Tag Archives: surgery recovery

Hope

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart with tears welling in my eyes.  I quickly (well, as fast as one can move with a “dead” leg and walker) got up as I felt a blog post brewing.

Hope. What is hope?  Why do we rely so much on hope?

Hope is what keeps us going.  It gives us the motivation to get through our days. It allows us to dream and create a better life.  If there is no hope, there is no life, heart or dream.

When I decided to move forward with both PAO surgeries, it was to give me hope for a pain-free, functional active life.  I still have hope that once I recover from this most recent surgery, I hope I am pain-free and thus, my chronic pain will not consume most of my thoughts and precious time.

So why, you may wonder, did I wake up this morning with a heavy heart?  I was given, or should I say – I gave myself – false hope.  This has nothing to do with surgery, but what I have found is that the emotional toll PAO surgery recovery can make the patient raw with her emotions.  So when hope is given and then taken away, it goes straight to the core:

About two weeks post op, (shortly after Christmas) I had some conversations with my mom on the phone. I was starting to feel the hope brewing that she was drug free (she was at the time) and wanting to make a change (she is addicted to pain killers and God knows what else).  Her living conditions are awful, she lives in a non-licensed “board and care” home, with little care and people transitioning in and out of the home for shorter periods of time.  She confessed these people often bring in drugs into the home (I didn’t ask what those drugs were) and that she was not behaving.  She said that she cannot perform some of the activities of daily living and wanted to move into a licensed skilled care facility (there would be no drugs there!).  Of course, I offered my help; I spoke with my wonderful sister and she offered her assistance as well.  “Maybe this is it!” I thought.  “Maybe this is her chance for a better life and we can have a normal drug free mom!”   We researched medical, assisted living, etc.  We were on it!

Yesterday afternoon I got a text from my sister: “Mom doesn’t want to move.”  My heart sank.  For the past few days I have been struggling with my own surgery recovery-related personal demons and depression.  And just when I was feeling better… “This is shitty timing,” I thought.  I called my sister and we talked briefly.  The bottom line is mom doesn’t want to move.  As much as I forced myself to think “OK, whatever. We tried,” my heart sank.

I am sick and tired of false hope.  I am tired of people, my mom especially, dangling the carrot of hope – almost within my reach – only to snatch it away. I don’t appreciate being teased with hope.  Right now I cannot even think about talking to my mother.  If she was anyone else I would have nothing to do with her.

What is my lesson in all this?  That I can only rely on the hope that only involves me.  I only have the power to change my own life, I cannot make people change.  It’s also important for me to recognize “false” hope: more often than not it’s when someone other than myself is involved.  From today going forward, I am going to just focus on me: MY self-care, MY surgery recovery.  The rest will unfold as it should.

Warrior on.

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HEALED!

I’ve come a long way, baby….

August 19, 2014: I met with Dr. Stoll, the hip specialist who originally diagnosed me with hip dysplasia and recommendation for PAO surgery in March of 2013.  After viewing my x-rays, he had a big grin on his face and he proudly announced, “You are fully healed.  You are cleared for all activities.” What great news at 19 weeks post-op!  We discussed my first love, road biking; it turns out we have the same road bike, so we talked a lot about training, routes, etc.   I was so happy that I can have my active lifestyle back! I wanted to hug and kiss that man.  Instead, I gave him a warm handshake with both hands and simply said, “Thank you. I will see you next year after my second PAO.”

In the meantime, I have been fierce with all activities, though being smart in progressing in distance and intensity: much bike riding, hiking, swimming, lifting weights, plyometrics, pilates reformer, and walking to my heart’s content.  All pain free, though I did have to ice today after my bike ride, my hip flexor tendon (sartorious tendon) was pissed off.  But the good news all is fine this evening.  Icing, I think, should be a regular routine of any athlete.

My friend has a nest of sparrows at his house,  They are metaphorical for me (and cute!) so I took a picture:

 

Baby Swallows
Baby Swallows getting ready to fly for the first time.

I think of my surgery as a sort of rebirth: Like a baby swallow, I had (re-)learn how to walk, move, and “fly”: all with new anatomical alignment that allows me to be pain free.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise”

-The Beatles, “Blackbird”

Clarity

I was awake from 12:30-3:00 last night and I basically formulated this post in my head.  Before I begin, I have to say that I can’t believe its been 7 weeks since my last blog post!  I have been busy healing, rehabbing the hip, ditching the crutches for good, learning to walk again and working full-time.  I even took my road bike out of storage and in to the bike shop for a full tune up!  Life has been full on all fronts: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

This past week, I feel like my emotional and spiritual self have been raked over the coals.  Physically, at 18 weeks post-op, my hip feels rock solid but I am getting over a nasty summer cold.  This coincides with turbulence of old wounds being opened (Robin Williams passing on has triggered the memories of my step father’s suicide and reminded me of the issues with my mother and her clinical depression and addiction to pain killers).  In the eye of the storm, however, is clarity.

While I have been forced to slow down for the past few days so that I can kick this cold, I have gained clarity on some things that have been bothering me for some time since my PAO surgery.  Mainly, this is the realization of who in my life has stepped up and showed up – physically and emotionally – and those who decided to check out.  It is painful to think some of the people who are nearest and dearest in my heart are just simply not capable.  I spend many a night awake thinking about if I was a better friend or daughter that I would be a priority in their lives.

Then, last night, I realized: why is this my fault?  I cannot rationalize other people’s behavior.  I can ruminate all night long, every night, but I will drive myself crazy.  Everyone has their personal demons that they are dealing with, and it has nothing to do with who I am as a person.  Everyone is on their own journey, for them to learn their life lessons either the hard way (repeating mistakes) or the easy way (reflecting on actions and consequences and the lessons behind them).    And that is where compassion comes in to play and, hence, the clarity.  While I cannot change the people I love, I can support them by sending them love and light, and letting go of the pain and hurt they have caused me.

I read this post this morning on Facebook and it was a dead ringer:

TRUTH
“Truth in word and deed is what is required of you. As well as resonating with your personal truth, it’s important now to also demand the same from others. Truth is freedom.”
TRUST
“Belief and trust in a Higher Power is about having faith that the outcome will be what it should be, no matter what it is. It is timely for you to place your trust in the Divine, in your angels, and in the knowledge that there is a Divine plan.”

-Divine Flyte with Marika  via Facebook, 8/12/14