Update on recovery process…Baby steps or with gusto?…Nyala stops by again today…

He seems to be following a small forkl of kudus consisting of two boys and their mom. It appears he’s taking a liking to the mom.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The nyala seems very interested in this female kudu. Since there are no female nyalas in Marloth Park, one never knows what could transpire.

The number of readers who wrote to wish both Tom and me the very best as we worked together through my healing process after triple coronary bypass surgery less than four weeks ago was astounding. Thank you, dear readers/friends, throughout the world. Your words of encouragement definitely had a positive impact.

Generally, recovery from any type of surgery, illness, or injury is a highly individual process. Each patient is recovering at their own pace with the aid of physical therapy, a good diet, and plenty of rest with a gradual return to everyday activities.

A vital aspect of recovery is having the love and support of those family members and friends who can offer emotional support and aid in performing day-to-day activities.

Anxious to get back to myself again, I’m steadfast in following doctor’s orders, however vague they may be, and doing as much for myself as possible. At this point, I can get in and out of any chair, the bed, off the low sofa, and in and out of the car on my own.

Do I still have pain 25 days post-surgery? Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, each time I move, all four areas of my body with incisions (three in my legs, one in my chest) scream out as a reminder of how careful I must be.  

On top of that, other areas continue to be painful. My arms, closely related to the chest muscles, struggle to perform small tasks such as cutting food on my plate, chopping, dicing, and reaching for items above chest level.  

Preparing a meal is still cumbersome especially opening and reaching into the refrigerator, opening the vegetable drawer, and pulling items out of the freezer. After tearing a muscle in my chest wall three weeks ago today in the middle of the night, in the dark when the power had gone out, I’m cautious knowing how much of a setback this can be. This injury set me back for several weeks.

But, I try to think in terms of what I can do. I can shower, dress, fix my face and hair, brush my teeth, and put on my clothes. Now, I can do some light food prep in the kitchen, fold laundry and carry my own plate of food to the table, impossible only two weeks ago. These small tasks are encouraging.

Such a handsome creature.

Today, I started week three of the walking program which consists of 20 minutes twice a day. This morning I used the breathing machine and then proceeded to do the first 20-minutes of walking around the house, non-stop, at a comfortable pace.

Oddly, the 20-minute walk seemed no harder than the 15-minute walks as of yesterday. Boredom is a huge factor for me, so I’ve been listening to podcasts on my laptop while I walk. The clothes I’ve been wearing have no pockets or place or place for my cellphone to use for the podcasts.

No, I’m not ready to walk on the roads here in Marloth Park, and I can’t imagine when this could be practical on the bumpy dirt roads in our remaining two months in the park. It would be so easy to fall and that I want to avoid at all costs.

How am I holding up emotionally? It’s hard to tame an “overly bubbly” type such as me. Although I’m not gushing with enthusiasm, as usual, I am in good spirits, not whining, not irritable, and definitely not self-pitying.

However, I do ask the question several times a day to Tom and often to myself, “How in the world did this happen to me, of all people?” I spent my entire life attempting to be healthy and fit. I went as far as asking the two cardiac physicians how this could happen to me?

In both cases, they responded,  “Your lifetime efforts were not lost. Heredity brought this on, and had you not strived for good health all these years, you wouldn’t be here asking this question. You survived despite it.”

That provides me with a little comfort, but now I am madly searching for answers on how I can prevent this from happening again in the future should I be blessed to live many more years. There don’t seem to be any obvious lifestyle changes I can incorporate into my future wellness program.

If necessary, I won’t ever drink a glass of low alcohol red wine again, but the doctors insist a few glasses are fine, if not good. At this point, the thought of drinking anything with alcohol makes me queasy. Even Tom has avoided having a drink since this mess began in early February.

At this point, I don’t believe we’ll be back to our old selves while we’re still here in Marloth Park. The upcoming three months in Ireland by the sea will most likely further escalate the healing process with level roads and sandy beaches on which to walk, cool air day and night, and most likely, few, if any power outages.

It’s not that I’m anxious to leave Marloth Park, even with its frequent power outages, high heat, humidity, and biting insects.  It’s simply a fact that a little easier day to day might be highly beneficial.   

I’m still wearing those hot compression stockings, and when the heat is at 40C, 104F, and the humidity is at 85%, it’s a bit uncomfortable. The only clothes I can wear right now are tee shirts and leggings since shorts and jeans aren’t comfortable near the incisions. I only have one pair of loose black pajama bottoms and one navy blue tight leggings, both of which are scorching. 

But, I am making good progress, am down to only a few low dose pain pills per day, and overall eating normally, albeit smaller portions than usual due to lack of appetite, which is normal after this type of operation. The result is baby steps…not my usual “go for it” mentality. I want to do this right to continue on our worldwide journey with renewed health and renewed hope for the future in two months.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago, March 9, 2018:

A waterbuck resting on a sandbar in the Crocodile River. For more photos from one year ago, please click here.

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