what to do when recovering from surgery Featured

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Authors: Sassy Radish written by Olga

x marks the spot

That, above, is my left hand, and that “x” over it is where the cyst (I’ve named it Dennis) currently lives. But come sometime tomorrow (I’ll know more about the timing of my surgery by the end of today), Dennis will be no more, and I’ll be recovering from surgery and looking for post-surgery recovery activities.

I guess, in some way, we’re breaking up, Dennis and I—this relationship just isn’t working out. I could say that we should just be friends, but I won’t mean it. After surgery, I’m pretty sure I won’t be in touch. In fact, I hope our paths never cross again.

Surgery prep has me remembering a lot of random details. I have to show up to surgery without any jewelry, make up, or nail polish. One of the nurses said that only applies to my fingers, but since I rarely wear nail polish on my hands, that’s an easy one to keep in mind. As of last week, I had to stop taking my vitamins and supplements. As of today, I can’t take anything but Tylenol should I need it. And after midnight tonight, I can’t eat or drink anything until surgery. So it’s a little bit like a mini Yom Kippur except there are scalpels involved. Which gives me a brilliant idea…

… post-surgery break fast. Bagels, cream cheese, lox, noodle kugel, maybe even some brisket?

Andrew teases that he’s going to miss Dennis. “It’s the most “true grit” part of you,” he said to me as we walked to dinner on Saturday night. “Just think: it came back not once, not twice, but three times! It really wants to be with you.”

Too bad I don’t feel the same way.

Once I broke up with a guy who, for weeks after, kept showing up in my neighborhood to see if I had changed my mind about him. It was weird and creepy. But each time I would “accidentally” bump into him at my regular café, or the gym, or the dry-cleaners’, I would commit to being broken up a little bit more.

So by tomorrow evening, I’ll be one cyst poorer and one protective foam sleeve richer. Apparently, it’s to protect your hand from any impact. It looks a little ridiculous from all the pictures I found on the internet. But the one big upside to having a spongy foam arm is that if there’s ever a spill, I’ll be sure to take care of it.

While I’m sporting my foam sleeve, I’ll have to make do with limited activity—something that I don’t do well. I already have the complete series of The West Wing waiting for me. But besides that and those last two Game of Thrones books I’m dying to finish, what would you do while recovering from surgery? How would you spend the time? Are there books on your list you’ve been meaning to read, or amazing shows I simply have to watch? Ample naps? Long walks? Any one-handed recipes I could try?

*I’ve tried to, at least, prepare our freezer for the couple of weeks that I’ll be “off duty” from cooking. There is chili, veal ricotta meatballs, and my friend Geoff’s famous tomato soup, just to name a few. There are turkey tamarind meatballs – a recipe I’m still working on – that I’m trying to replicate from one of our favorite neighborhood places.

** I’m loath to get all “woe is me, i’m having surgery” but I wanted to do this post in case there are others who might have/need surgery and might be looking for things to do while they’re recovering. Hey, it’s forced down time – we might as well make the best of it, right?

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