Today marks the 2 week anniversary of my surgery. And I spent the whole day in bed.
I haven’t been writing much because it’s hard to sit in front of the computer for more than an hour at a time. But I’ve found a nice workaround involving my iPad mini, my bluetooth keyboard (from my computer), a comfortable lap desk and the WordPress app.
And I didn’t want to write because today was a bad day. But I realized on my 10 minute walk that writing on the bad days was just as important as writing on the good days.
And why is today a bad day? I woke up at 8am, ready for breakfast, a shower and a meeting at 10am in Tysons. As I stood up, I had a pretty big pain in my right lower abdomen. Where my biggest scar is, and where I’ve always had the biggest pain during this process. At first, panic. Did I bust a stitch? Am I leaking? Do I need to go to the hospital? No. Standing is OK. Laying down is also OK. And sitting is even OK. But movement seems to be the culprit. I hobbled downstairs and made my morning protein smoothie. Then back to bed with an ice pack to email the people I was meeting with to cancel. No way I was leaving the house with this unknown pain. An hour or so later I switched the ice pack for a heating pad. Another hour later and I felt better. 6 hours of TV and a movie later and I could move around the house with almost zero pain. Thank goodness. What did it? Doing the dishes yesterday? Bending down to pet the cats too often? Putting boxes in the recycling? Sitting too long at the computer? Walking up 2 flights of stairs to my sister’s apartment? Who knows. But I do know that I’m not going to do any of that for another week.
On a more positive note- I’ve eaten a lot of delicious things over the past few days. A smaller than small piece of chocolate, chicken, baked beans, feta cheese, tuna fish, black olive slices, cottage cheese, egg whites with laughing cow cheese, a really delicious high protein chocolate “pudding” I concocted from greek yogurt, milk and chocolate protein powder.
Everything is in ridiculously small bites and I have to wait a few minutes to make sure it doesn’t come back up. So the baked beans? It was 3 beans. And the black olive slices? 2 of them; slices, not olives. And I could only eat half of the ounce size piece of chicken. But God, it was good. All of it.
You may want to stop reading, because it gets super personal, and it’s about marriage, but it’s important to get these things down. I feel that it’s important for people to see the gritty dirty side of what happens after surgery. Inside me is still a girl with issues about food, going through the ultimate denial. And trying to stay married. And sane.
It’s been tough around the house too, since my mom left. She was super helpful and very positive. She wouldn’t eat around me, unless I was eating. She made sure I went walking, bent over to get me stuff, did cleaning and dishes without being asked. V has been less than helpful, and he’s been mean. But here’s the thing: he doesn’t even realize it.
So I got a little angry yesterday, and yelled at him a lot. Mainly for eating guacamole (my favorite thing in the whole world) and crunchy tacos in front of me. I’ve said it before that there is nothing I miss more than the mouthfeel of crunchiness. It’s pretty much the only thing I’ve complained about. And since everything has to be soft for the next 2 weeks, and has been for the past 3 weeks, I’m getting to my breaking point. Even the littlest temptation is almost irresistible and painful. Emotionally and physically painful. Cue the smell of hot crunchy tacos in my house and a husband complaining about how his huge container of guacamole (that I advised against buying) is going to go bad before he can even eat it. I lost it. Big time.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think I was unjustified. V is unable to think or care outside of himself, in some situations. Usually I can deal with it, I take care of myself, or do what needs to be done. I long ago put to rest any romantic notions of flowers for no reason, or cards in the mail or breakfast in bed or even chicken soup when I’m sick. But right now, I’m at 50%. I’m doing exactly what I need to do stay alive, and barely keep my business running. I need the person closest to me to help with that other 50%. Like doing the dishes and taking out the trash without asking. Like my mom did.
Maybe men are biologically incapable of being good caretakers? Maybe just my partner is. So I’ll struggle on. Doing what I can to take care of myself, asking for help from others when I need it. Just not my partner.