Just A Little Short


“Just got out walked by someone twice my age. Rawr surgery #FML”.

(Shameless self-promotion alert).

All over my Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been relying on these social media outlets recently because I’m honestly too bushed to piece together something resembling a coherent post. Besides, I already have plenty of intoxicated ramblings on the internet if you know what username to look for.

Life during a recovery from a surgery is complicated. I’m not used to following doctor’s orders down the letter. And I’m especially unaccustomed to restrictions.

Restriction #1: No lifting.
The conundrum: I’m a mobile teacher. I have one storage closet and multiple classrooms with varying duties. Typically, I’m a one woman gypsy wagon. I carry everything but the kitchen sink. Maybe that too, I’m not sure what’s inside the void more commonly known as my purse, anymore.

Challenge: Make my purse and my teaching bag lighter and more functional.

Solution: My mother was gifted one of those infomercial purses with dozens of compartments. I shed anything with excess weight. Then, I was able to combine both my purse and teaching bag into one functional bag. And, I think it is under 10 lbs.

Restriction #2: No aerobic exercise.
This is actually a more difficult order to follow than imagined. When they say aerobic exercise, they mean nothing strenuous enough to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Only because that means the activity is too hard on the body.

I already knew that I’d have to leave early so I could halve my speed. The walk was more strenuous than I imagined, and it was all downhill. I felt inadequate. Normally, I tore down those streets and played frogger while jaywalking across four lane roads. You know, jaywalking is a Pittsburghian birthright. (Although I wasn’t born here, I still cash in on that!)

And then, a woman who was easily twice my age power walked past, leaving me completely in her dust.

Sigh.

And when I got to the stop, I was relieved to settle onto a bench to ease the soreness.

Restriction #3: Restricted use of stairs
The conundrum: My typical classroom is on the third floor.

Challenge: I had to make copies in the third floor office. This office is not connected to the other third floor, nor is it accessible by elevator.

Solution: Typically, I am hesitant to ask for help. I am self-sufficient. But, not right now. I considered just sucking it up and doing it myself. However, I am terrified of hemorrhage or further damage in that area.

My boss is a wonderful woman. I approached her and explained I had some limitations and errands to run. The elevator is key operated only, and she was much obliged to send me up to my classroom. She even sent a couple of teen workers to check in on me and do my errands.

Restriction #4: No standing for prolonged periods of time.
The conundrum: I’m a vocal teacher in the middle of putting together a musical.

The solution: I sat with a CD player next to me. I assigned children to pass out certain music. And I conducted from a hard chair.

The other conundrum: I have cafeteria duty. Standing provides maximum visual observation. And I am solely responsible for seventeen fifth graders, two of which apparently had a fight during school. Ugh…

The solution: I repositioned myself between the kids with hot-heads. Still nearly maximum visual. I explained to the kids that I had surgery and I was feeling poorly. And I warned them that if I were to be antagonized, that they would face my full wrath.

Oh kids!

I’ve had other shortcomings. I can’t lift T.D. It’s made caring for him and disciplining him much more difficult. Dressing him is a task.

I came home sore today. I do know one silver lining. It will be easier in future days as I heal. The more I sleep, the more I heal.

Good night!

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8 thoughts on “Just A Little Short

  1. You sound as determined as I am. I had a surgery in 1995 and I was taking the IV pole and nurse for a walk two hours out of surgery, just get me out of here so I can tend to myself!
    Glad to hear you are adapting and finding solutions to the restrictions, though you must give me your secrets on getting a child into clothing and such if you can’t gator wrestle them.
    Heal and feel better soon.

    • Trent is three, so it’s a little easier. Well, a little harder too. If he were 20 lbs lighter, I could totally take him. Last night, he didn’t want to put his pants back on. I had to have my husband lift him up while I pulled them on.

      Otherwise, I lay him on the ground and do it from there. That doesn’t count as lifting, does it? I should probably tell him to sit down… as if he’d listen. Haha!

      Thank you! I’m hoping today goes better than yesterday. I couldn’t be vertical for about an hour after coming home. Boo!

  2. You reminded me of that birthright, my dear. I don’t think I ever told you about how the rest of the October trip I was jaywalking like a pro and giving my mom constant aneurysms. She was certain I was too busy looking through my camera lens and not paying attention. She’s been away too long, she doesn’t get it.

    But every time I think of it I smile and think of you. Godspeed on your healing.

    • Thanks hun. I know better than to jaywalk Downtown. I witnessed a man who attempted to cross a four lane on a stale red get nailed by Hummer. Did you know that you lose your shoes when you get hit by a car? Ugh. But I’ll jaywalk in any suburb or city district any day of the week!

  3. I hurt my foot yesterday and on my way home from the bus an old man with a walker literally shuffled past me on the sidewalk as I hobbled home. I had to laugh a little bit at how ridiculous and helpless I felt.

    I realize that isn’t even nearly the same thing, but I understand having physical limits that are frustrating. You are a lucky woman to have people around who (seem, anyway) understanding of those current limits, I hope you get back to kickin’ butt soon!

    • I laughed my face off when I read that. Sorry, I’m not laughing at your pain. I’m just laughing at the image I conjured in my mind. It was epically movie worthy.

      You know, I said to my husband last night, “This is what I get for making fun of old people.” Awww, F*** me! LMAFO!

  4. It looks like you’ve found some really interesting ways of getting around the physical ailments that come with surgery. The lifting one was always the one that got me for my back injury. How do I go about my normal school day unable to lift anything more than 5lbs. I had to resort to one pad of paper and a pen and that was it. It also seems to me that you’re more creative than I was at solving your physical limitations, I mainly spent the time in bed doing exercises. (Though it was summer, so I could do that). Best of luck on your recovery!

    • Thanks James! I don’t have a lot of a choice about some aspects of my day. How do I get my 44lb son in and out of the tub? Painfully, of course! Lol! I did teach him how to get down the stairs on his own. Now, I have to bribe him to do things on command!

      It’s a unique and hilarious learning experience. There’s me, all 5’1″ hollering at my 3’2″ son with a piece of pizza in my hand. Awesome parenting at work!

      It’s the same deal working as a teacher. Except, I don’t have enough money to bribe a group of seventeen 10-year-olds. Instead? Threaten. Yeah, there goes my positive reinforcement method in favor of punishment, usually in the form of overcorrection. Hey, gotta do what works!

      It’s only two weeks. In the meantime, I just have to make sure that I don’t overdo it. Even if I extend myself a little past what the doc wants.

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