Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Newest Member of Our Family

Ryan and Brian's dog, Licorice.

My New Car - Dodge Nitro

As I wrote in my state of recovery post, driving my Pontiac Vibe was very difficult and uncomfortable due to my operation. As my work has me driving everyday, I need to be comfortable, so Elaine and I went car shopping last week. We got a good deal on this and it is the most comfortable car that I have ever driven.

Click on the picture for the full size.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hernia Surgery Recovery - Six Weeks

Well, I guess some of you have been wondering where I have been. Six weeks ago yesterday, I had hernia surgery. I am not fully recovered yet, but I am getting a little better, just very slowly. Here are the details.

Surgery Day 0

Dr. Robert Levitt did my surgery. Dr. Rob is a good friend and I know the Lord brought him my way. We prayed before I went into surgery. Woke up about an hour later feeling no pain. Went home, took vicodin every four hours and slept.

Next day

Took vicodin every four hours and slept. Getting into and out of bed painful.

Week One

Stupid me. I was told not to drive for two weeks, but I drove to the office to check the mail. Wished that I hadn't and probably set my self back. I am taking vicodin every four hours and sitting on the couch all day. Very painful getting up and sitting down and very painful getting into and out of bed. Called my friend Nick Coury, who is undergoing cancer radiation and chemotherapy and we prayed for each other and our families.

Week Two

Follow-up meeting with Dr. Rob. He said the stitches were healing and I can drive now. Elaine and I are walking in the evening, one house at a time. I hate taking vicodin. Why are they so concerned about people getting hooked on this stuff? I am down to one vicodin every four hours and can't wait to get off it. I call Nick every couple of days and we pray.

Week Three

My first driving was down to the mall, a walk to the food court, and home. The next day was to Walmart to get a new shirt. It is difficult to drive. I am concerned about someone running into me and damaging the surgery. The more that I drive, the more that I am getting over this fear. I am taking advil during the day now and only vicodin at night. Still hard getting up and down and in and out of bed. The pain seemed to vanish for a few days and I took no meds.

Speaking of driving, I drove to see clients to continue my work. Driving in the Vibe is painful as I am squished into this smaller car.

Week Four

Ryan and Brian came for Sunday dinner and to cheer me up. It was so good to see them and whenever I felt uncomfortable, I would look at the two of them and how happy they are. They made me feel happy. Aaron calls me from school and this helps, too. We talk about the Steelers, his comedy shows, and politics. It helps to get my mind off things.

The pain came back with a vengeance. I really hit rock bottom as I thought something was wrong with surgery and I may never work again. Thank God that Elaine was there to support me and help pick me back up. I called Pastor Joe the next day and we prayed. I called Nick and we prayed. God is using Nick in his sick and weakened condition to pull me through. From this day on, I feel like I am getting better, slowly, but making progress.

Week Five

Dr. Rob said that everything I asked him about is part of healing process. This is going to take much more time, but he says that I will get there. I needed to hear this. It is easy to have a good day and think that I have turned the corner, only to have a bad day the next and think that I will never get better. The worst thing that I have done in the depths of my despair is to research hernia recovery on the internet. I get focused in on horror stories of people whose surgery and recovery have gone horribly wrong and this really scares me. Thank God for Dr. Rob to reassure me.

Week Six

Walking has increased to one mile a day. Dr. Rob put a ten pound lifting limit on me and I am using five and five dumbbells to work my arms and shoulders. Getting in and out of bed is easier. Sitting down is becoming okay, but I still get stabbed standing up. Have been without advil two days, but tempted to take it for the sore relief. This will be a day by day moment by moment thing.

Friday nights have been chocolate ice cream night for the past six weeks. I am really trying to watch what I eat due to my inactivity. I do not want to be gaining weight, but I need the reward of the Friday night ice cream.

Elaine and I went to Giuseppe's for dinner Friday night. The week before was Grinders and the week before was Bob Evans, so we are getting out again little by little. I am working four to five hours a day, which is all that I can handle now. I do what I have to do during the week and rest up on weekend.

What a blessing to call and talk to my mother and father. It is truly a miracle that they are alive and of sound mind. They wish me the best and encourage me, too. This has been a real help.

Still doing much prayer and bible reading everyday. The Lord showed me that I need to be happy with what I have and stop beating myself up over what I don't have. This has really helped my mental state of mind. I hope that I can hold on to this the rest of my life. I cannot say enough about my beautiful wife Elaine. I do not know what I would do without her during this time. I thank God for her.

I am not healed yet. I have moments where I feel no pain or discomfort and times where I feel uncomfortable and sore. This has been the toughest and longest six weeks of my life.

To be continued.