Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So, How Long is this Road Back to Some Sense of Normalcy?

In the last week or so, it seems like my recovery from surgery has simply stalled.  I've had a few recent days where I've been completely exhausted, especially this past Monday.  I quit work at 1:00 on Monday and went home and took a long nap.

I feel like I've been fairly prudent at slowly returning to activities, but perhaps it's still too much.  Certainly, some physical side effects will take months to resolve.  I'm not happy about that, but at least I went into this process armed with that knowledge.

The two things that have been toughest are the amount of time for my body to start to feel like it wants to do anything at all other than sleep, along with some mental issues.  I did some research on-line and found a discussion between people who had the same surgery that I just had.  They estimated that it took 4-6 months to feel physically normal again.  It took at least four months for people to regain any sense of "stamina".  And, I don't mean the stamina to do a hard workout or a week of hard workouts.  I mean the ability to just make it through a tough week at work without needing some naps along the way.

Things are going well at work.  It looks like my company is on the verge of getting some new venture capital that we need to continue through this year.  Despite the issues I've gone through recently, I feel flattered that I've been promoted to Chief Technology Officer of my small company.  My role isn't really changing, but it's a promotion on paper.  And, I want to be sure that I prove worthy of the title.  This means I need to be at my best, both physically and mentally, in the months ahead.

The week of my surgery, I didn't work at all, other than some e-mails and one phone call.  The next week, I had hoped to work close to full time from home, but only managed 25 hours.  Last week, I got over 30 hours and this week will be about 35.  So, I'm getting there.

I'd also like to return to teaching skiing this weekend, but I have to admit that I'm afraid working both jobs might be too much.

Above, I mentioned that the second aspect of all of this has been mental issues.  I have to admit to feeling a certain mental tiredness, like I need to nap for a month so my brain can recover.  It seems that ever since I got my high PSA lab result in August, the world has been spinning way too fast.  More blood tests.  Visits to my primary care doc and then a urologist.  A biopsy.  A diagnosis.  The need to talk to urologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologists at multiple hospitals.  Fighting incessantly with my insurance company over treatment options.  Scheduling surgery.  The surgery itself.  Living with a catheter for a week.  And then, I was suddenly on my own until my next medical appointment in April.  And, it seemed like the reality of the previous five months just crashed down on me.

With the surgery and the worst of the recovery behind me, I'm allegedly better.  I need to take care of my family, take care of my responsibilities in the world.  I work for a tiny company that can't let me simply disappear for 3 months to recover.

And, it's been a lot.

The past two days have been better, so that's good.  I hope to ski this weekend.  My company doesn't seem worried about my performance, given my new job title.  I just have to find a way to both heal and live up to the world's expectations for me.

Wish me luck.


Jeff Farbaniec said...

Good luck, Damon. We're just happy that you're on the road to good health, even if it's taking longer than you'd like. I can only imagine how I'd handle going through what you've gone through over the past several months, and it ain't good...

Damon said...

Jeff, trust me when I tell you that much has transpired that will never, ever see the light of day here or on FB. I'm not sure how I've gotten through the past six months, to be honest, although I know my wife has been with me every step. It hasn't been fun in any way, but I think anyone would find a way to deal with it. You really don't have many other options.