Navigating Setbacks

It was now Wednesday morning and things seemed to be going really well– I had progressed to standing up and my pain was pretty well controlled.  Inevitably after surgery, I always fall into the trap of assuming that things will continue to progressively get better, forgetting that there are setbacks along the road to recovery.  I experienced a couple of those setbacks today making it an overall rough day.

I was in the midst of explaining to Ryan, Makiko, and Audrey the progress that I had made and how great I was feeling when I began to experience some pretty intense pain.  This was strange considering I had just taken pain meds as a part of my morning regiment.  Waiting the pain out wasn’t working, so we paged my nurse, during which time the pain escalated to new heights on the order of the sharpest pain I have ever known.  I clutched onto my bed and remained as still as I could.  Ryan then sought out the nurse practitioner who was able to raise the dose and frequency of my Oxycodone, which eventually brought the pain back down.  Apparently my pain wasn’t as controlled as I had thought.  Later that day, we met with Palliative Care about establishing a better pain management plan where they switched me to a combination of long and short acting Morphine.

Whenever dosing up on pain meds for long periods of time constipation is inevitable.  By Wednesday, the piercing headaches, tense shoulders, bloating, and stomach pains, were setting in and clearly affecting my overall mood.  There is never a good time to take meds to counteract this because it leaves you tied to the bathroom.  This may seem funny or inappropriate, but with just enough strength to stand, it was a feat to make it back and forth to the bathroom.  This became the bulk of my day keeping me from both physical and occupational therapy.

After a difficult and challenging start, it was easy to put this all behind me with some amazing gestures from some amazing people taking their ride in a different direction.  My cousin Mike stopped for a short visit this morning where he presented me with the new Warsaw Pole Vaulting Club t-shirt.  I was honored to see that the back of the shirt has the phrase “Vault in a Good Direction” as well as being the color “Live Strong” yellow.  In a whole different part of the country, one of Shannon’s best friends Heather informed us that her friends/family had sported race bibs stating “Ride in a Good Direction, Run There Too” as they ran, walked, and worked out over the weekend.


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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2 Responses to Navigating Setbacks

  1. Cousin Mike says:

    Boy that picture makes my head look like a cherry tomato! I mean, I wasn’t easy on the eyes before, but come on, Bret–can’t you touch me up on photo shop?

    • Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

      What a great picture of two extremely handsome guys!!!! Pretty nice shirt and race bibs too!
      Aunt Sharon

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