In light of how the first 2 weeks of recovery went, this 3rd week was downright boring. (Granted, our standard of boring might be a little different than some.) I traded my Vicodin for driving privileges, therefore, my life took on a slightly normal spin. Which brings us to the main focus of week 3. The horrid, thick, and itchy Velcro girdle. (Dramatic music here: Duh duh duuuuh.)
I've made reference to the girdle, but when you have tucksticles, a girdle is the least of your concerns. The girdle is mandatory 24/7 and I'm only allowed to remove it to take a shower. It squeezes everything in, helps ever so slowly reduce some of the swelling, and overall gives me a sense of security. (My new stomach scares the crap out of me half the time.) But last week was Thanksgiving and I'd be seeing friends and family that spanned beyond our inner circle of 6. You know what that means. Pants would become mandatory. And my children rejoiced.
I'm pretty predictable these days. I'm either sitting in a recliner or lying in bed. Sometimes I'm wearing pants, usually I'm not. But regardless of where I am or what I am or am not wearing, there's one thing that sends them bolting from the room in absolute terror. The loud sound of ripping Velcro.
I'm not the only one who fears my new tummy.
Although I can unwrap my own stomach, I haven't yet learned the art of rewrapping it tight enough. Enter Ron. Again.
And that brings us back to pants. I didn't own any appropriate ones that fit over my girdle. That landed he and I in a Women's dressing room at Kohl's together where we could be overheard saying things like: Lay flatter; This bench is too uncomfortable; Pull it harder; It's not lined up right; It's digging into my thigh and Quit complaining and let me finish!
And to think my biggest worry was that Security might think my bulky shirt meant I was shoplifting. Silly me.
Surprisingly, we were still allowed to make a purchase, which thanks to the big fat girdle included two sweat suits...so much for my pre-surgery visions of low rise skinny jeans and festive holiday crop top ensemble.
So how might I attempt to look normal while sporting an obvious abnormality? I'll resume tanning, of course, because a fresh tan fixes everything.
Flash to me lying face up in the tanning bed, completely unwrapped and exposed, with my knees bent at awkward angles because I'm still unable to lie flat and fighting panic as I realized I was trapped under a heavy tanning bed lid, coming dangerously close to screaming for the salon owner to break in and let me out.
You see, sometimes our drama seeps out into the general public.
But recovery wise, we're on the home stretch. Friday, a burning sensation began coursing through my ab muscles. More of a post-ab-workout pain than the post-surgery pain I've grown accustomed to. Then Saturday, things got strange. I felt a spasm in my stomach that reminded me of something...the familiar feeling of an unborn baby kick from inside.
Well, wouldn't that be horribly unfortunate timing.
As the spasms increased throughout the day, a word I learned way back in massage school crept out of it's long forgotten place in the attic of my dusty memory. Synapse: a junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.
Holy crap. I think I feel my nerve endings reconnecting. And low and behold, I'm slowly regaining feeling in portions of my stomach that were previously numb. (Thank you, Lord.) A new level of healing has begun.
My mandatory girdle phase ends next Wednesday. That means Ron has one more week to play his sick little, 'How tight can I wrap her" game that leaves him clapping while I lay flailing on the bed like a helpless mermaid.
As for my appointment today, nine outer stitches were removed. One long stitch that runs under the surface of the entire length of a precisely thin incision spanning roughly 18-20 inches between hip bones along my bikini line will eventually dissolve, if it hasn't already. Just in case, I'm still forbidden to take a bath.
I guess my plan of Ron and I sitting in the fitness center hot tub together, with me wearing a string bikini, sipping wine disguised in a water bottle while I leisurely shave my legs will have to wait one more week.
I'm not taking Ron.