I made it.
It was a long crawl through a dark, putrid tunnel. But I made it to the other side.
Note: If you’re new here, you probably haven’t read the series of posts about my recent surgery / subsequent rough recovery. I’ll pop the links below for you.
(Announcement) The problem with your but (it’s not what you think!)
Hysterectomy: day 1
Hysterectomy: night 1
Hysterectomy: recovery week 1
Hysterectomy: recovery weeks 2- 6
At the time of my last blog post (six weeks post surgery), most of my abdominal pain had subsided, and I was starting to ease my way back into life. I was still experiencing intense fatigue and brain fog though (more than was usual for me).
I’m glad to report that, over the following month, those symptoms gradually eased back to my normal level. Which is to say, the other day I carefully wrapped an overripe banana in a plastic bag, and put it in the cupboard…instead of the freezer. (Luckily I found it again that afternoon, and not a few weeks later! Yuck!) But I can write a coherent lesson again, and read blocks of text instead of staring blankly at the page…most of the time (which is my normal).
I do still get pain in my abdominal muscles sometimes, and my hip joints are still extra cranky. But, apart from that, I’m pretty much back to pre-surgery me!
Well, pre-surgery me minus an organ…and minus the days lying on the shower floor losing copious amounts of precious fluids; the agonising cramping / stabbing / kill-me-now pains; the bleeding on all my clothing / bedding / towels; and the epic nausea. (This new me is pretty awesome, just quietly!)
So, if I’m back to normal… why has it been over a month since my last blog post?
I have a good reason, I promise.
A really good reason.
You see, there was this series on Netflix and…
*cringes away from the things being flung at her*
Okay, okay, I’ll stop kidding around! Sheesh!
THIS is the reason for my absence.
Now before you get too excited, I have to confess that this cute little ball of fluff does not belong to me. (*cries a tiny bit inside*). But it’s totally her fault that I’ve been unable to blog. Well, kind of.
Allow me to introduce you to Ellie, my sister B’s new golden retriever puppy. We’ve been visiting her since before she had her eyes open. But yesterday, B could finally bring her home!
Ellie will be an assistance / companion dog for B, when she grows up.
But for now, she’s just a ridiculously adorable fluffy baby dog.
Between when she was born, and the day she came home with B though…there was a lot of work to be done. My parents have a huge backyard. When I was growing up, it had large veggie gardens in one corner, and a flourishing garden all around the fence, like a border. But when my Mum became too ill to continue gardening, the backyard slowly descended into a jungle. The vegetable garden in the corner became giant beds of farmer’s friends (also known as cobbler’s pegs, beggar’s tick, or bur marigold), a horrible weed with spiked seeds that stick to your clothes (and puppy fur!).
The beautiful garden along the fence became 60m of tangled, thorny, weedy mess; with a few jumping ants nests hidden in there for good measure.
Everyone that lives there is either super busy, or chronically ill. So every spare spoon I’ve had for the last month and a half has been spent in that backyard. Partly to help get the yard ready for the puppy (I could just see her sticking her inquisitive nose into a bush full of jumping ants!), but mostly because I know that it made my Mum sad to constantly see that awful mess, and not be able to do a thing about it.
The backyard is still not finished, but it’s definitely much better than it was! The big weed trees (planted by random birds pooping out seeds) have been cut down, and the stumps poisoned so they can’t grow back. The plants that we wanted to keep (like some rose bushes) have been pruned. Dead plants were removed. The corner garden has been divested of its rows of farmers friends, and can now return to grass. The fence panels have been re-secured in places where the bolts had broken, and the gaps underneath covered with steel mesh. Most of the jumping ant nests have been poisoned (only one to go!).
Why am I telling you this? Partly because I wanted you to know where I’ve been while blog posts have been…um…non-existent. But also because the impact of my hysterectomy really hit me hardest when I was in the middle of some gardening.
I suddenly realised that, had I not had the surgery, I would have been menstruating that particular day. Instead of sitting on a stool outside, chatting with a young teenage girl (who had volunteered to help), I would have been lying on the shower floor in the foetal position, bleeding (and bleeding…and bleeding), in tears from the excruciating pain. But here I was, outside, weeding away happily. I closed my eyes, and sat silently, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, the cool breeze teasing my hair. I took a deep breath of crisp, clean air. Then I took another deep breath, and let down my pain barriers. I allowed myself to feel the fatigue, the sore joints and aching muscles. From the pinched nerve that was complaining in my hip, to the finger I’d dislocated that morning (drying my hand on a tea towel), to the aching muscles around my pacemaker. I let myself feel the brunt of those things, and then I rejoiced. Thank you God.
I rejoiced because I was sore, and tired…but I was okay. Instead of curled up on the bathroom floor in intense pain, I was outside weeding. Instead of crawling from bedroom to toilet (because losing so much fluid = blood pressure too low to be upright), I was sitting up, cheerfully singing along to the music blasting from the teen’s iPod nestled on the chair beside me. Instead of needing someone to look after me, I was helping someone else.
That’s the moment I realised I was through the tunnel, and had emerged into the sunshine on the other side.
So, hello from the other side! I really like it over here.
(How could I not, with this goofy fluff ball in my life? Even if she’s not mine…)
P.S. Bear keeps getting all mushy about the ridiculously adorable, soft, fluffy, cute baby dog, and telling me we need to get one. But I know that:
a) Puppies are a lot of work. If I’m so fatigued that I have to skip showering some days, I’m definitely not well enough to look after a puppy full-time.
b) Puppies are expensive. Even if the puppy itself was given to you for free, you’ve got the bills for all the initial vaccinations, plus microchipping and desexing. Then you’ve got the cost of feeding, and the yearly vaccinations / worming / flea-tick treatments. Knowing that I sometimes put off buying my own supplements because of finances…there’s no way I can afford the upkeep of a puppy right now.
c) I already have a dog: a Kelpie we rescued 7yrs ago (she’s now around 9 or 10 yrs old). I’m not sorry we rescued her, and I love her to pieces, but she needs lots of care and attention. If I have spare spoons, I need to spend them on her, not on a new cute puppy I’ve gotten myself.
Responsible adulting is no fun.