After major surgery, the process of healing is long and slow. Progress occurs in leaps rather than steadily. Periodically, you notice a jump in progress. Today I can stretch. Tomorrow I can pick up my dog. Next Monday, I can (slowly) navigate the stairs. Suddenly, I can drive and manage a trip to the grocery store, go out and take a few pictures. It’s all in slow motion, but it’s happening.
Surgical pain decreases. Incisions heal. Then, progress stops. That’s it. The surgical part of your resurrection is accomplished. The rest of life comes rushing back.
Speaking of back, the spine that didn’t work before still doesn’t. I can’t walk any better than I could pre-surgery. The rest of my chronic problems are back too.
While I am realizing how much my back hurts, everyone is telling me how great I look. How much better I must feel. I realize that — appearances notwithstanding — I don’t feel all that much better because what was bothering me the most wasn’t what they fixed. If I try to explain that, everyone tells me not to be so negative.
So I shut up. It’s natural, I guess. After all, I just had four different kinds of heart surgery so ergo ipso, my heart must have been a major component in what was bothering me, right?
Wrong. My heart was failing but I didn’t notice. Impossible you say? Not really. It was a gradual thing which I attributed to asthma and other problems I’ve had for years. The bursitis in my hips bothered me most and my difficulties walking and doing stairs was less heart, more arthritis. My digestion has been a disaster for more than a decade, the result of botched surgery. That didn’t change.
I know the quality of my life is supposed to have improved. I know because everyone tells me so and I do mean everyone, including almost complete strangers. As far as they are concerned, the fact that I am going to (in theory) live much longer than I would have without the surgery signals a major improvement in my quality of life. Never mind that I didn’t actually know I had a problem with my heart and wasn’t concerned with it.
I was (am) more worried about a recurrence of the cancer I had 2-1/2 years ago.
The reality — which no one wants to hear — is life and its quality have stayed the same. Making me sometimes wonder why I bothered. I want to blame someone, but who? There are no bad guys in my scenario. I can’t even blame myself. Shit happens. A lot of it happened to me.
So I guess I have to keep searching to find the up side to all this beyond (maybe) increased longevity. I need something else. Even if that isn’t what everyone wants to hear.