I asked the doctor whether I could go back to work the day after my surgery. He said, “absolutely not! You will be loopy! I don’t think you will want to go back to work for a full week.”
“When can I run again?” I asked. “Not for three or four weeks,” he said.
I thought these predictions were a bit crazy before the surgery. In the recovery room, the nurse told me that the anesthesia would keep the pain away till evening, when she admonished me to take the prescribed oxycondin (yes, the addictive stuff) before nightfall “whether you think you need it or not. Otherwise, the anesthesia will wear off in the middle of the night and you’ll wake up screaming in pain!”
That sounded pretty awful. I imagined myself morphing into Edvard Munch’s famous painting. It was not pretty. So I took the drug. I don’t think drugs work on me the same way as normal people. Before long, I was totally hopped up. Instead of spending all night sleeping, I spent all night wide awake and thinking crazy thoughts. It was terrible. All in all, I wished I’d taken advil!
And just as the doctor suggested, I did not go back to work all week. I was totally wiped out. I always get daily emails suggesting a workout, and respond to them by posting my actual workout. I had not bothered to get this adjusted due to the surgery. So I would get something like “run three miles” and I would write "went to the beauty parlor, which wiped me out!" Getting my hair done on Wednesday after surgery was exhausting!
But what about the doctor’s prediction that I would not run for three weeks? I thought this was crazy too. But one week after surgery, I started “fitness walking” again. Jiggle, jiggle, OWWWW! Running would be painful, I realized. But I missed running!
Two weeks and five days after surgery, my friend Holly said she was going to run 9 miles. I joined her, after taking four ibuprofen and wearing four bras. No way was there any jiggling possible. In fact, it was a bit hard to breath with all that compression going on. But it was a glorious run! The following weekend was the Richmond half marathon. I had assumed I could not run a half marathon only four weeks after breast cancer surgery. But the day before the race, I said, "what the heck!"
I dressed as the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and kept telling everyone I was late. The best part was when little kids in strollers noticed me. One set of twins kept yelling, "Bunny! Daddy, Bunny!" Daddy was looking at his iPhone and never got to see Bunny. Poor Daddy, letting the good things in life fly by!
Truth be told, I was Humpty Dumpty, if the King’s Horses and King’s Men had done a better job! I was put together again. No Personal Record (PR), but I got a HUMPTY DUMPTY PR--fastest half marathon I’ve done four weeks after a surgery!