December 27, 2013

Recovery is speeding up

Post-transplant day 17, rehab #5.

I'd had a fairly lame start to my recovery, I feel, especially with the low-energy, low-ability 1st day back at rehab on Saturday. Pain has stalked me in varying degrees from large to immense, with only a few respites. In these 17 days, I have been made to appreciate what a near-death experience transplant really is, even when it goes well.

But mid-week everything changed for the better. Perhaps it is the normal course of recovery, perhaps it was the spirit of Christmas, perhaps it was the vicarious excitement of the surprise visit Denise Horgan got from her siblings, or perhaps it was the relief from enormous worry when Piper Beatty finally got her call on Christmas morning, but I slept better Wednesday and Thursday nights than I have since before transplant. Not well, mind you, but finally a couple hours of deep sleep.

I've had more energy to visit friends in ICU and stepdown. I continue to worry over them and encourage them to push themselves. I've needed a little less napping. And in rehab, I'm getting a little bit more flexible and faster each time.

But today something REALLY clicked. My pain was down far enough to simply power through it. And in the middle of floor class, I started getting pings from my phone in rapid sequence: texts from a woman whom I'd left a mere 90 minutes earlier still moderately sedated and vented! Now I was getting my phone blown up by Piper! And...she was bragging about some test or other. Worries gone. Relief enormous.

The rest of rehab went swimmingly and for the first time since transplant was able to turn in better than a lap a minute during the walk. And I get to move to heavier weights on Monday. And on my SpiroPD, just now, I upped my FEV1 to 63%!

Today I am reminded that we are all in this together, quite literally. When my friends do well, I do well. And, I believe, vice versa.

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