Recovery, Week Two: Feeling More (and Less) Like Myself

 Morning all!

Feeling good this morning. Rested and of good energy, which I chalk up to seven hours of good, solid sleep (a first) and lots of fresh sushi the night before. I did wake up with a tremendous tightness across my chest. Rolling out of bed is always a quick reminder of my current situation. I'm still getting used to the feeling of numbness, tightness and soreness. Not sure yet how much this feeling is loss of sensation from the surgery and how much is still-in-recovery mode. Time will tell.

The best way to describe it is to imagine if you had a roll of paper towels, about half the regular thickness and you flattened it as much as you could and then duct-taped it to your chest. That deadening of feeling (similar to Novocaine at the dentist's office), thickness and stiffness of trying to work your arms around, is kind of what it feels like.

Every once in a while, I find myself wondering what is this thing I've got strapped to me? It doesn't feel quite part of me. Yet. It feels like I'm wearing something outside myself, like a breast plate, warm and heavy, that feels as if I could simply lift it off and feel just fine.

With each day, it gets a little easier to negotiate the shower. I look forward to getting the okay to begin exercises that will help ease the tightness and improve my range of motion. Things are improving with each day. I can reach things now I couldn't a few days ago. I'm still careful not to lift anything heavier than ten pounds and pushing and pulling doors or anything that offers resistance is totally out of the question. Today's big accomplishment was putting on a turtleneck. Try doing that without lifting your arms higher than your shoulders. (Up to know I've been limited to wearing clothes that button up the front.)

Tonight I'm thrilled to be able to attend the opening night performance of the last opera in my Chicago Opera Theater series. This is the one I've been most looking forward to, Three Decembers, starring Frederica von Stade. When I learned the date for my surgery, I was determined to be well enough to make the performance a week later. I've been attending Lyric Opera for nearly twenty (!!!) years now, and von Stade is one of my all-time favorite performers. She's been out of the circuit for a while and this is her farewell tour, so I've been looking forward to this since they announced it two years ago. Thankfully it's a short opera, only ninety minutes. The drive down and back will be the most difficult aspect of the entire night.

One thought on “Recovery, Week Two: Feeling More (and Less) Like Myself

  1. You are amazing. I hope you had a wonderful time at the opera. COT was always one of my favorite venues. Keep up the good work.

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