No heavy lifting... like toddlers. - The Funny Thing About Cancer
 
So the second part of suckiness that comes after surgery is the limitation on how much you can lift. 

Doctors orders:  do not lift more than 5 lbs.

So basically I can lift a can of soda (if I drank soda anymore).  Or maybe a sandwich.  And I can definitely lift a candy bar.  Which might be why I've gained about 5 lbs since surgery :)

But I definitely cannot lift a 30 lb 2 year old boy named Caleb.

Luckily for me, Grandma and Papa Ericson agreed to take Caleb for us for about 9 days.  I WOULD say that he was sad about it, but he wasn't.  He got to drive a boat, a lawnmower, a 4 wheeler, a gator, and basically anything he could convince his Papa into letting him drive.  He had a blast.

But then he came home.  And realized he missed his mama.  And THEN realized that I wouldn't pick him up. 

Let's just say it's been a bit of a transition for us.  It's gone more smoothly than expected, but still not much fun.

And I'm supposed to not lift anything more than 5 lbs for SIX WEEKS!!!!

I've been doing my best to live by this, but it's been difficult.  When Caleb is about to fall over, I just can't help myself from reaching to stop him.  And he's a boy, so he falls like once every five minutes. 

But I knew this was coming, so we tried to prepare as much as possible.  I taught Caleb the following things:

1. How to both crawl INTO and OUT OF his high chair.  The "into" portion he mastered many moons ago, but the "out of" part of it is a very new development.  And makes life a whole lot easier for me as a mom who can't lift anything.

2. We're potty training, so there aren't many diapers, but we do diaper him for naps and bedtime.  So, Caleb now knows how to lift up his own little hiney when I need to slide a diaper under it.  It's both cute and "post op" friendly :)

3. We did get into the habit of reading stories in his bed.  He'd lay down in his toddler bed, I'd lay next to him (which is a funny sight, I'm sure) and I'd read him his bedtime stories.  I think we need to upgrade to a twin bed soon...

Even despite all my heroic efforts at teaching him to not need to be lifted, it's still hard.  REALLY, REALLY HARD!  When he falls and skins his knee or hits his head or just wants to be held, I have to sit on the ground with him and give him hugs.  He's even learned a new phrase out of all of this.  Before when he wanted to be carried, he'd just say "HUG!"  Now that "HUG" doesn't work (he literally just gets a hug from me now) he says "CARRY YOU!"  I think that comes from me saying "Mama can't carry you". 

Isn't that just sad?

OK, so enough with my little pity party.  Like I said, this is the hardest part of the whole surgery thing.

If you are a mom of a toddler that's about to go through surgery, definitely find someone to help out.  It's hard.  But if you do happen to "overlook" the rules and lift too much, your body will continue to produce lymphatic fluid at your drain sites... and the drains are equally if not MORE annoying that not picking up your child.  Plus, it's just bad stuff to have tubes hanging out of your body (healthwise).  Just remember, this is a sucky time but your child will not be emotionally scarred forever if you can't pick them up for 4-6 weeks. 

At least that's what I keep telling myself.
Mary
7/18/2011 02:15:51 pm

Im sorry - truly sorry for both you and Caleb. I'll pray 4 to 6 weeks flies by

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