Ben took a picture of Xena last night that depicts how I feel today:
This is how my recovery feels:
I finally weaned myself off hydrocodone this week. (Standing up to thunderous applause, gasping, hugging Ben, and waddling slowly up to the stage in my beautiful gown. Talking into the microphone.) Thank you, thank you so much. I'd like to thank my mom, who said I couldn't borrow her car for parent-teacher conferences if I was on hydrocodone. I'd like to thank my sister, who told me I could get arrested for DUI for driving while on hydrocodone. And I'd like to thank my hairdresser for gasping when I told her I had hydrocodone and saying, "OMG, you could totally sell those on the street for some serious money!!!" All of you made me feel ready to take the leap into Tylenol Land, which should just be called I-might-as-well-swallow-pills-made-of-air-because-it-doesn't-help-me-at-all-Land. (Holding up my award) I love you all!!!
Anywho, my recovery reminds me of that Bruce Springsteen song, "One Step Up and Two Steps Behind." One day, I'll feel pretty great. So I'll maybe do some dishes. Cook some dinner. Go to a work Christmas party. The next day, I pay the price for doing those things. I'll be on my back on the couch for the entire day.
But you know, sometimes I'm really good and don't lift a finger, and I still feel crummy the next day. It's really unpredictable. The pain isn't too bad. Some tenderness at the incision site, of course. What is really bad is just the exhaustion I feel. For some reason, the hydrocodone kept the exhaustion at bay. I mean, it made me a little sleepy, but I didn't feel a bone-crushing exhaustion. But now, yeah. Just so stinkin' tired. More tired than I've ever been, and that's saying something. Because I've been tired for years!!! Having kids does that to you. And having thyroid disease. Kind of a killer combo. But those are nothing on this. Nothing.
I told Ben tonight when I had another cry-fest (Why do I always get those on weekends? Any thoughts?) that I had Buyer's Remorse. I really miss my old life. Sure, I had pain from my prolapsed uterus and bladder, but it wasn't horrible. It was manageable. I could still exercise. Cook. Clean. Take care of my kids. I'm just kind of sick of lying down all the time. Tired of TV. Tired of reading. I want to be jogging. Visiting friends. Doing fun things. I'm sick of feeling gross.
I was telling my friend that I feel so sorry for people who have cancer or other horrible diseases or infirmities. They feel crummy for months and years. I can't imagine how hard it must be, to be basically trapped inside a body that's not working. I'm catching a small glimpse of what that's like, and it's awful. It makes my heart go out to them even more than it already did.
And I'm starting to feel some major guilt - Ben had a very small surgery a couple of years ago. It wasn't as invasive as this has been at all. But still. It was a surgery. And he felt crummy for a couple of weeks. And....I don't think I was there for him emotionally. I had a newborn, and I was trying to cope with that and with taking care of the kids all by myself and doing all of the cleaning, and I was maybe a little resentful of Ben, thinking, "What he had done is no big deal. I don't know why he can't just dust himself off and get himself off the couch and help me." I had just gone through a very difficult pregnancy, and when he would talk about how awful he felt, I was just like, "Dude. Try to feel this way for nine months and then we can talk." But now I feel bad. I was a jerk for treating his pain so lightly. And he's been so incredibly supportive of me through all of this. Such a sweetheart.
And may I announce a disturbing development in my recovery - I have an abdominal "apron" now. Kay. So before the surgery, I obviously had a bit of a spare tire in my tummy area. But it was smooth, right? It sloped out, and it sloped back in where my legs meet my torso. But now? It slopes out, and where my incision site is, it goes in drastically and drops straight down. It's hard to explain. Like how guys who have a really big belly fasten their belt below the belly. And the belly hangs over it. I look like those guys!!! Ugh, it looks awful!! Dang it! Ah well. Am I planning on wearing a bikini anytime soon? No. So it will be okay. It's just kind of disturbing.
I just have to keep chanting this mantra in my head: "At least I don't have that stupid catheter anymore. At least I don't have that stupid catheter anymore." That helps me feel better. :) Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow...