing up. We relax for the rest of the evening and go to bed around 10.30.

For a few days my friend Phil from the New Forest was visiting. He fitted in easily, going for walks or reading whilst I was resting. One day he came back with a couple of pounds of sloes, ready for making sloe gin. Another day we went out to the coast and took Rex. He is fine in a car as long as you hold him. Rex sat in the footwell and rested his head between my knees. We parked at Nine Arches and followed the boardwalk to Murlough Bay. I managed the walk alright as it is about a mile and half there and back. Rex enjoyed running wild across the beach but was afraid of the sea.

I found that the journey in the car was a surprisingly painful experience. The vibrations, cornering and acceleration/deceleration caused constant low level pain and then there were the potholes. I’m not allowed to drive at the moment. I don’t think I will be planning to go anywhere by car for a wee while.

No comments:

Post a Comment