BS2018 – RD5 Sunday – The Rollercoaster

You can live with dignity you can’t die with it.

-House, M.D.

A side note first. I am glad I worked in a hospital for 21 years. It has given me an insider appreciation for what the medical staff go through on a daily basis. Having major surgeries gave me an appreciation for the end product but having worked inside those walls gave me the knowledge that every person who comes into your room be they custodial staff or department heads is there for one reason only and that is to support you in your journey to wellness So many patients don’t fully appreciate the commitment that all the staff have you as a patient and the weight that they carry in the awareness of that commitment.

Yesterdays yellow alert had a very familiar feel to it, I knew I had seen and felt these symptoms before and after some diligent searching through my personal documents I found that indeed this had happened at almost exactly the same point after surgery 2. I had determined at that time that it was due not to the medication directly but to the fact that the medication had stopped up my system causing constipation and an inability of my liver to process enough waste. I am not sure that it’s the truth, but there must be a combination of issues when you have to lay practically motionless for a few days, not eating or drinking much and taking high levels of medication. The fact is that just as quickly as it was here it is now gone, I am a perfectly normal colour again today, not even a shadow of yellowing in my hands and I am equally happy to report that the bathroom is no longer an issue with things progressing fairly normally.

It is currently 139pm and zero degrees with clouds, so I went for my walk hoping that snow would stay away and I would be able to make my goal for the day of 1.2km. I am not really bothered about my speed at this point, my walk is more for the development of my nerve pathways and the strength in my leg than doing anything reckless. However I am acutely aware that the human body is designed for movement, from the most delicate hands of a concert violinist to the gross motor developments of the powerlifter the essence of the human experience is movement. There have been very few mistakes in my life that I truly regret, however one of those was the underestimation of my ability after my first surgery. In some respects I feel as if I may never have had to experience 2 and 3 had I not screwed up my recovery after number one. That said, I do have degenerative disc disease so maybe that’s an overstatement. But.. if there was one thing I could go back and fix in my past my recovery from surgery 1 would be high on the top 5 lists of things to do over.

My walk today was 1.33km surpassing my goal of 1.2 and at a blistering pace of 15 minutes per kilometre. My leg feels fine today although after the walk I can sense the lack of muscular development and the weakness sensation in my knee is something that will probably take a while to come back. However I am firmly in my seat on the rollercoaster now and the ups and downs are as close to any thrill ride you will find. I posted in my previous recovery (which, I am sure I have linked before but can be found HERE)  that day by day I felt like a new person. 2 days ago I couldn’t face getting out of bed to use the bathroom and yet today I was gleefully able to sit in my recliner and watch TV while able now to walk up and down stairs like a normal person using both legs. The rate of recovery is staggering but it’s also a double edged sword. In both my previous recoveries I have had relapses. One was painfully to admit my own fault and the other was an accident where I fell down and through the basement stairs tearing my leg up in the process. I am glad to say that I am firmly resolved not to have such episodes this time and I have resolved to maintain the mentality of a recovering surgery patient for the full 6 weeks until I see the surgeon again rather than behaving like someone who had a hangnail removed and can’t wait to get back to the gym.

I do have to say one thing here. This is my third surgery and for those of you who are concerned over my ambition to get better or my need to increase my activity I will say just this. Have spent my whole life being hyper aware of my body, be that due to being a fat kid or an elite athlete it doesn’t matter what does matter is that I know myself all too well. Yes mistakes happen and judgements are sometimes off course but believe me when I say I am more than familiar with what it takes to get through recovery successfully. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the concern because I do, but trust in me when I say that there is nothing more valuable to me than my health and the thought of one day being able to walk down the aisle with my beautiful daughter rather than have her push me there in a wheelchair. Of course I will be careful, of course I will take it slowly but I will also give my body what it requires as far as motion and nutrition in order to get me through this.

With that said it is time for a rest and some food so the dog and I will be on the couch with steak if you need us.

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