I realized something was different on the third day after surgery, Saturday. I stumbled into the bathroom on my crutches to wash up for the morning, my hair was mussed from sleep, but I looked beautiful. If you'll excuse me, I looked like I had just stepped away from a Hollywood sex scene. My eyes were clear, my face more youthful and alert. I couldn't figure it out. I touched my face and turned my head from side to side.
Later, I made black bean burgers for dinner. My parents both have high cholesterol and I'm always encouraging them to eat a more vegetable based diet, as I do. My dad praised the taste, calling them "one molecule off" from regular burgers. My mother said, "You worked hard on these. They're all the same size." I looked at them sitting on the baking sheet and she was right. They could have come out of a box.
On Monday I went to Old Navy to hit their stock up sale. I butted their heavy doors with shoulder to get in and hung my shopping bag off the handle of my left forearm crutch. I shopped for an hour, trying on skirts and blouses before settling on a denim wrap skirt that was cute and retro.
I think the other shoppers were impressed with my zeal. At home I tallied my purchase and made sure I hadn't blown my iPad budget for next month.
Finally, after my left boob kept slipping out of a bra I had just bought recently, I figured out why everything was suddenly coming up roses.
My pain was controlled for the first time in at least a year. As a result, my appetite came back, I gained weight, my mind got sharper and my energy level shot up. When you don't spend all your energy dealing with pain, all that energy can go into other things! Like making dinner! Like shopping! Like actually sleeping soundly.
I had been in so much pain prior to surgery I'd been in denial of it, maybe because I thought I'd have to deal with it indefinitely. I blamed my lack of energy on autonomic issues, my GI issues on the same and told myself I just had developed tolerance to my sleeping medicine. But deep down I knew. Like the fact that I had to keep un-clenching my jaw every night.
After surgery, my good surgeon had provided me with pain medication that worked, not just on my hip, but on all my pain. And as a result I stopped losing weight and started gaining. I got better at simple math, I re-gained energy to participate in my favorite pastimes like cooking and shopping.
Who knew "addiction" had so many side effects. Someone really ought to schedule an Intervention before I get a part-time job or something.
After my delight came fury.
I wanted to ask my federal investigator sister to find out which cars were registered to their names, my old doctors, their plate numbers, and then I wanted to pour all my favorite colors of Benjamin Moore paint on them. If caught, I'd just tell the cops they should think of me as an exceptionally large bird, taking an exceptionally large poop.
Better than they deserve, really.
But really, I'm going to take my pain relief and run with it. Get as strong as I can to have more muscle mass to help with my bad ligaments. And I think my rheumatologist will continue to be understanding.
My mother would say God had moved in my life, and I would agree. How else to explain a sudden compassionate doctor from the hospital where I'd been abused so badly? (See every other entry on this blog.)
I owe so much to my good surgeon, who fixed the labral tear in my hip. That surgery was a success and I showered him with praises at my post-op appointment. He thanked me for the feedback, shook my hand and patted me on the shoulder. I wrote 'thanks' in Japanese on the blackboard in my shaky hand before I left.
Next time I'm baking him a lemon bundt cake and there's gonna be like a pound of butter and fresh lemons in there. I don't how to thank anyone more thoroughly on earth.
Words and cakes and handshakes.