On Tuesday it will be three weeks since I had my hip replacement surgery. How to give you an update without sounding all boring about medical blah blah, when there is so much more in life to think about.
And that’s the point. Get on with the health and recovery but put your attention on the delicious stuff of life that awaits.
Herewith some unoriginal thoughts because…it’s all been said before.
The body is a miracle. When it can, it will do everything it can to right itself. Nature takes its time for a reason. Nature knows best.
The surgery went well. The first few days were grotty. Anesthesia brain, teariness, weariness, uncertainty, and the need to depend on everyone for every little thing. There are steps and stages in recovery, but each day I felt better by inches.
Accept all help that anyone offers. Say yes to friends, flowers, food. (My inclination is to not want to put anyone out, and say things like, “Oh, I’m fine. I don’t need a thing.”)
Hip replacement surgery is something I never imagined for myself. To lose temporarily my ability to stand up, support myself, walk, after years of playing tennis, hiking, skating, practicing yoga, seemed untenable to me.
My challenge: to relax into the process of recovery. I realized immediately I had to be nice to my body, my mind, heart and soul, and turn off the damned monkey brain that wanted to “ay yay yay.” I devoted myself to positivity. Whenever the doctor or anyone asked how I was, I said, “Great!”
My new religion and my new gurus: the wonderful physio therapists who have a strategy all worked out. If they say do five leg lifts, do five and no more. If you think well, I can do more, ten must be better, you’re wrong. You regress instead of moving forward. There is method to their method.
My new fashion accessories. The walker is a brilliant invention. God Bless the ugly toilet seat extension. It is the gracious throne of my life right now. My friend Sally saved my difficult nights by sending me Youtube links to hours long Indian ragas that lulled me to sleep.
Healing is an exercise of patience, acceptance, gratitude and more patience. I succumb to the pleasures of withdrawing from the world and all the deliciousness that it implies. Hours of knitting, movies, audiobooks. Naps whenever my eyes grow weary.
My wise friend Judy told me a long time ago, “The way you heal determines the quality of the rest of your life.” So take the time you need to heal well and right.
This summer I’m devoting myself to healing for the rest of my life. I’ll be in the pool getting strong with water exercises. I’ll be eating right and getting my body back, lean and strong. The rest of the time, I’ll be finishing an e-book I plan to publish in the early fall 2017.
This is the summer of planning with ferocity the renewal of my ability to stride pain free into my future. Ile St. Louis, I’m coming!
Thank you for all your lovely good wishes. It means ever so much. If you face a challenging surgery, I hope my last two posts serve as the teensiest bit of inspiration. Sending love and light!
P.S. The hardest part of recovery from hip replacement is having to sleep on your back. That’s about it.
P.P.S. Stay off Auntie Google if you’re headed into a medical procedure. Don’t fire your imagination. There are things you definitely don’t need to know! Be informed but don’t scare yourself!