Yesterday I had my second morning in a row without waking to head pain. Today while I woke with pain, I suspect this is due to laying on my right side with my head resting on a pillow. This is a first since the surgery as I have been sleeping upright and our bodies have a way of protecting themselves when we are injured and asleep. Anyway, despite waking with some pain, it hasn’t escalated and I haven’t yet needed to hit the heavy-duty drugs.
In recovery there are definitive points where a number of factors come together over a few days and whisper to me that I have made a turn on the road, a turn for the better, and with each turn I get stronger and closer to the end goal – complete recovery. Today feels like one of those moments!
In addition to having less pain, I have begun to tolerate having my eye patch off for an extra few minutes throughout the day and the eye exercises, whilst uncomfortable, no longer bring on a bad headache. I have also increased my walking speed; knocking 3 minutes off a short course I walk each day with Jason as escort. My left arm has begun to swing incrementally as I walk and I know it will improve the more walking practice I have.
Small milestones I know, but I feel stronger with increased stability and a slightly clearer headed. It is a marvellous feeling.
These moments traditionally have challenged me, as it is all too tempting to stride forth and start doing more than I should, in a hair-brained attempt to steal back activities that provide me with an increased sense of independence. These attempts usually end poorly, with me making a mess I am then too tired to put away and you-know-who has to clean up after me and gets cranky, justifiably; or I simply push my body past its limits and either hurt myself or relapse.
This time I say bugger that!
I am thrilled at the improvements I am seeing right now but I know that recovery is very much a ‘swings and roundabouts’ dance, one day great, next day a bit off and so on. I can also see the enormous scar on my head, with many stitches remaining in the most painful regions and it reminds me of the seriousness of what I have just been through. That combined with the reality of how little I can do for myself now and the clumps of my hair falling out, (signally enormous physical stress) serve to keep my expectations realistic.