Even though I don’t feel 100% better after my surgery four days ago, and also haven’t defecated in that long although I have urinated, I am feeling well enough to walk around without substantial spinal pain, which is a marked improvement for me. The day after I got home from surgery, it took 30-45 minutes to stand up from the toilet. The next day, 10-15 minutes. Now, it’s less than 5 minutes and only expending minor energy toward standing.
I was able to walk to my doctor’s appointment and the supermarket yesterday.
I did arrive home fatigued and have been tired through most of the night – but unable to sleep – and morning here, but I’m seeing my body mend in ways that feel more natural. My biggest pain right now is my spine and that’s a minor pain overall. When it hurts, though, like when I try to stand up and my spine isn’t ready, that is still a serious pain. But in comparison to the pain I was experiencing in the days and hours leading up to surgery, I’m fine with it by comparison.
This pain is a good threshold indicator for me.
I can walk around at a slow pace for perhaps over a mile, but I can’t easily transition from standing to sitting, or from sitting to lying on my stomach. I tried sleeping on my side this morning, since I figured yesterday’s meeting with the doctor didn’t show any significant issues with my spine, so I can probably try to sleep more comfortably to see how things go from there. The main thing now will be trying to defecate. It’s become a big discomfort and I might actually have a significant amount of weight to defecate out.
I’ve taken the post-surgery laxatives but to no success.
Still, this is a minor pain compared to how I felt, where my legs were becoming increasingly more numb by the day. I suppose this first post-surgery defecation will require a bit more of a concentrated effort than usual, and I wanted to write about this at length as something that had I known about I might have asked more about in the hospital. There’s a catheter, but I’m not sure there’s an equivalent for sticking something up my butt to relieve the pressure enough to cause me to defecate. When I last tried to poop about one hour ago, there was some pressure against my spine and tailbone that didn’t feel comfortable.
I wonder if that’s something I need to work through?
If not, then I’ll need to figure out a way to relieve this pressure. Walking around, though, was a good way to get things moving again. I think it helps put everything back to where it needs to go in the body, so it was nice to be able to do that again. I’m going to see if I can pass a bowel movement now. The pressure is getting too much for me to concentrate, and my focus has been less on physical fitness and walking than it should, so I’ll be back.
Nothing yet, but I feel less pressure overall.
I walked around to another supermarket today. This time, I was forced into walking at a faster pace, in a car ride that was less comfortable to my spine, and by the time I got back home, I was exhausted. My spinal wound was aggravated, too. It was bleeding more than yesterday, which had slowed down significantly, but now with some rest and taking care of some of the pressing healthcare requests, I’m feeling better.
I may even be able to defecate sometime today.
The nicest difference between my health pre- and post-surgery is how much I’m able to move around now. I can go walking around to supermarkets and engage with capitalism in mass-market consumerist desires. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I can do that now, no matter how slow my pace might be, compared to before where I could go walking around, but at what cost? I will never forget the experience. I had walked into the store without much issue, but by the time I left the toy aisles on my way to get granola, my spine hurt in a particular way that it had only started to recover from this past week. This was months ago. I couldn’t, for months, walk around to even pick up basic groceries on my own. As a person living fully-independently, mostly by choice, it was a strain on my family to suddenly need me to rely on them.
It’s a terrible feeling to have to burden people.
It would be different if I was living with others, so they could see me as part of their daily lives, and it wouldn’t be a special trip out to my residence to help me with certain things. Living alone, however, especially not in an apartment that was built around accessibility, has made doing basic things difficult. I have adjusted as much as I could, but there are environmental factors that are difficult to adapt. It is sometimes nice to go to a store and buy things. Despite my downsizing which might be seen as a sort of realization against mass consumerism, I do still like things, and things do still help me. Yesterday, I bought objects that might help me feel better, and today I bought medicine and other foodstuffs that will help me feel better. To have the independence to say to myself, “yes, I would like to go to a store to buy something,” does feel nice. I’ve taken it for granted over these past 10 years of living alone. These past few months taught me how much of that almost pride. These past few days have taught me how vulnerable my body is – I am at the mercy of those who want or don’t want to help me along in my healthcare journey back to good health.
Like my cane, I will need to rely on these people.
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 211.0
– Last week’s weight: 211.5
– Weight Difference: Half a pound, but this week, I had it rough so I didn’t think much about counting calories; just moderating myself so I wouldn’t, say, overeat when I was stressed.
– Difference between writing and editing for publication: Well, I’ve healed up quite a bit since early September. I still need my canes and still am not “back to normal” but I just took a nice dump without needing to take any stool softener. It’s disgusting to say, maybe, but after being unable to do something for so long, there is a certain appreciation or even pleasure in doing something like that.
|Inspirations: As much as I appreciate the positive support I’ve received from others recently, I would rather not have to rely on more people than necessary. I would rather be mostly or fully independent. When we are in good health, that is easy. When we aren’t, it’s almost impossible. I defecated on the morning of September 05 and remembered the word I was thinking of, had I needed the equivalent of a catheter: an enema.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 September 04 [From 7:04am to “so I’ll be back” at 7:17am.] [I made a note at 7:55am, after having tried for over 30 minutes to defecate: “nada.”] [Then I wrote from 3:52pm to 4:06pm.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 September 04 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|