Well, the most difficult 6 weeks of my life (yes, not an exaggeration) just passed. I cant believe just how much has happened. The pain, the tears, and the sheer difficulty of doing the most mundane things. I have often said that I would take 6 weeks of early labour over this experience.
The good news: I am doing well, and making great progress every day. Today I was able to get out of bed, unassisted, shower, and dress myself with a little difficulty but managed with a little perseverance. (Undies, BBQ tongs, anyone?) I did this with no pain meds in my belly, and without mobility aids. I sent them all back, yes, even the walker. I was able to walk (slowly, wobbly, wonky) to the kitchen, make a cup of tea, and get both it and I to the sofa. Yesterday I went to physio at the hospital, after being discharged from hospital in the home the week earlier.
The bad news: I suffered a setback in physio this week. Nothing too major, but I didnt react well emotionally. My physio was trying a new exercise, laying on my bad side and trying to activate the muscles on my right. Bad idea. My back went into total spasm, and I was screaming (and swearing profusely) and generally making a dick of myself. The physio felt awful, tho, and sent me home (and didnt charge me!) – i had to use a frame to get back to the car, and I cried and cried and cried. Horrible. But a day of rest, and I was back to where I was.
I cant drive, still.
I cant carry or lift the baby.
However, I am still breastfeeding. We had an emergency about two weeks ago, and N had to offer her a bottle, which she refused. I guess that decides that. Also, this child will feed standing on her head, if she has to. (Lucky)
Emotionally, I am frustrated. I feel like a horrible burden, and wish I could do more – even just the housework. N has been amazing, and so have my friends and also J who came and stayed for some weeks to help. Not being able to have my independence, not being able to go and visit friends, it’s all taking its toll.
But I am so grateful to finally have some relief from the acute pain I was in. From being in hospital unable to move, on morphine then endone 4 times a day plus more, to be able to get by on nerofen and panadeine is incredible. Physio has been such a powerful tool in learning how to move and walk again. I still have a long way to go.
But for now? I can (kindof) make the bed, I can delegate jobs to the kids, I can feed the baby, I can even do some light dishes. I can even make an ommelette. I strive to do something small, every day that i couldnt before.
The reality is, I am recovering from a spinal injury. The injury is still there. I have to realise this and treat my body with the respect it needs. I am not immortal. I am using muscles I didn’t know I had, and some I had forgotten existed. The emotional and mental health side of things, however, needs even more work. Not sure where that comes on the list of priorities, tho.