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Fear & Loathing in Special Education

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Thoughts From the Recliner (Now the Couch)

Posted 01-30-2011 at 04:04 PM by Speced9
Updated 01-31-2011 at 02:56 AM by Speced9

Tomorrow marks the second week post-op, and I can truthfully say (knock on wood) that I'm feeling pretty darn good.

My original plan was to be back at school one week after surgery. By the end of my first week out, I realized that that plan wasn't very realistic. So, I missed a couple of days extra and returned to my duties this past Wednesday. Why the extra days? Well, since my game plan involved planting my behind in my coveted teacher chair as much as possible, it didn't really seem like I could return given the fact that I couldn't sit upright in a chair yet. Seriously. Ten minutes was my max before the pressure on my repaired hernia started getting the best of me. I was also still using a lot of ice, and the thought of having an ice bag sticking out of my pants didn't seem like such a good idea after all.

Before I returned to work, I made an appointment with the surgeon to give me the go ahead. Now remember, this is the guy who told me I'd be back at school in three days. Yeah, right, pal. The nurse told me a week and friends and family were giving me horror stories of being out six weeks. So, being out eight days was a blessing.

After the doc gave me my return to work papers, I went straight to school to let my principal know I'd be back the next day. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be presumed dead and then walk into your place of work? Just have hernia surgery then walk back in your workplace a little over a week after it. That's the kind of reaction I got. I actually started feeling a bit uncomfortable being there. I felt out of place. I began to wonder if I shouldn't take the rest of the week off.

Still, I returned to work on Wednesday and did much, much better than expected. Sure, I spent a great deal of my day in my chair. I was and still am a very SLOW walker, but that just gives me more time to admire student work in the hallway. The only bad part about the last three days of the week were the constant calls of "Are you okay?" I also tire pretty easy (another side effect of surgery), so keeping the schedule light is a must at first. Look at the bright side! It's the perfect excuse to get out of Family Math Night!

So, if you're reading this blog as a precursor to your own open inguinal hernia surgery, let me sum it up for you:

1. The day of the surgery plan on taking it easy. Very easy. You'll need someone to bring you everything. When you go to the RR, plan on going very, very slow. When I say, "go very slow" I mean the walking AND the business part. Trust me. Take it slow...and breathe.

2. Plan on sleeping in a chair or recliner the first few nights. Why? Because you won't be able to get up off of a bed without making goofy I'm-in-pain faces and noises.

3. Continue to ice that sucker for a couple of days. Besides helping with the swelling, it feels darn good.

4.The next day, start walking around. Use those stairs if you have them. DON'T be a slug, but TAKE IT SLOW. Do EVERYTHING SLOW!

5. Don't go back to work until you're ready. Everyone is different. It took me a little over a week, but that doesn't mean that you'll be back then. It depends on how big a hernia you had fixed, how good of shape you're in and the type of job you have. Let's put it this way, if I was a ballerina, I wouldn't be back at work yet.

6. After about a week or so, your doctor will take out the stitches if you have them. I had internal stitches that will dissolve, but over the incision the doctor put little butterfly strips to help keep the incision closed and sterile. So, when he just removed those as easy as can be, my thought was, "Hell, I could have done that, Dude." It's neither here nor there though because those post-op visits to the doc are included in the ridiculous surgery prices.

7. When you near two weeks out like I am, you'll notice swelling going down a lot, but the incision will take on the look of the Rocky Mountains. Another way to describe it is that it will look like you have a hotdog under your skin again. Don't freak out. Believe it, or not, it's normal. They call that the healing ridge. Why it does it, I don't know, but it's a good sign that you're on your way to becoming normal once a again. Actually, if you don't notice one day that you have another hotdog under your skin, you should worry. On the other hand, if it starts looking like you have a scalpel under your skin, that means the doctor was missing an instrument or two when he sewed you up.

8. If you're a guy, remember that the testosterone is still flowing within you. Your maleness will make you consider lifting things over that 20 lb limit. My advice? DON'T BE STUPID. Even though it's very much akin to asking for directions when you're lost, asking others for a hand isn't a bad thing. Sure, you'll feel guilty and wimpy, but at least you won't end up in surgery again with a ruptured repair site.

In the past two weeks, I'm proud to say that my wife and daughter have taken out the garbage, carried groceries up the stairs, brought the laundry downstairs and vacuumed the stairs. (a.k.a. The jobs formerly known as MINE) Heck, I even had a young lady at Lowe's today loading firewood into my cart, then into my car. It's still sitting there in the back of my SUV just waiting to be hauled out by the muscle of my house.

So, I'm greatly looking forward to being back to my old lifestyle in a month or so. This will include all of my wife and daughter's duties above, plus getting back into my workout routine. All I have to remember is to take it slow. As Bill Murray said in What About Bob?, "Baby steps...."
Posted in Teaching Related , Not Teaching Related , Life As I Know It , TMI (You Had to Be There)
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  1. Old Comment
    musicbug's Avatar


    I'm so glad that you are getting better.
    Posted 01-30-2011 at 04:57 PM by musicbug musicbug is offline

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