31 May 2016

Getting there

Well, I'm at the six-week stage of my post-op recovery, when they predicted I'd be back to normal, but I'm not.  Externally things are not too bad. The incision scar on my abdomen is healing nicely, the swelling is going down and the two keyhole scars are almost non-existent, although there is still severe internal bruising at one of the keyhole sites which make it impossible to lie on my left side.

The main problems are internal. In removing the stomach tumour, they had to remove roughly an eighth of my stomach and fix the hole with titanium staples. It'll take time for the stomach membrane to grow round them and for the whole digestive tract to recover. My appetite has dwindled to that of a small kitten and I have a great deal of acid reflux. A yoghurt can fill me up, let alone anything more substantial. I bought in lots of ready meals before the operation so that afterwards I would not have to worry about shopping or spending hours cooking, but I am finding I cannot manage even half of a ready meal and Lord knows they are not massive. I have lost a stone in weight SINCE I came home, not to mention the half stone I lost in hospital. I'm not complaining as I needed to shift a bit of weight but I cannot afford to lose much more or I'll slip through a pavement grating. The experts tell me it'll all resolve soon, but it's going far slower than the six weeks they originally predicted.  A lot of my indigestion comes from the fact that the shape of my stomach has been changed because of the bit they lopped off. I have discovered purely by accident that if I lean to the left with my head on my pillow, I am able to relieve some of the gas that builds up in my stomach and makes me queasy. This is all very well when I am in the comfort of my own home, but what do I do if I eat out. I can hardly lean towards the person on my left and put my head in their lap. That would look decidedly dodgy. I leave you to mull on that rather unfortunate image!

The good news, however, is that I'm getting around OK, walking long distances, opting to walk to the shops rather than drive to build up my stamina again, and have recently started driving again. Getting into the car for the first time after 6 weeks was a bit scary and I drove like a granny for the first day, but, having established I could do the regulatory emergency stop and twist my torso to look over my shoulder for sideways traffic, I have been racing around ever since at normal speed. Which is just as well as it was my mother's turn last week to have her operation - a full knee replacement. I was able to drive her to the local hospital and subsequently visit her. Despite assuring us she would have a spinal anaesthetic,the hospital decided to give her a general anaesthetic, which for a 92-year-old is no minor procedure. I am pleased to say she has bounced back from the operation and has currently been moved to a care home to start the long haul of physiotherapy. She is in a lot of pain but determined to get walking again. She is one brave lady.

23 May 2016

Happy Birthday

My blog was eight years old yesterday. Where has the time gone? It certainly doesn't seem like eight years, since I first felt compelled to get all my anger and frustration out onto internet paper, either boring or entertaining you with the minutiae of my life.

In the early days of the blog, Greg, my alcoholic husband, was still alive of course, knew I was writing it but showed absolutely no interest in reading it. His only interest back then was where the next bottle of whisky was coming from. Two years later he was dead and my blog turned from oozing frustration about his alcoholism to dealing with grief and the aftermath of a relationship with an alcoholic. Things are a lot calmer now and I have come to accept, albeit reluctantly, what happened. He's dead. I've known that for the last six years. I've accepted it. Moved on.  I lead a different life now. Which made it all the more surprising, when four weeks ago, following  hospital surgery and feeling very vulnerable, I came home to an empty house.   It was then that it finally sunk in that he was never going to be here again and it hit me in the face like a sledgehammer.