Monday, July 8, 2013

Joy: 6 Months After Surgery

I love playing with babies so it's really been a pain not to be able to carry one in the last six months because of the surgery. Being able to carry a baby again was one of my motivations to exercise and work on my stamina because one of my physiotherapists told me that if I didn't work hard I wouldn't be able to carry my baby ever. I don't know if I'd have another baby again, but I certainly like cuddling babies so I've been pushing myself the last few months.

It's been six months since I had mitral valve surgery (heart surgery) and I can now say I'm feeling about 90% normal again. There's still some aches and pains here and there every so often and I still tire easily, but at least I'm very much functional again. Some accomplishments in the last 2 months are worth mentioning:

(1) Traveling

Traveling is part and parcel of my job so I had to work on going up and down a flight of stairs. I also had to be able to carry at least 7 kilograms up a flight of stairs (inevitable especially when you travel to provinces). Ahh, but I impressed some travelers when I managed to get off my 20+kg. luggage off the conveyor belt without having to carry it (how I did it is a secret, Yoda powers!). And the most important thing I had to work on was gaining back my confidence of being able to travel alone.

Enroute to Carbin Reef.

And because I have regained that confidence I actually surprised my boys by going home to Manila the day after their birthday. All along they thought I had flown to Jakarta to avoid the haze but I felt really sad to have missed both their birthdays so I just booked a flight and went straight home to Manila (my doctor told me not to go back to Singapore until the haze is gone). And a happy day it was!

(2) Doing House Chores

We all take for granted our ability to carry stuff. After surgery I could barely raise a glass of water and I had to use a mug with a straw to drink. Eventually when I could finally raise a glass of water I worked on being able to carry my Nexus 7, then my laptop etc. I love doing the laundry so I always had to ask one of my boys to help me carry the basket to the laundry room. It was also pure joy when I could sweep and mop the floor without wincing in pain.

(3) Carrying a Baby

I couldn't help but grin when Joy (my one-year old playmate) finally asked me to carry her today. I was apprehensive at first because I was scared I might drop her, but I couldn't say no so I bent down and lifted her. I was so happy I insisted she come with me when the driver brought me home. She was barely crawling when I left for Singapore for my surgery and now she's already running around!

(4) Run a Huge Event

I wasn't sure if I was really ready to run a huge event. A few weeks back we brought over 200 of our communities across the region to Yogyakarta. I just put in my mind that I could do it and made sure I managed my energy well. There were times though I thought I'd break but I just prayed I'd survive. All was well and everyone who attended was happy.

(5) Climbing a Temple

I love traveling and exploring places. In my last post I mentioned that achieved climbing Borubodur. Originally I did not really plan to do the trek up since the 3 flights just getting to the grounds of the temple was already too much for me. The temple though was so beautiful I just had to see the sunrise from the top. I was really happy when I reached the top (not sure though if my doctors would be! Haha).

(6) Eating Chicken Again

My long-time mild allergies were activated when I had pneumonia and I have sadly not been eating chicken since 2008. My doctor mentioned the possibility of my immune system improving after surgery. Things were bad in the first few months, but I've been feeling great lately and thought I should try eating chicken and lo and behold I can now eat about 2.5 Don Hen buffalo wings without having an asthma attack (I only sneezed!). So happy! (Little secret: I had McChicken sandwich twice this week alone!).

(7) Gaining Weight

It seems though that with 100% blood flow it's easier for me to gain weight despite moving around more (argggh fast metabolism where did you go?). I'm at least 5 kilograms over the limit my doctor gave me so I'm sure I'm going to get a scolding next week.

Life is good. Life is joyful. I thank God everyday that I survived what could've had a disastrous ending. I understand I still have a mission to accomplish and whatever it is I just leave it to God to navigate me where I should be.

Love you all!