After coming home from the hospital, I still needed time to recover. This too was a step-by-step process. Each day, I was able to do a bit more. Catching up with work emails. Entering receipts. Driving to do errands. When my body told me to take a break, I stopped. As the week went on, the stops became shorter and less frequent.
Today, I went to the doctor for my post-op checkup. She said my incisions are healing well, and I could go back to work. I needed to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for the next six weeks. She also told me that I could expect to feel pain and fatigue at times, but these are natural parts of the healing process. My body will get back to normal in time, but I need to allow the time to let it happen.
My body isn’t the only thing that is changing as a result of this experience. The way I think about my body is changing too. I’ve always been an “in my head” person. But over the past couple of weeks, my body demanded my full attention. It took charge, and the mind got shoved into the corner. My body warned me that without it, my mind — with its thoughts, ideas, and imagination — is meaningless.
I’m starting to get more in touch with my body, listening to what it needs. I’m listening to my stomach and eating when I’m hungry, not because someone left a plate of brownies in the lunch room. I’m listening to when my incisions hurt and knowing to rest and let them heal. I enjoy walking when I can and plan to do more exercising when I’m able. I want to start enjoying my body more, and feel the pleasure of being in my own skin.
Despite the pain I went through and continue to go through, I am fortunate that I had this experience. I am fortunate that my doctors found out what happened and fixed it in time. Considering my family’s medical history, I am fortunate that it wasn’t something worse. I am fortunate for the lessons this experience has taught me and continues to teach me. If losing an appendix helps me gain greater health and enjoyment from life, it is well worth it.