Returning to work after a long absence is always a daunting proposition. This is especially true after surgery, since you can summon even less energy than usual when faced with the unedifying prospect of wasting another precious day of your life glaring at some unresponsive computer screen. Still, even this dull, thankless fate is preferable to that of doctors glaring at some unresponsive electrocardiograph machine while you slowly stop breathing and eventually flatline. You can't take it with you, as they say, and unfortunately that includes medical malpractice compensation.
Anyway, my first day back was mostly spent in the canteen, dutifully recounting a brief summary of my experience to interested and sympathetic colleagues. They kindly inquire how I'm feeling, explain that I was missed, wish me well and move away. Then the anxious office hypochondriac appears, demanding more exact and specific details, obviously concerned that he might suffer from the same complaint. He is followed by the weepy office sentimentalist, a puffy-eyed collector of Beanie Babies and ceramic Disney figurines, who seems to think that I should receive a Purple Heart for having surgery and the Congressional Medal of Honor just for cleaning for my own incision.
Although you should never milk your post-op invalid status at work, a small amount of heavy cream can be churned by exaggerating your infirmity from time to time. Guidelines concerning what you can - and more importantly cannot - be expected to accomplish during the day need to be set immediately. These should be as vague and as ill-defined as possible: pleading incapacity due to "aches and twinges" is a foolproof excuse for avoiding any tedious meetings and conferences that are scheduled.
Speaking of aches and twinges, I need to stop typing now and lay down in some shady bower. After all, I'm not getting paid for writing this, you know.