my head alongside my heart

How is it that one event can simultaneously be one of the best things to ever happen to you and also one of the worst?

That one event for me, right now, is knee surgery. It might not be the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. (It's not.) And I am sure there may be many more worse things on their way. But right now, my life feels consumed by knee surgery.

It's been just over two months since I had the surgery. I thought that, by this time, I would be cranking out the miles on the stationary bicycle. That I would be showing off my newfound quadricep strength. That I would be back to work. But I am none of those things.

I rode the stationary bicycle for the first time on Monday. Eight minutes. No resistance, and I didn't spin fast enough for the monitor to come on and register that I was there pedaling away. In fact, it was hard. I could feel it in my IT Band and struggled not to compensate by letting my right foot due most of the work while my left foot flopped and moved so I wouldn't have to work so hard.

I'm not back at work. That makes me feel like a failure. Even worse I feel like I'm not making the most of my time off. I'm not writing as much as I should. I have lots of arts and crafts projects to work on. And yet, I find myself just sitting. I've had things to focus on but I haven't used the time to do things for myself or better myself. Rather I have almost punished myself for being off work. It's hard to do things I enjoy when I feel like I shouldn't be able to. Not sure if that makes any sense (it barely does to me).

I know that the knee surgery was necessary. One of the reasons this recovery is such a struggle is because I have needed the surgery for longer than I realized and for longer than I wanted to admit. My fall in December made it so there was no other choice, but I had ignored the signs for years prior.

And I know that one day I will be glad I had this knee surgery. When it's easier to participate in spin class (not that spin is ever easy). When I can go up the stairs using both legs. When I'm back to normal. When I don't have to worry about tripping and falling and feeling the agony of a dislocated, and then relocated, patella.

But right now, in the somewhat early morning while I waste a bit of time before physical therapy, I'm not glad. Right now I am struggling with the knee surgery. Right now I am fighting away fears that I'll never fully recover. Right now I find myself stuck in a place that I don't quite know how to get out of. Jen Hatmaker called it the duldrums, and I think that's what it is. Because there's no depression or anything like that. There's just a feeling of being stuck.

I've gained weight since the knee surgery. Not a lot by what the scale says. But it's still weight. And maybe it's just my mind playing tricks on me, but I feel like it's obvious. It's a gain of about eight pounds. And for over two months of knee surgery recovery, two months of very little activity and too much Chik-Fil-A and macaroni and cheese, it's not a bad gain. But I want to stop the number from climbing any higher. I'm the one who has to stop it. Who needs to deal with the kitchen and refrigerator and ease of the drive-through.

And even though sometimes it feels like there is nothing but negativity stemming from the surgery and this recovery, I know there is good. I'm rested. More rested than I have been in over a year. I'm happy, in a lot of ways, with the direction our life is taking. Announcing our plan to become parents and then seeing the progress that is slowly being made has been good for me. It's been a reminder that things are happening.

I'm realizing more and more what my passions are. I know what issues get me riled up. And I've rediscovered a strength to fight those issues. I want to share my passions with people and with the Church. I want to remind everyone of how important the issues are and of the positions we are all in to do something about those issues.

And I'm gaining courage. Not a lot just yet (or I probably wouldn't be struggling with the duldrums) but enough to spur me on and remind me that I can do this and that God's hand is in all of it. Enough for me to step out of my comfort zone and allow Him to take over on certain issues. Enough for me to really wonder and dream of certain things. Enough for me to fully open myself up to possibilities I had ignored for a long time.

I still don't know what all of this means for my blog. I have plenty of weight left to lose. And I need to do something about losing it. I've been complacent and taken a back seat to it for a long time. That means I need to truly deal with the issues of why I haven't lost the weight. It's not as simple as me cleaning out my refrigerator and buying produce. I know that about myself. I don't want my blog to be only about weight loss. Because, for me, that would lead me into an unhealthy relationship with myself and with food. I refuse to let that happen.

I also don't want my blog to only be about parenting or foster care. Though those things are important. However, there's not a lot I could share, and therefore the blog would remain silent.

I also don't think I can write a blog dedicated entirely to faith. Yes, my faith runs throughout the posts and is always there, but I don't think I could come up with enough content to always write about it. Because I have days when I just struggle.

Maybe it will be a combination of it all. A better reflection of my life as a whole. We'll see. Right now, my life is recovery. Right now, my life is fighting the duldrums. Right now, my life is waiting.

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(title from "i will wait" by mumford and sons)


  1. I have been (and am there now) with some of the things you talk about. I had a complete ACL replacement in 2004. The first few days after surgery were terrible. I needed help lifting my leg to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. All I wanted to do was be active and play volleyball again (how I injured it). Granted I was 18 and in decent shape..so I was able to rebound a little quicker than most. But it doesn't mean that I didn't struggle. I struggle with my knee to this day. Doing squats at the gym still terrify me because my knee just doesn't feel "right" anymore. I rehabbed alot and I still don't have full confidence in my knee. And I had one of the nation's top orthopaedist do my surgery.

    My point is that if you just accept what IS...it may help you move forward. Your knee will never feel the same as you good knee. You may always favor your good knee over the other. It will hurt when you go from a cold grocery store, to the hot summer day outside. But you still have a leg. And you will be able to walk and function again.

    I have full confidence in your abilities even not knowing much about you. I know you have dedication, heart, and that little thing called WANT. Celebrate the little sucesses...like that darn stationary bike. He was my enemy, too! :)

  2. proud of your positive attitude when so much is going on in your life!

  3. Hi <3 I just want to encourage you.

    I am so sorry you're struggling. Know that this is temporary. Also, coming from someone coming out of my own season of duldrums, I understand where you are coming from and relate to you. In October I was diagnosed with a lifelong illness that temporarily sidelined me from running and working out.

    Going from a young active female to someone who hurt all the time and needed naps after small tasks was so hard! I started feeling sorry for myself, turning to food for comfort, being lazy, etc. I was stuck in a funk that I didn't know how to get out of!

    But I want you to know that there is purpose behind this season in your life! God absolutely has a plan, and He makes even the biggest battles beautiful in HIS time. Lean into him and ask him for His strength. You will get back on your feet, I know that to be true. He won't leave you here, He will walk you through it stronger than before if you let him!

  4. :) yes honey what they said...I'm smiling all throughout your post bc we've all had these seasons, these funks and stand stills. I hate them bc all I do is condemn myself. But you know THere is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. Some days I get it, other days I can't. But, rest is good. This is only temporary. Jeremiah 29:11....don't think too hard about your blog, write everything on your heart bc you have listeners. There are many roles you play, many things that make you YOU, so embrace them all and include them all :) God bless

  5. Hang in there, Les. I know those feelings of despair. Last year, my foot injury took 9 months, a cast, two boots and a bone growth stimulator to heal and I would just sit and cry, thinking it might never get back to normal. But it did heal! So keep your head up, trust the Lord's timing and know that this too shall pass (I know that's easier said than done!).

  6. You've got this. The struggle will be short when you look back in a few months. We are rooting you on! Prayers coming you way for energy, strength, and a calm mind!

  7. Just started following you! I have an ad on Mercy Ink Blog and found you. Looking forward to journeying with you!



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