As you may have seen from my prior post, the first few days after surgery were not the easiest. It’s still not easy, but I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that gives me hope for the near future. “All I want for Christmas is to not wear a neck brace…”
I’ve been in the office this week, mostly half days, but it’s been wonderful to be out of the house and seeing people – always gives me energy! I’m still taking it very easy, and I’m lucky Marty is willing to do so much with the boys and around the house, because I’m not supposed to lift, and with the collar, I can’t even turn to look and see if a kid is safe with the right timing. Argh!
I learned Wednesday that I had been misinformed in the hospital – I don’t need to wear the collar at night. I had been wearing it 24/7 – stiff, uncomfortable, and very paranoid if it wasn’t just right, what could I be doing to negatively affect my healing. The provider reassured me the collar is there to keep me from going wild, but that I was allowed to move my head slowly, and indeed do not have to sleep in it. Last night was the first night I didn’t sleep in it, and let me tell you what, I haven’t felt better than this morning in a long time! The pain I experience now is almost exclusively in my shoulders, and it’s from wearing the collar. It’s goofy that the incision doesn’t hurt the most, but I suppose it’s not seeing too much action thanks to the collar.
I’ve allowed myself to take it off to eat my lunch and to talk in a meeting earlier. I figure if I’m seated and stable, I won’t do anything “Crazy” as they mentioned in that phone call.
If I get out of a chair, it’s back on – I am dedicated to keeping my new neck hardware stable in case of impact, but I must say it’s relieving to know it’s stable enough to hold my head up without the brace. Maybe I was naive or stupid, but I was convinced my head being upright was based on that thing…terrifying. Incidentally, it will always be on when the boys are around – at 2 and 4, they just aren’t able to remember that mom’s neck is hurt, and hitting her or bumping her might be catastrophic…too much pressure, best to just wear at all times around them. And I’m willing, thanks to the break I get when I sleep.
My voice sounds mostly normal in regular speech -but my upper register is still missing, as well as any kind of volume – I notice that the most with my children or if I try to sing. I’m hopeful this will be better, too, soon enough, but for now I’m relegated to hearing music sung for me, and doing my best to wait for quiet moments to speak, so I can be heard.
I’ve been grateful for the care and kindness I have received from everyone – near and far – during this time of recovery, and I hope it continues to trend upward in these coming weeks and to be back to normal, and caring for others. I’m also amazed at what the medical field is capable of, and immensely grateful that my arms are starting to feel their age again! It has been worth the pain and frustration if only for that improvement.
Thanks for your care, words of comfort and actions of love. I feel more blessed than I can say.