Here I am on the evening of surgery day. Not my best look. Although I am a novelist who spends entire days imagining, and then writing about things I have not personally experienced, I am bad when it comes to imagining and preparing for experiences that are about to happen to me. For instance, when I travel to cold places I tend not to pack enough warm clothes because it is not cold in Dallas and I cannot imagine being cold where I am going. When I have surgery I do not prepare for downtime afterwards because I can’t imagine I will feel any different as a result of cutting, drilling, and anesthesia. As you might guess, my life is full of surprises.
This is how the first week went:
Day of Surgery: I don’t remember much about leaving the hospital. My surgery was at 7 AM and I was home around noon. I slept in the car going home and my husband helped me climb the stairs to my bedroom. I slept all afternoon and when I got up around 5 pm I felt pretty good and visited with friends who delivered food.
Day 1: Not bad. I worked at my desk and got a lot of busywork done although I felt a bit woozy. I napped and did a little kitchenwork. The head gear really bothered me and I finally loosened it a bit. Took pain meds.
Day 2: I was allowed to remove the head gear on the morning of Day 2 and it came off at the crack of dawn. But two unpleasant things started on Day 2: dizzyness and a black eye. I slept all afternoon.
Day 3: My worst day. Woke up nauseated and could not stay upright long enough to pour water for tea. Took a nausea pill and promptly vomited. Spent the entire day in bed asleep or just lying there. Could not read or write and was dizzy when awake. Note: no lying on surgery side of head.
Day 4: Better. Sometimes I would spin out of control as I lay in bed. Opening and closing my eyes helped. I worked at my desk and noticed that I could hear a dog whining for attention on my right side but when I looked for her she was on my left.
Day 5: I left home. Showed up for my regular volunteer stint and then went to the grocery store. Seemed people were looking at me funny and I remembered my black eye. I did not take a nap and I drove without my sunglasses, the incision behind my ear too tender for the arm of my glasses.
Day 6: I went to the doctor’s office for my post-op appointment and got a big surprise.