There was The Surgery, followed by The Rash, then The Discharge and after finally being home for the weekend, I had three appointments at MGH. One on Monday when I demanded to be seen by my plastic surgeon because The Rash was FAR worse than ever while I was in-patient, one Wednesday where we were fast-tracked into MGH Allergy Associates to deal with The Rash (seems I might be allergic to dilauded - a crazy strong pain med), and the last yesterday when I saw my plastic surgeon for a routine follow-up. It has been an exhausting week, but there is only good news to report. By far the best was Wednesday's call from Dr. S. with the "all clear" on the pathology, but I have also jettisoned all 4 surgical drains within only 10 days of surgery (awesomely fast, this can never happen fast enough - just ask anyone who's had the pleasure), and the rash is under control.
I'm still on lots of drugs, but none of them are coating me head-to-toe in fluorescent-red itchiness and hives. I'm still in need of two naps per day, but I can now functionally sponge-bathe and dress myself (losing 4 rubber tubes helps a lot with those logistics), and my surgical sites are healing up well. I will be allowed to take a for-real shower this weekend. There may be one little surgical tweak my plastic surgeon needs to do on Lefty in two weeks when I see her again, but it's an in-office procedure that's short - and here's the thing:
IT'S TWO WEEKS UNTIL I SEE A DOCTOR AGAIN.
It was getting bad - the valets at MGH were getting to know us. Now I have a little breathing room to rest more, start to see friends again (a good sign - I'm starting to get lonely for my peeps), and keep on healing. No lifting or exercising for me - I have strict instructions not to raise my heart rate or lift my arms for 6 weeks . . . so the jumping around in my basement and gym will have to wait. Instead I will revel in the fact that this has gone so well, that I am being taken care of so lovingly by family and friends (if you could see and smell the meals that are coming here each day!? they have been AMAZING), and start getting used to my new, new normal.
It'll be a process. My body is very different, even if you can't see a difference. It's a nice bonus that I can pass for normal: I came out with the same number of parts I went in with. But there is major repair going on in there, the body is busy, and sometimes my mind gets busy with the realization of all that's gone down in the past 12 days. But I'm taking it day by day now, rolling with what comes, doing the best I can. I am trying to view these next 6 weeks as a time for healing and nurturing - focusing on those instead of restrictions and limitations.
Because really folks, once I do my t-rex time here, arms at my sides, strolling instead of striding - I'm planning on taking off again - higher and faster and brighter and stronger than ever. 'Cause when you get your second lease on life, you don't wanna waste it, do you? You want to make every. single. day. count.