somehow you got through it

Sitting in the orthopedist's office waiting to learn whether I needed surgery or just lots of physical therapy, I was never scared of having knee surgery. Even in the days leading up the knee surgery, I wasn't scared. I've had enough surgeries (6 total including this one) to know that surgeons tend to know what they are doing and I don't have a negative reaction to anesthesia.

What scared me, and still scares me, is everything that comes after knee surgery. The pain killers. The immobilizer. The crutches. The learning how to walk again. The spending entire days on the couch. The physical therapy. The having to depend on other people for everything.

I felt a bit sorry for myself. I never really mentioned that to anyone, keeping those feelings to myself and doing my best to be positive and confident. But over the past few days of recovery, the thoughts of fear have crept in and tried to take over.

Part of it was that I knew what to expect with this surgery. That made the surgery itself easier but the recovery seem more daunting. I had my first knee surgery while in junior high on my left knee. My second knee surgery was for my right knee and happened the summer before my freshman year of college.

My first knee surgery was a piece of cake compared to my second and now third. The second knee surgery was tough. I remember lots of tears and lots of pain. More tears and pain than I've had with this third surgery thankfully.

Telling the anaesthesiologist, the nurses and the reverend that this was my third knee surgery made me realize just how bad my knees are. They all looked at me with a bit of shock. 27 is a bit young to have to undergo so many procedures for the knees. The fact that following the surgery the surgeon explained just how loose my knee was also made me realize just how bad off they (and I) were. The only reason I didn't have surgery earlier was because I refused to allow them to be that bad.

all bandaged up!
Now, though, I have to face my bad knees. With physical therapy and rehab. With the knowledge that I will always have to be extra careful. And with the determination to lose this weight and strengthen my legs as much as humanly possible.

It's kind of funny that I'm so focused on what comes next when right now I'm not comfortable. I'm better than I was when I first came home from the hospital, but pain still grips me - sometimes it's constant and sometimes it's fleeting. There's a part of me that's beyond ready to rip my immobilizer off and start bending my knee; there's also a part of me that isn't so sure I'll be ready to move from an immobilizer to a regular brace.

I told my fears to my mom, who is staying with us and helping me heal while my husband works, and she told me I think too much. And I do think too much. Especially when I'm resigned to sit on the couch and rest.

I want to take these fears and turn them into something else. Determination, maybe. Or drive? Goals and successes, too. Anything but fears that stop me in my tracks and make it difficult for me to move on and conquer the things I've set out to conquer.

Up until today, I've spent a lot of time watching TV and trying to read. A lot of time sleeping too. I know watching TV and sleeping are good while recovering, but I don't want to spend all my time doing those things. That's part of the reason I'm here today - documenting my fears. It's also part of the reason I submitted documents to officially become a contributor to another site. And part of why I finally started working on my novel again today.

I always want a week at home to write and spend time on household projects. But I've seen this week as more of a sentence than a chance to write. With a little attitude adjustment from my mom, and a friend calling me out on twitter, I am changing my mind set. My mom has the household projects under control, and I've got my MacBook in front of me.

I suppose writing is my first step towards turning my fears into something else. My next step? The first post-operative appointment I have scheduled for this Thursday. And then? Going back to work.

But I need to not focus on everything that comes after this first step and instead focus on healing and writing.

And I need to remember that knee surgery and bad knees are not the end of the world. They're just a reason to work even harder and prove to myself (and everyone else) that I will overcome.

(title from "age of worry" by john mayer)


  1. I'm so glad you came through the surgery well. I'll be praying for you as you face your recovery!

  2. I nominated you for an award. Check out my blog post. http://aschuller.blogspot.com/2013/01/liebster-award.html



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