"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Laozi
Monday, December 10, 2012
Heidi is still asleep. Comfortably, I think. She got behind on her pain meds yesterday and we might have pushed the limits of what she can handle with exercise. We didn't do much but walk around the hotel. At the time she wanted to push on. Odd little aches are creeping up now, too. Her ear hurt, her jaw was sore when she ate - her skull felt funny.
Before we left the hospital this sage little guy named Richard came in to go over the many medications and routines we'd have to follow. He reviewed the doses and times for meds and answered all of our questions.
Before Richard headed out of the room, he paused to tell us about the effects of this kind of brain surgery and general anesthesia. He spoke from his own personal experience as well as many years of working with patients. "You'll feel like you were hit by a Mack truck. That's the best way I can put it. You'll wake up sore in places where you were fine the day before and wonder, where did that come from?" After going over all of the prescriptions he said, "The best medicine you can take is the tincture of time. And it's absolutely free. You'll be fine." That's when I wrote down the Laozi quote above. It was on the wall in the hospital room. Fitting.
Heidi's journey to recovery will not be a straight line. There will be bumps and dips. But... considering that the surgery was only five days ago, that she has a large piece of titanium mesh where part of her skull used to be and that a 2.8 cm tumor was removed - considering all of that she is doing brilliantly.
On one of our short walks yesterday we ate at a nearly empty restaurant. The waiter was super friendly and Heidi engaged him in conversation (who DOESN'T she engage?). Heidi said that she was coming back from brain surgery. The waiter responded with, "You are doing great. That smile tells it all! I can see the glow." The concierge appreciated her smile this morning too.
And it's true, you guys. There are minor setbacks - mysterious aches, low energy (although you wouldn't know it to talk to her) and lots of long naps. When we walk it is slow and careful; arm in arm like oldsters. And it is a privilege. We still haven't taken any outside walks.
But she is optimistic and feels really good about how it's going. She beamed as she read the comments on the blog and all of the face book posts. She can't respond to them all - it would be a full time job for a while. But know that she feels all of your good wishes. Before turning out the lights last night she said, "Another good day in the recovery zone."