From personal experience, we present the top 5 pros and cons of major abdominal surgery:
1. You can watch all the television you want In regular life, it can be tricky to get all your TV shows in while the dishes and laundry are piling up; the kids get huffy when you're late to carpool because you had to see if Pharrell won that 4 chair turn on The Voice; and so on. But nobody gives you the side-eye for watching the sixth hour of a The Golden Girls marathon on the Hallmark Channel when you are post-surgical. In fact, people are proud of you just for staying awake. For a TV addict, it's a dream come true!
2. People are so nice to you I already know I'm blessed to have wonderful friends and family in my life, but MAN do people ever step up when you have surgery! Who knew? My folks came to help take care of the children for weeks. They didn’t even bat an eye! My kids were sweet and didn't even fight at all (in front of me). Friends called all the time just to check in and brought me things like books, flowers, plants, and casseroles. Love, free childcare, (apparent) sibling harmony, presents, AND food? SCORE!
3. Percocet Enough said. WHEE!!
4. You get to show off your hideous scars Everyone pretends like they don't want to see your wounds, but you know they do. THEY DO. When you peel back the clotted gauze to reveal your scars in all their bruised and crimson glory...well, as the mom of a teenage boy, I can tell you it’s really satisfying to be the one able to gross him out for a change!
5. You are not allowed to exercise That's right, you heard me. An actual doctor has FORBIDDEN me to exercise. I'm not allowed to do aerobic exercise until 12 weeks post-op! Heck, for the next 4 weeks I'm not even allowed to carry anything over 5 pounds! The rest of you may be advised to exercise daily to improve and maintain your health, but not me! SUCKERS!
1. You can watch all the television you want Like those people who smoke 10 packs of cigarettes back-to-back to break their habit, I'm finding unlimited TV is a double edged sword. Thanks to TBS, I have logged hundreds of hours of Seinfeld, Friends, and now have entire seasons of Frasier committed to memory (Remember when Niles and Daphne finally got together? I do. I saw it last week.) YIKES! It’s a LOT of TV time. The new seasons of my fall shows have started and my eyes are starting to twitch every time a TV screen comes into my field of vision. I even start to shake a little bit. I am going to have to DVR a lot of Dancing With The Stars and The Amazing Race until I can work my way back to normal.
2. Laughing is no laughing matter Forget sit ups - this experience has taught me to appreciate the amount of work my abs do on a daily basis just so I can enjoy a good laugh from time to time. Also the occasional cough…and not to be greedy, but I do enjoy a deep breath now and then. I may have understood this on a theoretical basis before, but I now recognize what my abs bring to the table in a whole new way.
3. Surgery is expensive I sure don’t have to worry about what we are doing with all of our disposable income for the foreseeable future.
4. Going to the bathroom is a two man job Or a one woman (me) and one man (my husband) job anyway. For the past four decades, I've pretty much considered going to the bathroom an independent thing (except for the odd time in college when I needed someone to hold back my hair). I knew I was going to need help with some things after surgery, but it didn't dawn on me that something as basic as getting on and off the commode was going to be one of them. I will never take self-toileting for granted again!
5. Pants... as in I’m not wearing them Although I'm feeling good enough now to get out a bit, I am not exactly presentable for the general public. You see, one of my incisions falls right on the waistband of every pair of pants and skirt I own. I really can't stand to have fastened pants on my body for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Even my beloved yoga pants are dicey - and you KNOW it's serious when yoga pants are too binding. As a result, I've been writing this whole blog post pant-less. I hope you aren't scandalized.
Have I missed any obvious pros and cons here? Do you think a leg or shoulder surgery is worse? Can you help me think of a way I can go to Starbucks pant-less and not end up in jail? Let us know in the comments!
This post originally appeared at The Dose of Reality.
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