I’ve been home from hospital for three weeks now, and I’m hardly where I want to be in my recovery. The wound at my incision site continues to heal, but ironically it’s more painful than ever as the surface area has expanded and remains very sensitive. Tack on to that cramps that come and go. And these aren’t some run-of-the-mill cramps. These are the most excruciating cramps I’ve ever had. When one strikes, the pain radiates from my abdominal area to my back and I feel pressure around my stoma, as though it’s really working hard to push something through. Between the wound and the cramps and the stoma pressure, sometimes I can’t even tell what exactly hurts, it’s just a general feeling of intermittent pain in my abdominal/pelvic region.
As a result, I’ve been moving even more gingerly over the last few days. Whenever I stand up or sit down, I hold the elastic waistband of my underwear and shorts to keep it from touching the wound dressing, and I often walk around the house holding them in the same way. I had shitty posture even before the operation, and now the wound and abdominal pain sometimes lead me to walk with a pronounced stoop. I try to walk upright as much as I can, but sometimes the only way to relieve some of the discomfort is to move with a huge hunch.
Add one more issue into my misery: the heat. And no, not the Miami Heat and their ridiculous championship celebration. Here in Toronto, we’re going through our first heat wave of the summer, with extreme heat alerts and humidex advisories in effect. That means I can’t go for my usual walks around the neighbourhood during the day, as I worry about becoming dehydrated very quickly. Since I’m not supposed to lift any heavy objects for a few more weeks, I can’t carry enough water with me to combat the heat. Being stuck at home throughout the day yesterday almost made me feel like I was back in hospital.
Last night before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the CBC played a great video montage set to Young The Giant’s “My Body.” It was a well-edited montage accompanied by a pretty rockin’ tune, and the song’s lyrics gave me a little boost:
My body tells me no
But I won’t quit
‘cause I want more
‘cause I want more
As wretched as my body is right now, I keep holding on to the things I want more of. I want more early morning and late night runs around my neighbourhood. I want more Arsenal matches to watch with obsessive intent. I want more chances to go to work and feel productive. I want more nights to laugh with friends over food and beverages. I want more opportunities to wear a suit. I want more days in the park with Jayee. I want more outings to the Skydome (I hate calling it the Rogers Centre) to watch the Blue Jays. I want more soccer jerseys for my collection. I want more independence. I want more than a life overrun by disease and health complications and worry.
So if I want all that, what else can I do but keep pressing forward in hopes of lasting healing, less pain, more vitality, and better days. I did go for a walk yesterday, around 9:30 p.m. when it was a little less muggy. I walked about 3 kilometres. Not much by my standards, but still a nice little outing on an otherwise crummy day. I’ll try to do the same tonight when things cool down a bit. ‘cause I want more.