Post-surgical life on the couch

My only real instruction from the doc was to remain supine with my leg elevated as much as possible. This was able to manage about 99% of the time during the first week after surgery. Friends came over to feed me, get my mail, handle chores and keep me company. For the first few days I only got off the couch to use the bathroom and take showers. I slept frequently. I was in little to no pain, so I stayed off the heavy drugs completely. I took 800mg of Ibuprofen twice a day for the first few days to stay ahead of pain and control swelling, then I reduced my intake until I was off meds. For about 24 hours after the surgery my left leg was entirely numb. This felt really odd to me. As the feeling returned, my leg throbbed a little, plus I had some tingling and discomfort around my inner ankle. It was nothing like the gut-wrenching, life-altering pain they had prepared me for.

The biggest challenge during that first week was the feeling of utter helplessness, followed by perpetual boredom. I read a little, did a bunch of crossword puzzles, and watched TV online. During this critical time period, I truly appreciated the efforts of my friends who called and stopped by to check up on me. Without them it would have been drastically more frustrating, depressing and difficult.

Going from an extremely active lifestyle to a completely sedentary one was really awful. Five days after the surgery, I did my first little workout on the floor. This consisted primarily of gentle stretches, plus a short series of core exercises to get my muscles working again. It felt amazing to lay flat on the floor after spending so much time with my back rounded on couch pillows.

Leave a Reply