Recuperation and Recovery

This will almost certainly be my final comment on my recent bout with the engineered bioweapon.  My previous post evoked enough response, mostly privately, that I just wanted to wrap everything up, and unless there is some dramatic change in the recovery trajectory this should suffice.

In the final 48 hours of hospitalization when it became clear that my release was coming down the pike and my full recovery was simply a matter of time, one message from the nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors and even pharmacists was clearly presented with great emphasis and zero ambiguity.  To whit, “You cannot ‘power your way through this.’  Recovery will take its own path and you cannot speed it up even if it is your tendency to try.  Resist the temptation to work harder because that route is the path of relapse.”

We took them seriously and it was a large part of our decision to stay an extra week at a local motel to rest before flying home.  It was the smart thing to do and worked exactly as the hospitalians had exhorted me.

Last week at The Fortress of Solitude I spent a good bit of time simply resting, napping every morning and afternoon for 15-20 minutes, punctuated by gentle activity including a few hours per day in the shop.  Even then rather than walking up the hill, my commute is normally a 150-yard stroll up a 15% incline, I drove to the barn and spent virtually all of my time there sitting.  You can do a lot of cleaning and organizing while sitting down.  I made no attempt to do anything remotely resembling productive work, although I did get out to run errands in town every day.  Just to do something different.

I can honestly say that my strict adherence to the post-hospitalization instructions have resulted in me feeling better every day.  Literally.  Every day.  Yes, my legs are sorta tired as you would expect from almost a month’s inactivity, but even their muscle soreness gives me delight.

On Thursday I saw my local doctor, whom I like and trust a great deal.  He is temperamentally an old soul; when he comes in to examine a patient he sits down and begins a conversation that will last as long as it needs to be for him to come to a solid understanding of the issue.  He even writes down his observations by hand and pen on a legal pad!  None of this breezing in and out for a few seconds and punching a few places of a compewder tablet.  He spent a good long time with me as I recounted the whole harrowing tale and he checked me out completely.  After listening to my heart and lungs, he said, “This is remarkable.  If I did not know already that you have been sick I would not know that you had been sick.  Everything sounds clear as a bell!”  He reiterated the warnings about over exertion, reminding me that my recovery to full strength and stamina is nearly a 100% likelihood but also the timetable for that is 10-12 weeks.

I go back in a month for some follow-up testing that is not possible until the pharmacological cocktail coursing through my veins gets purged (I took my very last pill with breakfast this morning).

At this point the only peculiarity is my sleep pattern.  I have suffered from sleep dysfunction (insomnia) for over 50 years and am currently on a curve that is unfamiliar to me.  Beginning in the motel after release from the hospital I began incorporating melatonin into my night time routine, and the effect has been remarkable.  For the past two weeks I have been falling asleep easily and promptly, but thanks to the now-completed course of steroids I’d been waking around 3AM.  Last night I fell asleep around 10.30 and slept through the night until 4.56AM.  With steroids now in the rearview mirror I am hoping that I regain a more congenial sleep pattern.

Thus ends my final report on this matter.