Of all the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving (and there’s a lot), I have to add to the list that my post-op appointment is over! I tried to be brave (no I really did), but when she started poking around in my painfully sore nostrils tears began involuntarily pouring down my face. But otherwise, it went better than I had feared. She had some trouble getting the nose splint off; apparently the Dr. had used a ton of glue sticking it on (my nose is still incredibly sticky) and the ear splint came off relatively quick and painless. More of my ear is gone than I expected (well, not “gone”, technically relocated into my nose). It probably won’t be all that noticeable, but now that I’ve publicly disclosed my “funny ear” you’ll be inevitably drawn to it (damn!). Could be worse, and definitely worth a funny ear to be able to breath properly once again!
Otherwise, everything is pretty much as swollen and bruised as to be expected. Some of the swelling may be due to my compromised lymphatic system (missing five lymph nodes in my neck and going into the surgery with at least two swollen ones – which may or may not be cancerous). So I scheduled a follow-up appt with Dr. Facts before my radiation treatment just to make sure I’m still on track and to address any lingering issues.
The most disappointing part of the appointment was forgetting to ask for a sticker (though I’m sure the kids would be happy to give me one) and asking Rick beforehand if we could stop by the coffee shop afterwards for a treat, before realizing I was in the middle of my “thyroid medication afternoon fast” (drats!).
But after my fast, we were the lucky recipients (yet again) of a delicious dinner delivery – which we have been graciously accepting since my first surgery. It is amazing how astronomically helpful not having to shop, cook, and clean-up after dinner has been! It has also allowed us to get dinner on the table earlier, which in turn gets the kids into bed earlier, which in turn gets them more rest and we’re all the happier for it! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but seeing that it’s Thanksgiving, I wanted to thank everyone yet again for all the food, gifts, flowers, notes, and well-wishes….I really feel like I have an army behind me!
And lastly, though it’s been hard, and it’s only going to get harder this point forward (there’s a cheerful thought!), there is something unexpected I am thankful for. I’m usually not much of a “silver lining” kind of person (being a scientist I’m more of the “it is what it is” philosophy), but there is something nice that has come from forcing us to change our routines, slow-down, and just be together.
Leading up to my surgery, we were two full-time working parents on staggered schedules which allowed me to put in a full day at the office before school pick-up at 3pm and allowed Rick to stay as late as he needed at the office (usually getting home around 7:30pm or later just as the kids were heading to bed or thereafter). Both of us had long, busy days and rarely saw each other, at least not during the week. On the weekends we passed the kids between us so we could get our respective housework done or took day-long family trips. But there wasn’t much (if any) “down” time – we seemed to always be on the go or preparing for the next activity. Basically we were another working parent stereotype.
But since I’ve been sick and recovering, I can no longer race around the house setting everything straight (as much as it pains me to see laundry in the wrong basket, toys on the floor, or crumbs on the counter….and I mean PAINS me), I’m forced to let it go. And same with the kids, instead of driving them to soccer or chasing them around, we have been snuggling under the covers, reading stories, putting together puzzles, and watching movies. Yesterday afternoon the four of us sat down for over an hour playing board games and putting together a puzzle just because we had some time after school and before dinner (thanks in large part to a generous friend taking care of dinner for us!). So I am thankful for having time, time for chats and drawing, tickles and giggles, hugs and snuggles, which is just as much a part of healing as anything (plus no longer having to do bath time is AAAWWWEEESSSOOMMMEE 🙂