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Music, mantras and milestones - week 6 post-op

walking east along the sea wallIt is now the end of week 6 after spine surgery. I have achieved some major milestones - for me-  and my walking program is going well. The weather has been such that I have been able to get out for a sea wall walk almost every day and how can one not be happy and get better in such glorious surroundings. I thought I would share some of this beauty of Vancouver with you in this post.

Some observations:

the ferry dock at David Lam ParkI was interested to note that the same distance that  takes about 37 minutes to walk when I walk with a friend, took me only 33 minutes when I went by myself. I guess conversation is a pleasant distraction to stop me from getting into  my automatic speed walk mode..

On the other hand I have a new mantra. The walking song that I sing quietly to myself, with lyrics greatly modified from Buddy Holly's song "Everyday" - don't ask about my lyrics - keeps me walking along at a good pace. That's when the Urban Poles are specially useful as a constant reminder to maintain posture and good walking technique.

walking west along the sea wallMost disturbing for me, as a person who used to fall asleep almost before my head hit the pillow and not stir for 6 hours,  is that I am still finding my sleep quite erratic - even though I do not take naps during the day. Some nights I fall asleep quickly but wake two or three times. Other nights I am totally insomniac - can't fall asleep till three or four am.  For the first time in my life I can appreciate the hell of  chronic insomnia.

It appears from my reading that by 6 weeks I can't attribute this  to having had anesthesia, and I am not on any pain medication.  Some articles suggest that the trauma of major surgery can mess with hormones  enough to cause sleep disturbance. I think it's just anxiety and impatience.

Certainly I was quite anxious about the six week post-op  follow up visit. I was worried that the X-Ray would show that my obstinate determination to put my socks on by myself, which involved some serious contortions at the hip joint,  had somehow managed to screw up the meticulous work that the surgeons had done to patch me up and I would end up like Quasimodo - or looking backwards like the Egyptian Celestial Ferryman and unable to go on another dance cruise.. 

the best time is early in the morning on a weekdayBut  when I finally had the X-Ray and saw the surgeon this week he assured me  that everything looked good . So though I can't get back to dance till June,  and no rotating or twisting - eat your heart out Chubby Checker - at least I am cleared for treadmills  and ellipticals, swimming pools and hot tubs.

Speaking of Chubby Checker - I  think "Let's Twist Again" was the song they played when we won the twist contest on the Pacific cruise - I have also figured out that while standard ballroom music is fine as background while I work I dare not play Latin music. Somehow I can hum along happily to a waltz or foxtrot but put on a samba or chachacha and I can't stand still.

The major milestones other than walking to Urban Fare and doing my own grocery shopping - albeit just for a couple of items - were going to my first two big public events since the surgery.

I took a cab up to the Convention Centre to go to the Vancouver International Wine Festival seminar on fortified wines.  You can read about it in the F-Word Seminar  which will be posted soon. The next day with friends I enjoyed fabulous food and wine pairings at a brunch at the Fairmont Waterfront. Flavours of the Festival Part I  and Part II show some of the delicious dishes. 

Tomorrow night I will go to the theatre - I have missed so many good productions I can't wait to get back into seeing what's coming up.