My post-surgery progress is going just as it should.
I am nearly three weeks post pelvic reconstruction surgery. My surgeon used six titanium screws and a plate to bring the two sides of my pubis back together. During childbirth more than seven months ago I separated my pelvis, later diagnosed as diastasis symphysis pubis.
At today’s appointment my incision staples were removed, we got a chance to see my before and after x-rays and we were told that my physical therapy is likely to begin after my next appointment – October 25. That’s a full three weeks earlier than I expected.
The funniest part was that it reminded my husband and I of the difference in our approaches to this phase of our life. When we first met with the surgeon in August we were told my time in the wheelchair would be eight to 12 weeks. My husband assumed eight and I prepared myself for 12. So, when we got today’s news, my reaction was elation, his was a matter of fact “I knew that would happen.”
My physical therapy will be able to happen in our community, rather than at the KU Med Center. That’s great news. And my spirits are lifted by the prospect of starting therapy in six weeks rather than nine!
A day of Elevators
After the appointment my husband and I went to our favorite place for lunch. We had falafel burgers and vegan cookies and talked about the future — and our trip up the freight elevator.
The old downtown building is handicap accessible because of a freight elevator that connects all of its floors. We entered through a glass shop – one of those you can go to for classes, or a night out with friends with wine and everything – and had to wait for the restauranteur to come down for us. It was the kind of elevator with an interior gate made of wood, but it wasn’t spooky or anything and got us where we wanted to go.
After lunch we went to work. It was a little trickier to get into the car from the chair in the rain but it all worked out. For the first time since surgery I used a public restroom. (No mishaps to report) I also was able to return to class. A major perk of working at the university is one free class per semester. I’m taking an anthropology course.
On the way back to the office at the end of class, I got on the elevator with a young man in a wheelchair and two of his friends, one who pushed his chair as they left the elevator. We exchanged pleasantries and it seemed he was reviewing my equipment. His chair was different than mine, with angled wheels and tougher looking handles. It looked a lot more serious, harder to beat up. Permanent.
I wonder if we were thinking the same thing: “What got you in there?” But neither of us asked the other and neither of us volunteered.
I felt like I was invading a special community. Like an interloper with a tremendous disguise. I noticed that I was fidgeting with my Fall Risk bracelet and wondered if it was a way of trying to draw attention to the fact that this is temporary for me. Would a hospital looking bracelet be enough to signal that?
The rest of the day I have thought about that young man, about how I have taken so many things for granted in my lifetime. And about how much better I feel. Six weeks and then physical therapy is an extremely small price to pay to be able to enjoy an entire day. To still be able to smile when it’s time to go to bed.