My recovery is going well, I've been out walking every day and
walked half the small by-pass today. I'll try all of it tomorrow.
The entire by-pass is almost 6 miles but you can break it up into 3 different
walks so I'll keep going with the aim of doing the entire thing within 2 to 3 weeks.
The only thing about walking is that I can't walk at my usual pace, if I try to
speed up I feel the muscles around the wound tighten and I don't want to push
myself to the point where I might rupture something on the inside and end up
back in hospital. It's a strange feeling, it feels sometimes as if a
muscle has got caught on my lower rib, not a pleasant feeling by any means but
it slows me down and stops me from overdoing it.
I also drove today for the first time since the operation too. I didn't receive much advice on leaving
hospital other than to take it easy so I've been checking online for advice and
tips. One site advised that if I could
stamp my braking foot hard on the ground then I should be ok to drive. I was able to do that ok and felt strong
enough to drive so I gave it a go and it was fine. The wound itself has
healed really well so things are steadily improving and I hope to be back at
work before Christmas.
Before the gallbladder operation, I would have considered myself
to be fairly tough. I have come through
some fairly traumatic events in my time, after all, I grew up in a war zone and
then the ‘Troubles’ started!! Seriously,
though, I’ve had a fair share of trauma and emotional pain but when faced with
the hard reality of actual physical pain, I realised I wasn’t anywhere near as
tough as I thought I was. I actually have quite a high pain threshold but there
was one day in particular when I was in extreme pain and unable to take any
more pain relief as I had reached my limit and most of it wasn’t working anyway. There was nothing I could do but just sit
there and endure it, which I did for 10 hours and in enduring it, I was humbled,
and to be honest, I think something in me did break.
Being confronted with the reality of my own human weakness has
certainly brought about some profound changes.
Whether the changes will be
temporary or permanent will remain to be seen but one of the positives I’ve
taken from it is that I have definitely become more patient, not just with
others but more importantly, with myself. I realise that in the past, I have been far
too hard on myself and tried to take on and do too much. There have been many
times when I have driven myself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.
Not only that but I would also have
considered it a personal failure if I had ever fallen ill with flu or something,
or worse, ever had to ask anyone for
Well, those days are certainly over and I will now happily
accept all offers of help…well, maybe not all, just the useful ones or the ones
I need! I will also give myself time to
recover. I’m cutting back on the work
front too and giving up the second job.
Time is more important to me than money and I want to enjoy as much of
my life as possible, after all, no one knows what tomorrow may bring.
Funnily enough, on the Sunday the pain started, I had changed my
mind about the Robert Plant/Van Morrison concert. Standing at An Grianan Aligh admiring the
view, I had thought, ‘to hell with the cost, it’s a once in a lifetime event
with 2 musical legends, I’m going!’ But
by the time I got home, the pain had overtaken me and all thoughts of the
concert were forgotten. So, even if I
had got a ticket, I still would have missed it. My sister and her husband did go, she said it
was brilliant. She’s not a Van Morrison
fan but she said he was amazing. Of course,
Robert Plant was amazing, that goes without saying! I was really sorry I missed
it but c’est la vie! I also missed out
on my trip to England for bonfire night.
Ah well, there’s always next year – I hope!