August 28, 2010

The Recovery

[Warning: A lengthy blog post]

It has now been more than 20 days post my C-Sect and I still don’t feel a hundred percent.

My recovery since the delivery via Cesarean has been pretty slow. While my doctor assured that most women are up and about within a day or two from the C-Sect surgery, I struggled pretty darn hard. Some of my colleagues even testified they did not feel a thing after the surgery and could pretty much walk around as if nothing had happened within a day. It was disheartening to hear such stories when I can’t even get out of bed on the first day after. In fact, I had trouble getting back on my feet even after the 3rd day of the surgery. I still remember the sharp, intense pain the moment I put my foot down on the ground. The pain was paralyzing. It felt as if a serrated knife was continuously jabbing my abdomen. The pain was relentless. It was so intense that I could not even walk to the bathroom on my own which was less than 5 meters away from my bed. I was so pathetic that I had to call for help each time I need to go to the bathroom. Having a shower was a feat, and I could not do it without any assistance. I could hardly stand as every step was a cry for help. That was how bad it was. It was obvious that my usually high threshold of pain did not prepare me for this one.

I felt that whatever dignity I had before the C-Sect, it all was stripped off of me as nurses manhandled me, stripping me off my clothes as I lie paralysed in bed out of numbness from the anesthetic for a few days and then stripped me naked in the shower in their bid to assist me to clean-up after myself. The entire thing was such an ordeal physically and to a certain extent, mentally too.

I was pretty much bed-bound for a few days, but I tried very hard to walk around in the hope that I’ll recover faster. It felt like a bad experience…a bad dream, but I was determined to be able to get back on my feet as soon as possible. My! How I tried. And I tried, and I tried. I had only managed to slowly hobbled, and that was with some human support or the wheelchair on my 4th day. Even so, I cannot stand on my feet for too long. Every movement was not without effort. I never thought this would be so hard on me. It was as if my body was just rebelling. I did not feel like everything was normal.

It was only on the 5th day that the pain subsided a little. I was able to hobble a little faster and by the end of the day, I could walk myself to the bathroom…but only very, very slowly. Things got better later in the evening and I became fit to be discharged on the 6th day. It was not without any pain.

It was not easy coming home with a helpless newborn and at the same time, trying to adhere to doctor’s advice of getting a good rest, eat proper meals, not to strain or not carrying heavy things myself. Not having enough sleep from then on did not help very much either. I was barely operating at 50% which continued on for another week…on top of being deprived further of sleep.

I am only glad that I have also heard stories from other women whose recovery were just as slow. Our neighbour is a good example when she had her baby 3 months ago. I am glad I was not alone experiencing such difficulty. I was bummed for not being able to go for natural delivery, but I did not rule out having to go for C-Sect given the circumstances. Perhaps, I just was not prepared for the outcome. Thailand is a country with 80% Cesarean rate as most Thai women would prefer to be cut up than having to go through the pain of natural delivery. It makes me wonder how their brains really work, given the aftermath of the surgery can be a difficult one. It goes to show that no two women are the same, and that our bodies react in different way as they go under stress. It just seemed that mine was not cooperating too well.

I am, however, glad that at this very moment, I am feeling much much better than I did 2 weeks ago. I am still not a hundred percent, but there has been some stark improvement. Given my personal experience on this, again, it makes me realise the challenges of a single mom if they were to go through what I went through. I am thankful for all the help and support I have gotten so far from my husband, our nanny as well as my family. Recovery should be getting a lot easier from here.

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