Well, three weeks ago yesterday was the day of my surgery. I feel fine, though not back to my old self yet, of course. At this point my recovery basically looks like I'm lazing around the house and not contributing much. I'm spending easily more than an hour a day walking around the neighbourhood, I'm sleeping 8-9 hours a night plus a nap or two, and I'm not feeling bad. Here's a bit of an inventory of the different aspects of my recovery.
Breathing - I've been holding steady at about three litres for several days now. I had been at 2.5, but then I was reading in bed when I suddenly felt what I can only describe as a sensation of unpeeling in my left lung, and all of a sudden I found I had an extra half litre. Still waiting for my right lung to do the same, I can feel it trying to pull open when I take a big inhalation, but no luck yet. Patience!
Drain holes - The two holes below my sternum from the drain tubes are not a worry at all. The first couple of days home the scab would crack and bleed, so I decided to put some polysporin and a tegaderm on to keep them moist. That worked great for a few days, then I found that the surrounding skin was getting irritated by the moisture, so I thought I'd take a little break from the bandages. But things sealed up just fine, and I haven't gone back to putting any sort of dressing on. I found that the scabs would pull a bit (being on soft tissue only), and the scab would thicken from below as it bled or oozed imperceptibly. Not a problem, but the scabs got so thick they were catching on my shirt, and I was worried they would pull off. So I used a nail clipper and just trimmed those things down nice and thin, and there's been no problem at all since.
Numbness - A big incision always comes with some numbness after, at least in my experience. I had hernia surgery when I was younger, and there was an area of numbness around one end of the incision that gradually regained feeling over the following year or two. I have some reduced sensation near the bottom of my incision from this surgery, but I'm used to it now and I'm sure it'll creep back towards normal over the next couple of years.
Energy - I definitely feel more like myself now than I have since the surgery. I have no problems going for two 40-minute walks a day, though I do usually feel like a good sit-down or nap afterwards. I've never felt like walking or stairs or anything has been too much for me. I tend to settle into bed around 8:00, a while after my two-year-old goes to bed, and read for a good while before getting to sleep at 9:30 or 10:00. The little guy is always up before 7:00, so the whole house is.
Incision - A little less than half of the incision scab has peeled away, and I was shocked at how little scarring there is underneath. I'm sure it'll be visible if not prominent when all is said and done, but it's certainly not the badass looking memento mori that I was expecting.
Appetite - I have always been hungry at every moment of my life, and now is no exception. I've been craving protein very strongly, so we went out for sushi. There is nothing more delicious than eating the food that your body is desperately craving, and boy oh boy was that a good meal. I can't cook because I can't handle the hardware without hurting myself, so my wife has been taking over what is usually something I do most of, and she has been very accommodating of my cravings.
And honestly I'm at a loss for what else to recap at this point. Feel free to make requests.
Oh, I had been waiting to watch 'The Expanse' until my convalescence, and now that I'm well and truly into it I can say boy oh boy is it ever good! Highly recommended.
More when there's anything new.