Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recuperation Ended (Mostly): Part 2

Well, maybe not entirely. The main purpose of my recuperation had nothing to do with regaining strength or getting past any pain. I have had no trouble regaining any strength I lost- just keep walking was the key to that. As for the pain, I have already mentioned that I didn't need any prescription pain meds only 18 hours after surgery. The recuperation of the tongue numbness and swallowing issues simply needed time. Yes, all these are important, essential, but there is one more that takes longer than those.

The main, A#1 purpose of recuperation after my surgery was to give the internal fusing of bone and bone the opportunity to occur. When they work on such a relatively large area covering more than a couple vertebrae they want to make sure that all is right. So do I. If I am going to regain my fitness and ability to do the things I was doing (or even more) I need to continue to be cautious.

Well, if this sounds like a rationalization of why I am willing to accept the need to wear the hard collar 24/7 for another 4+ weeks, you can read quite well between the lines. Yes, I went to the medical professionals on Friday and they were well-pleased with what has been healing. yes, I can go back to work tomorrow with no restrictions.

But, no, I cannot get out of the collar yet.

So it goes.

Fortunately the collar is not as bothersome as it was at first. In fact when I take it off to shave or switch to the one I wear in the shower, the fear of doing something wrong keeps me moving slowly. I almost look forward to putting it back on. It has become a security net. Fine by me.

I can't really drive, though, since I can't see right or left without turning my whole body and I have been reliant on my wife for being my chauffeur. Talk about someone deserving of a medal of honor- that's her. I have tried playing my trumpet and it seems to be a strong possibility that this will be okay, though most likely not in time for a concert in March.

So, here is where I am today. Stuck in the collar for 4 1/2 weeks. Going back to work. Feeling really good about what has been happening. I have been scribbling notes in my journal about what I have learned from this and will get to that one of these days. Lots of support has come my way and for that I am grateful, including good ideas from Terry and John who both went through this in the past few years. Great advice, greatly appreciated!

So on I go. It's supposed to snow tomorrow evening. But I think the possibilities of snowshoeing this winter are next to none. It will next be back on the stationary bike and elliptical to prepare for spring biking. Then who knows what. Twins baseball; fun outdoors; more reading. Always a lot to look forward to.

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