As I near the three-week mark after my surgery, I’m happy to report that things continue to just keep getting better.
I started back at work yesterday and almost made it through a full day. Sitting, after about 4 hours, starts to compress my side where the incisions are a bit; I’m going to have to remember to break up my day with a couple of walks now and then. The biggest things I’ve noticed that are different while at work:
- I am so much more clear-headed. SO much more! I’m not sure if it was the sedative effects of the cyclobenzaprine I took for my muscle spasms, or the screwed-up hormones from the tumor itself, or the stress of dealing with getting the illness resolved, or – all of the above maybe? But I had no idea how scattered and unfocused I was before the surgery. It’s amazing to be able to actually pay attention to the task at hand.
- I’ll just come out and say it – I don’t have to get up to pee constantly. This is a huge thing with PA patients; many people can’t sleep well because of waking up many times per night to pee. I was lucky in that I didn’t have that problem, but in the office, with the dry artificial climate and the dehydration that occurs with PA, I was constantly drinking gallons of water, and therefore constantly making the trek to the restroom. And I got pretty self-conscious about it after a while. It’s nice to be able to spend more time actually working and less time, well, peeing.
- Food. Work-related because we get lunch catered in my office a couple of times a week. Often it’s junk food that I couldn’t/wouldn’t eat anyway, like pizza or pasta, but once in a while it’s something really good. Like Mexican or Indian. After eating the same thing for lunch EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. SINCE. FEBRUARY – some form of salad with grilled chicken with no salt – having something with actual flavor is quite a novelty. Hello, salsa!
And some other improvements in general:
- Seeing BP readings drop down into the 110s/70s, particularly after taking a nice long walk. Which makes me think nice long walks should be a mandatory part of everybody’s day, and I’m going to start including one in the workday when I don’t have enough time or daylight for one after work.
- No cystic acne since before the surgery. My skin and hair are still far oilier than they should be for a Woman of a Certain Age, but there’s a definite improvement.
- Not a single headache since before the surgery. Three weeks without a headache? That’s a record for me.
- My weight has not fluctuated one bit since a few days after the surgery, when the excess weight from the fluids they pumped me up with finally left. I’ve lost about seven pounds since my pre-surgery weight and no matter what I eat, I don’t seem to be affected by salt content. Before the surgery, a single salt-containing meal would make me retain between three and seven pounds of water; that no longer seems to be an issue.
- The weird metallic taste that I had from the potassium depletion is completely gone. A minor thing maybe, but this drove me absolutely bonkers because it was a constant reminder that I was sick.
- No more SUPER LOUD POUNDING HEARTBEAT. I used to get this primarily at night; it actually was one of my very first symptoms that something was wrong 10 years ago – one night it wasn’t there, and the next night it was, and it never left. It’s been gone for three weeks, so I think it’s safe to say it’s left the building.
- Warning, girl talk alert: My calendar shows just about 28 days exactly between menstrual cycles. I know surgery in and of itself can skew things like that, so this could just be a fluke, but that’s the first time it’s been more than 18 days (and usually closer to 11-14 days) in between in almost 2 years. So, hey, I’ll take it, even if it’s only temporary.
My follow-up with my primary care doc is this afternoon; my follow-up with the endocrine surgeon is Friday. I don’t expect to hear anything remarkable from either one since I seem to be doing just fine. I’m finally driving again, planning to be back at yoga this Friday, and hoping to have time for a hike this weekend. My left side with the incisions still feels a little weird – it doesn’t hurt exactly, it’s more like a cross between an itch and a burning feeling – but most of the time I don’t think about it much, and the need for pain meds of any kind seems to be a thing of the past.