Where I've been

March came and went without so much as a poke from me. As you can see from my previous posts, I took a little jaunt through the Mundo Maya where I visited four ancient cities in three countries over the course of two week. It was beautiful, memorable, exciting, at times frustrating and all around perfect. (I posted a few photos from my stints in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico here, here and here.)
Following our return from the whirlwind 15 days, I had one week to prepare for an entirely different experience that  I will also remember vividly for quite some time. I had to go in for surgery due to a large cyst that had taken up shop in my right ovary. I had known about the pending procedure for almost a year but it was just pure luck that it was scheduled one week after the end of my physically demanding trip.
On the eve of surgery day, I feasted to my heart's content until midnight and then fasted through to the next morning. We drove through the winter season's last blizzard to get to the hospital and upon arrival the surgical team was ready and waiting for me. I took that as a good sign. But what was supposed to be a one-hour laparoscopic procedure, turned into a near three-hour laparotomy. The cyst was a biggie, and she had to be pried off, ever so gently, to ensure my ovary remained intact - that was the main priority.
I came out of anesthesia much later than I had expected and found myself unable to keep my eyes open. I was overcome with exhaustion and yet I was worried that I was keeping my mom, Dean and his little guy waiting. It seems ridiculous to think that now.

I finally came to and felt ready to take my first walk, except it was going to be more work than I had imagined, or was prepared for. Once I got into the sitting position, I swiftly became ill and had to be pumped with motion sickness medication. And so, back to sleep I went. A little while later, I think it was only about 10 minutes as I was watching the clock opposite my bed, I asked the nurse if we could try again. She insisted I rest a little longer which was probably for the best.
Finally, much later, I was able to get up and walk. We changed  -I say we to highlight the fact that when you are in this kind of situation, nothing is private. The nurse is right up there to help and she doesn't care what you look like or what she sees - I sat a little while longer and then the nurse helped to ease me into the wheelchair for my grand entry. All the while, I felt bad for having her help me so much since she was waddling in her ninth month of pregnancy.
Wheeling to my family I was greeted with relief, and flowers from the little guy which I appreciated but couldn't handle. I barely had them in my hand before I passed them off to my mom. A ride down the elevator proved to be too much for me. I summoned my mom to push me into a corner so I could avoid making a scene, meanwhile a couple of men stood chatting not three feet away, completely unfazed by the scrawny twenty-something with her face in a bag.
I pulled myself together and we got in the car for a ride I barely remember, I have also blocked the pain out of my memory but I know it was there, I know it wasn't fun.

In the first few days I had to be waited on. My mom stayed in town for nearly a week, cooking, cleaning, running errands and feeding me painkillers. The latter were especially important when Dean was home and cracking jokes - laughing may be the best medicine but try it out after you've had your gut stitched up and you'll be glad to have some T3 on hand. It's unpleasant in a funny kind of way. He especially found it funny to hear "ouch" between giggles, thus making me laugh even more. I have to admit, I was providing him with enough joke material with my 100-year-old-man posture.
My first walk outdoors was four days after surgery. We walked two blocks to the drug store. It took one hour. I slept for three hours after that.
It has now been two weeks and although I have some internal pain, I'm mobile and capable of fending for myself. Sitting too long makes my muscles feel like they've shrunken, and walking too long feels like I'm shaking everything out of place.
I don't run and I don't ride my bike but I did get on it for a brief jaunt to try it out.
What I do feel is rejuvenated and ready to get in shape, eat right and move forward, and if winter would just go away I would feel even better. Although it wasn't a serious or complicated operation, it has been an eye opener into the little things that can hold us back.
In the next little while I have some changes to look forward to; a new job, a new home, aforementioned new bike, and on top of all that, a new ambition to do things right for me.
Yay health!

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