Monday, 23 March 2015

Growing stronger

**** Remember: Everyone's recovery from GRS will be different. Do not attempt anything I describe until you feel absolutely sure you are ready ****

I have talked a great deal about my emotional difficulties following GRS and they continue to be something I am dealing with all the time. This is in some way linked in with my physical recovery because now that I am physically more capable, it is having an effect on improving my mental health. 

This week in particular have found me doing some gardening. Of course there are die-hards that might have a sharp intake of breath at this given that I am just over 9 weeks from surgery. These will be the same people that advised me to lay in bed for the fortnight, and there was no chance of that ever happening.

No, I listened to my body and it said I was ok to do this. I looked at the weather forecast. It has been fairly good in this part of the UK this week and my roughly dug over garden was starting to sprout lots of weeds. It is only small garden, about 8 x 4 metres and the plan was to plant some fruit bushes in most of it and turf the rest. 

I started by visiting a DIY centre on Monday after a coffee in town and found all their bare root fruit bushes were half price. I grabbed what I thought would get me started, a mixture of raspberry, tayberry, gooseberry and blackcurrant. I got them home, unwrapped them and soaked them in buckets of water overnight. 

Tuesday came and here would be the moment of truth, could I wield a spade at this time? It turned out that it was no issue at all and the soil was really easy to dig over. I planted bushes as I went and was particularly careful to take lots of breaks, perhaps doing no more than 45 minutes at a time. I also did not push myself to finish the whole job and found myself at it Wednesday and Thursday. I needed to concrete in a washing line and decided that this was too heavy in it's nature and enlisted the help of my friend Susan yesterday for this task. The garden is still not finished and I am in no rush.

The benefits of getting outside and doing something have been far reaching. I find my mood much more improved and positive. Just knowing that I am moving towards getting the final piece of our new flat finished is great news. I also feel benefits from getting some fresh air and sunshine. The emotional gremlins that have plagued me for the last two months are still there but seem easier to deal with. 

The next step in my rehabilitation is to resume my running. Again, this is where others seem to know better than myself. A recent conversation led to me being "bollocked" for walking from a car park to a venue in Exeter, a distance of perhaps 600 metres. Given that the day before I had walked over 4 miles, this level of concern for my health can get a little tiring. I know, I have done this with others and only because I am concerned for their safety. But sometimes, some of the advice I get is just absurd. 

Tomorrow, I travel to Brighton for my post-op check. I will ask there when I can resume running and go by what I am told. I am almost certain I will be told to listen to my body and if this is the case, I will probably go for a short experimental run the very next day. I feel ready physically but my only concern is the pounding action running has on the body and potentially my new vagina and this is something will will enquire about.

Once I can get running, this will add in an added element of therapy for myself. I really think that this is something I have seriously missed out on the last few months, that 90 minutes of being able to run my thoughts through my mind.

So fingers crossed, in the next few days I will be getting properly back on the road to physical normality.

I'll be back on Wednesday with an update on my post-op check.

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