Amazing what a good night’s sleep will do post-surgery! I’m back to a routine too, albeit a quiet one. So far, the only challenge I notice in keeping silent is to resist the temptation to clear my throat. Again, as I said in an earlier blog post, I’m grateful that I’ve had a few weeks to practice good silence techniquess. One of these techniques is how to clear your throat by NOT clearing your throat. My voice therapist shared this one with me: when you feel the urge to clear your throat, pause. Take a deep breath in as if you were smelling a rose. Hold it for a second, and before breathing out, swallow. After you swallow, breathe out through pursed lips. For some reason, doing this kind of tricks your throat into thinking you just cleared it. Honestly, it’s working like a charm!
Physically, I woke up feeling pretty good. Yes, my throat is a little sore. There was a lot of work done on it, so it ought to be sore. But the pain is nothing that I cannot tolerate. I made the choice to not fill the prescription for Tylenol #3 that was given to me at the hospital. Because I’m a recovering alcoholic, I avoid the use of narcotics unless I’m in extreme pain. Even yesterday at the hospital, my pain level was only about a 5…not enough to call for more than an over-the-counter pain reliever.
I did venture out to do some errands today, and I realized about half way through why it’s suggested that you lay low for the first 24 hours following any surgery. I felt sort of weak and shaky, so I got back home quickly and planted myself in my favorite armchair. Seems that the only physical activity I’m qualified for today is computer work, and even that effort is limited based on my mental clarity.
One thing I noticed while silently venturing out into the world is that talking isn’t mandatory. For instance, I opened the door for someone at the store, and simply used a sweeping hand gesture. I didn’t have to say “go ahead” or “after you.” Then when the cashier gave me my change, I didn’t have to speak “thank you” out loud. We met eyes, I smiled, and mouthed the words “thank you.” On the way out of another store, a grandpa and his young granddaughter were waiting for a ride. We met eyes, smiled and nodded. No words necessary!
I’m feeling very encouraged that I can maintain silence without losing connection with people. All through the day, I’ve received texts from friends. No, even though I am temporarily unable to speak, I’m definitely not losing my connection with people, and for that, I am very grateful.