4 Weeks In

Today marks the 1 month anniversary of my surgery.  Yep.  This time 4 weeks ago I was face down in an operating theatre, splayed open with chisels and drills and tubes and machines that go ‘bing’ everywhere.

I’ve already spoken about my first night in hospital, and to be honest, I can only really remember key points of that whole first week.  There’s a lot of things that people tell me happened that I simply don’t remember.  But I digress..

Coming home to Toowoomba to recover was and still is the only logical choice.  Knowing that I would be significantly incapacitated meant that I couldn’t rely on my housemate (as incredible as he is) to take care of me.  I”m hazarding a guess that there’ll be some ex-Toowoomba folk reading this blog, so you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention the anxieties involved in returning to this town.  For the other readers (yes, BOTH of you), I’ll try and explain.

It’s not like I was ‘nervous’ about coming home.  In fact, there’s a great deal of comfort to be found in the concept of returning home to have your parents look after you.  But there’s something that swells, ever so slightly, in your gut when you contemplate returning to Tba (that’s what we locals call Toowoomba.  That or ‘The Womb’).  It taps into the force this town has in terms of it’s ability to keep you sheltered.  Everything is no more than a 10 minute drive away up here.  There’s wide streets and plenty of open, luscious parks, and the overall look of the city is ‘nice’.  But you never forget the feelings you used to have when you lived here as a teenager.  The feelings that you were never going to get out.  The crushing fist of the place that grips ahold of you and tells you there’s no NEED to leave the place.  You remember your friends that were brave/smart enough to leave as soon as they could, and how being able to visit them was sometimes enough to make you think that you could still get out at any time you wished.  There’s no real problem with these memories as such, but the anxiety of returning home is fed by them, and soon enough, you start thinking that if you return to The Womb for longer than a day, you might just get stuck there again.

There’s also some guilt tied in somewhere along the line when thinking about returning home.  I always feel guilty that I don’t come back here enough.  I don’t visit my grandad enough.  My parents worked so hard to put me through private school and in the end, I just left.  Jesus, sometimes I even feel bad for the town itself-amidst all the crappy things about growing up in a small-ish town, I had some incredible times here, and made friends with people that I’m still friends with today, and yes, invariably we always end up telling ‘back in the day’ stories of all the ridiculously fun and (in hindsight) stupid things we did whilst growing up here.  It’s not Toowoomba’s fault that we end up with this absolute necessity to break free of the city’s limits.

The flip-side to all of these somewhat morose thoughts is that, after 2 weeks here, I am now anxious about how I’ll cope with returning to Brisbane, and I’m going to severely miss being in Toowoomba with my folks.

Sorry, this has spiralled, seemingly downwards.  I’ll try to get back on message.

So, recovery.  There’s times when it seems impossible that I’m able to walk around unaided after only 4 weeks have passed since the gigantic surgery I had.  It’s truly incredible.  4 weeks ago I had severe scoliosis.  Now, I don’t.  Pain is still an issue, though it’s *mostly* manageable with meds.  Me being me however, I am severely conscious of becoming too reliant on said meds.  They are rather serious drugs, but at this point in time, I still need them to be able to manage my daily pain levels.

I still struggle with things such as putting socks and shoes on, bending over to pick anything up, and my sitting upright time limit is at about 45 minutes.  Hoping to continue to lengthen that over the next couple of weeks.

I still do daily rehab exercises, but as of next week I’ll be starting more focussed, physio supervised rehab stuff.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  Well, kind of looking forward to it.

Aside from pain, the other area I struggle with is I still can’t really lie on my right hand side, which, up until the surgery, was my default side to lay on.  Admittedly, it’s mostly a first world problem, but it makes sleeping comfortably quite a challenge, as too much time on my left hand side causes it become rather sore.  Still, it’s all better than being in that f*cking hospital bed.

I believe that I have rambled on far, far, far too much for one post, so that’s it for now.  Thank you to everyone who’s texted or sent Facebook messages asking how I’m going and the like.  I can’t tell you how much they brighten my day.  I am a lucky man.