Waiting Like a Bad-Ass

Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.  Time seems to be creeping toward Wednesday—my day to ride the Anesthetic Express to Scalpel Town.  While I’ve gotten my surgery jimjams more under control, this endless waiting is a whole different kind of mental torture.  I needed a strategy, a plan.  Time to fall back on my Bad-Ass Training.

Clean Eating—I can already feel my focus unraveling around food.  Since I won’t be able to attend TOPS for a few weeks, that accountability is gone.  Plus, anxiety has pushed all my compulsive eating buttons.  And then there’s the horror of being stuck in my apartment without means of escape.  I’m forbidden to drive until I regain the core strength to handle surprises in traffic.  And since I have to use a step to get up into my truck, it will be awhile before I can gird my loins enough to manage that.

You may wonder how being immobile applies to food.  Right now, the anticipation of being trapped pushes me to RUN.  I’ve driven to Ames and Des Moines more this past week than I have in months—because I still can.  Part of the escape valve is eating out—fast food, slow food, coffee shops, movie popcorn.  Then, when I really am homebound with no way to bolt, that anxiety will drive the compulsive eating.

It’s time for me to do some serious meditating.  Time to breathe and bring my attention back to what’s going on in my body and in my head.  Breathe and Watch.  Not only to keep from packing on the pounds, but to stay sane.

Also, Mom and I are grocery shopping today to stock up my cupboards.  I will choose wisely with an emphasis on simple and nutritious.  I may fondle the Cheetos, but I won’t bring them home.

Strength and Stamina—I’ve been paying attention to the daily activities I may not be able to do once I’m home from the hospital and figuring out options.  I’m forbidden to lift anything over ten pounds, bent, or stretch.  So, I won’t be able to get my Brita water pitcher out of the fridge, or make my bed, or reach my coffee filters up in the cupboard.  No cooking in the oven, or lifting the big glass dish that holds all my collage jewelry bits, or bending over to tie my shoes.  As I come across these problematic items, I try to rearrange and accommodate (I mean, there’s no way I’m giving up coffee for six weeks).

I won’t see my water aerobics class again until May, so I have to focus on what I can do.  Both my doc and the OB/GYN nurse said walking is good.  Post-op it will wake up the bowel, help prevent blood clots and clear the lungs.  A few minutes up and down the hall several times a day while I’m in the hospital, then “as tolerated” when I get home.  Maybe only a slow creep to the corner and back the first few days.  The important part for me is to have a plan and some kind of structure.  My routine will be out the window, so I need to develop a new one.  Walking a little bit several times every day will be part of it.

Set Priorities—First priority post-op will be Pain Management.  I’ll take my narcotics like a good girl so I can get restful sleep.  Next comes Healing.  That requires good nutrition, lots of water, movement and time.  I know I’ll get impatient about my limitations, but healing from this big of a surgery will take months.  I have to keep that thought in my forebrain.

Next on my priority list is Distraction.  This will be a little different from the way I use distraction during bipolar episodes.  Post-op I need to find ways to fill the days while I heal.  With this rationale, my compulsive spending broke free, and I bought a ton of movies on eBay and Half.com.  It’s hard for me to feel too bad about this since I now own most of Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman’s films.  I’ll feel worse when it’s time to pay my Visa bill.

As soon as I’m able, I get back to writing my stories and working on my collage cards.  Writing and art will take a back seat to these new priorities, but they won’t go away.

Secure Back-Up—This is probably the most important aspect of Post-Op Bad-Assery.  I will need help doing basic chores and getting around.  I will need people to make me laugh when I’m sick of myself.  And I’ll need comfort and support from the folks who love me.  I’m blessed with all that.  My best friend plans to come to the hospital Wednesday night so we can watch Criminal Minds together.  I’m already getting cards from my TOPS friends cheering me into surgery.  Blessed.

It feels really good to have a plan in place.  Adjustments will have to be made, I know, but I’m not flopping around in a panic anymore.  I can do this.  All is well and will be well.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaburad
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 09:26:10



  2. littlesundog
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 09:57:14

    Stick to the plan! I got restless afterward and tried to do a few things on the list of “do nots” and was I ever sorry the next day(s). I had a complication with my surgery that landed me back in the hospital for 2 weeks (not my fault) but I attributed lots of rest, gentle walking and eating right for the reasons I bounced back weeks faster than my doctor predicted. Take care of yourself my friend… and let others entertain you and help you during the recovery time. Not one friend visited me while I healed, and it brought about a bit of depression. Thank goodness for my little dog!! Everybody needs love!


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 12, 2012 @ 13:39:30

      Several women have told me of their disobedience and the repercussions. I think I’ll be good, but that’s not something I’m known for. 🙂 The complication-thing is a real concern. Thank goodness you lived to tell the tale. And a second thank goodness for our animal friends. I know Henry and Emmett will lavish me with purrs.


  3. carlarenee45
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 10:25:39

    You sound like you are doing a good job of preparing for this. I hope everything turns out really smooth for you. hug!


  4. Kathryn McCullough
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 12:07:44

    Sounds like you are on the ball and have details handled very, very well. Good for you. I wish I had great wisdom to offer, but the truth is I’ve never had surgery–so my insight is limited. But, congrats to you on having things managed so brilliantly. You will be in my thoughts and prayers on Wednesday and beyond. Hugs and strength to you, dear friend!


  5. pegoleg
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 12:50:43

    Part of me thinks NOT having the junk food in the house just increases the urgency of my desire for it. On the other hand, if it IS there, I’m going to eat it until it’s gone.

    I hope that annoying, hep-cat cheetah doesn’t go all Mr. Whipple on you – “please don’t squeeze the Cheetos.”

    I’m sending good and prehealing vibes your way.


  6. Fiddle gal
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:24:22

    Lots of purrs will be great medicine for healing. Your plan is in place. My thoughts are with you!


  7. Carol Singer
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 14:17:22

    This anticipation is the worst part. Soon it will be over and your excellent plan will carry you the rest of the way. Love you!


  8. Tar-Buns
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 15:14:01

    Good game plan. Stick with it. Call the people you need if they aren’t giving you what you need. Sometimes friends aren’t sure if you want visitors while healing so let them know!
    All the best in your healing!


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 13, 2012 @ 19:25:58

      I never know what to say when my friends ask, “What can I do for you?” It feels like a burden to have to tell them. “Just love me,” I want to say, “Whatever that looks like.”


  9. Currie Rose
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 01:22:38

    Sending Love. 🙂


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