I never realized how perfectly my body functions as a whole, until it all started functioning in pieces.
On the day after my nine-hour surgery I realized I’d lost my appetite, lung capacity, range of motion, energy, ability to walk, memory, core-strength, as well as any sensitivity in my new breasts.
When functions come back, they do so at their own time, in their own pace. At first I couldn’t move the little ball in my aspirator, but now I can hold big lung full’s of air! And I can stroll around the neighborhood on my own, rather than clinging to my mother.
My appetite is back too, and was announcing itself last night as I sat on the sofa with a smelly wet basset hound named Jed. More than anything, I needed ice cream. And it wasn’t a passing fancy, it was a hard-core crack-esque craving.
So regardless of the late hour, and in spite of the rain, I nudged the dog aside and hauled myself off into an upright position. I needed Häagen-Dazs. Moments later I was shuffling up the road in my rubber boots, umbrella in one hand - ten-dollar bill in the other.
Twenty minutes later I was back in the kitchen, soggy but triumphant. I plunked the ice-cream on the counter, eased the lid, and dug in.
Holy F*ck. It was like diving into an empty swimming pool – hard as rock. My outer ribs stung from the effort and I could feel my incisions burning right through my chest. I gasped –as my formerly numb boobs screamed with pain. My appetite and energy may have been on board, but my upper body strength certainly was not! Spooning hard-as-rock ice-cream was out of the question.
So instead of digging in, I brought the container to my mouth and gave it a little lick.
There! My taste buds were happy, my tummy was happy, and everything in between will just take a while to catch up.