Life is apparently better off of narcotics. This is something I thought to be true for a long time, but didn’t know from experience until recently. I had been taking oxycodone during the weeks following my surgery. I was taking much less than was prescribed to me, but I was still taking it for pain everyday. For the five weeks I was on it, I was cripplingly nauseous just about every other day, much more emotional than usual and had almost no appetite. Some days were okay, but overall it was doing more harm than good. About a week and a half ago I decided to stop taking it. It took six days and toughing it out during actual withdrawal symptoms, but I feel like a completely new and normal person! I have an appetite and am eating three meals a day plus snacks – something I haven’t done since before surgery! I’ve felt great going on six days in a row.
(I sent these before and after pictures as texts to my friend Kacey. I never really planned to share them with everyone, but they fit this post nicely! The one on the left was taken on a Wednesday when I was in the pit of dispair and at the height of withdrawal. I took the one on the right just 4 days later on Mother’s Day, exemplifying how wonderful I was doing! Quite the before and after!)
“All I needed was to get off of drugs and now life is great!” I joked to my physical therapist.
“Isn’t that a life lesson,” she said back.
We are still lengthening my leg everyday. That phase is not over. I have gained about 1.33 inches and am working my way up to 2 inches. The “pain” is totally manageable with Tylenol, but I wouldn’t really even call it pain. My leg is stiff, tight and tender in certain spots. I may get a jolt of pain if I roll onto it the wrong way or if I try to get up too fast, but mostly it’s just uncomfortable – which all things considered is not bad at all! It’s great because (if you’ve been keeping up with the blog you’ll know…) there is no equipment on the outside of my leg. It’s not swollen or anything either. It looks like my normal leg, with all the lengthening stuff hidden on the inside. So if I want to get dressed up and go out, I can wear normal clothes. I’m wearing a lot of stretch pants!
I’m now realizing I didn’t need as much to do when I was on oxycodone. Half of the time I felt nauseous, so I was just basically in my bed laying down watching movies or shows on Netflix. Now that I’m feeling pretty good, I’m going to need more to do.
As far as I can tell, I believe I’ll have about four more weeks here at home before I return to Chattanooga and back to work! That’s unless the doctor surprises me or something changes.
I know I’m getting better because I actually opened up my iTunes while getting ready for physical therapy, this morning! I hadn’t turned on music since my surgery. I sang and wiggled as I hopped around the room for a hairbrush and a pair of socks! Then I couldn’t stop singing. I jammed to the radio while at therapy!
With all of that being said, it’s still hard not to be your completely normal and independent self. It’s also hard to realize you still aren’t going to walk for 3 or 4 more months. But I feel like myself again! I can think clearly – and can eat food! That is a real gift!