Eight weeks ago today I invited a total stranger to take a sharp instrument to my abdomen, open me up and poke some of me back in. He pushed a piece of nylon mesh in as well to give the repair some oomph, and then he sutured me back together. Over the next few weeks however my hernia repair did not quite sign up to the recovery plan as prescribed by the surgical-scrub-clad stranger.
At one stage in my recovery I felt that I had a great affinity with the pregnant characters who appear in the the BBC drama “Call The Midwife”. The ones who find themselves in the position of asking their significant other to
“Call The Midwife (insert Alf or Mum or whoever), my waters have broke!”
My waters, of course, did not break. But my wound leaked, or kind of gushed a bit, really. Imagine a tri-coloured, pattern on a white sheet, a splodge big enough to cover a small child’s T shirt. It was a pretty sight, all 1970’s and stuff and took me back to Primary 4, when Mrs Thompson was my teacher and I was first exposed to tie dye art. Throw in an opportunistic wound infection and some intermittent bleeding and my progress was a chore to endure rather than anything else. It did make me wonder if it had been worth the bother. But the hernia had to be repaired sooner or later, so there you go.
That was eight weeks ago and over the ensuing time I have been the model post-operative patient, despite the slight difficulties encountered. I have mobilised slowly and surely, gradually building up my physical activity over the weeks, introducing swimming and cycling on the indoor cycle trainer, all tiny steps on the road back to fitness.
Today was the next stage in my recovery plan and a return to running. I had decided to undertake a couch to 5km running programme and picked the excellent, free smart phone application, produced by the BBC as part of their “Get Inspired” initiative. You can pick your personal cheerleader to talk you through, egging you on, advising you on your progress through each session.
There is a range of personalities to choose from to be your support team and for me it was a no brainer. Today I choose the athletics doyen that is Michael Johnson and his mellifluous southern tones. Not only is he one of my favourite athletes, whose performances were epoch-making, whose honesty and approach to life is something I recognise as not dissimilar to my own. He is also by chance one of my astral siblings, as he also shares the same birthday of the 13th September, although he is slightly younger than I am……but not by much : )
So off I went, taking heed of Michael and his instruction, taking it easy, plod…plod….plod. Each step bringing another micro dose of endorphins. Oh, how I have missed those little neuro-transmitters these last few months and boy have I been in need of them recently. It’s always hard to lose someone or something you love but thankfully it has only been an eight weeks separation and not any longer from this life-long passion of mine.
So there were no popping wounds, no leaking, no pain and no aches – hopefully none of those tomorrow. I am back and my mind is now planning on a suitable target event to celebrate the end of my couch to 5k programme and my “graduation”.
I wonder what it will be, come the end of September?