Recovery insight

I am recovering…again.

It started off pretty rough this time. I felt fairly good the day of the surgery, but the next day I got hit with what I can only assume was a stomach virus I picked up before the surgery. I have never been so sick and couldn’t keep anything in for more than 24-hours.

Thankfully it passed in 24-hours and I was able to get some food into me and really start healing. The highlight of my week was a brief shower on Friday and getting an idea of some of the results.

I am still very swollen, but already, aside from the obvious reconstructed body parts, I can tell that the revisions the surgeon did were all successful. The curves at my waist match again, instead of one side being curvy and the other flat. The ‘Dog Ears’ that were sitting on my hips have been removed, and he was able to adjust my belly scar in a way that has eliminated most of the dents I had and a lot of excess skin underneath it. I can’t be sure yet, but I think that revision has also released a lot of the tightness and pulling I had been feeling in my belly when moving and working out. Finally, both sides of my chest are now more or less the same size (one was twice the size of the other).

I have a lot of stitches which will come out a week Monday and a lot of bruising, which is expected, but today is the first day I am going without bandages. Tomorrow, I get to have a ‘real’ shower where I can fully wash the incision sites. I can’t wait!

This surgery is surprisingly painful to recover from, likely because of the bruising. It makes it a little difficult to sleep as it hurts to lie on either hip (which is my habit) so I have to sleep on my back. That said, I am slowly exchanging stronger pain meds for ibuprofen.

I have also used this time to score another small victory. I haven’t taken my insomnia medication since the surgery, and as each night goes by, I am sleeping better and longer as my body adjusts away from it. It made sense to do it now as the drowsy properties of the pain meds would help me sleep and I don’t have dance or work. It’s a positive sign that as I reduce pain meds at night I am sleeping better and I hope it continues. It’s been my goal to return to the level of medication I was at prior to my diagnosis for some time and that is the final step.

As is normal, as I heal and recover I have had some time to do a bit of thinking. I could tell my brain was sitting on the edge of wanting to do this prior to the surgery, but I told it to just wait knowing there would be time after.

My mind is still a little cloudy from pain meds, but I can tell that this recovery is going to involve some general thinking about dance and some re-evaluation of short-term goals–something I haven’t done in a while–at least not with any depth. I don’t see any huge changes coming, but I think it will be more of an adjustment of my thinking to better support the things Boss would like to see. Among other things, the biggest thing is a switch from a very cautious and controlled approach to my dance to one that takes a little more risks and explores the limits of what I can do, instead of the limits of what I think I can control.

There is more thinking to come on that and I haven’t quite worked it out in full, but it is coming and I am sure as I can think more clearly it will come clear as well.

I will write again soon, but wanted to give an update. Lots of positive things happening!