About two months before my surgery, I found out that my cousin Dani was having a reading of a musical called Class Reunion for which she wrote all of the music and lyrics in New York City on November 18. I told Dani that if I was feeling up to it, I really wanted to come. I had the privilege of listening to the music sometime earlier in the year and I simply wanted to support her and all of the work she put into this project. I truly had no idea how I would feel two weeks after the surgery, but it was a small goal I set for myself.
As the day approached, I was physically feeling like a day trip to NYC was feasible. It’s a two-hour drive, one-way, but we figured with lunch and a show, it might not be that taxing. However, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to juggle my kids’ schedules and the stress it would cause. We spent the better part of the week trying to find a babysitter or alternative care for our children. Amazingly, all of our babysitters were unavailable, which was a freak storm kind of thing.
It was stressful, but I kept my focus on the goal of making a day trip to New York City. By Wednesday morning, we had figured out the childcare (a neighbor and her two girls took care of our kids, fed them and another picked Sofie up for swim practice, for that we are eternally grateful). On Thursday, I went for my ritual hour-long morning walk. I came home and started reading. Within 10 minutes, I fell asleep…for over 2 hours! I was pretty surprised as I had been feeling pretty good and very careful not to overdo it. At this point, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the trip to New York City…after all that! What was my body saying?
But, I’m learning that during this recovery period there are many highs and lows and my body has unpredictable rhythms (as illustrated by my 2-hour sneak attack nap). We were able to go to New York City. Leland drove and I stayed awake the entire ride to and from (a record for me). We parked the car on 42nd street, which was centrally located for where we needed to go. We walked to a great Thai place for lunch that we found on Yelp! called Room Service. Then, we walked to the reading on 36th and 8th and we had a great time! I saw many people I know and for 2 hours was lost in the fun and entertainment of Class Reunion.
As soon as it was over, we quickly walked back to the car and made it home by 8:00 p.m which was later than we had planned. Overall, it was a long day, but a lot of fun and a milestone for me. I was glad to be able to accomplish something that felt like a normal activity, one that I would have been able to do prior to the surgery. I was very conscious of walking around Midtown and avoiding anyone bumping into my chest. I could only imagine how painful that could have been. Leland was my “fullback” creating a lane for me to walk safely on the streets of Manhattan. My walking pace was quick, like it always is, but I was certainly more careful and hesitant.
The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with friends and taking it easy. As we enter this short holiday week, I’m still taking it slow, going to bed early, and not over-committing myself during the day. Now that I am three weeks out from my surgery, I’m still consciously resting my body, there is lingering soreness and odd new discomforts as I heal. I take it as a sign that things are still happening and I can’t rush myself. So, I continue to visit with friends, walk and today I’m taking myself to the movies!