I am no stranger when it comes to knee surgery. About three months ago now, I tore my meniscus and found out I was needing another surgery (and for me this wasn’t an unfamiliar territory). As I have had ACL surgery on both my right and left knee. I think what was unfamiliar was just how everything played out. The day I got my MRI results I also ended up scheduling my surgery.. (which happened to be scheduled.. just under 24 hours later).
..Living alone.. and short time on my hands.. I had a mini panic attack.
My first thoughts were..
I had to go to the store..
I had to prep meals..
I had to stock up..
.. oh then it finally processed in my mind that it was my right knee…(how I forgot that)..
I didn’t know how my recovery was going to go..
Heck, I didn’t even know how I would get to and from surgery.
I didn’t have ice packs, I live up five flights of stairs.. and I didn’t have anyone around to help me if I needed anything.
First, I needed to do was call my boss and tell her..
Second, I called my mom to vent..
I had less than 15 hours to get a whole bunch of things done.
I went to the grocery store, I prepped meals, I cut up a bunch of fruit..
I bought ice packs..I got prepared for anything that I thought I would need, I even proactively dropped my prescriptions off and pick them up from the pharmacy.
It also can’t be said enough:
I am lucky enough to have built a good support system here in California with a few good friends/coworkers. I was lucky enough to have someone who not only dropped me off for surgery, and picked me up.. but also made sure that I had company on the first evening of surgery (along with some snacks and cute flowers), got me out of my apartment after a few days of being cooped up, and brought me to follow up appointment. It’s amazing to me that in a time of stress and unknown.. chaos.. that someone would take time out of their schedule to show kindness, show up for me and support me. I am so grateful. My family that knew about my knee surgery also sent me cute little get well gifts, which, was super sweet and greatly appreciated.
I can honestly say that this surgery was different from the last two.. only because I was on my own. I mean it for sure had some similarities to my second knee surgery.. but this time it was 100% full alone time.. just me and my thoughts..
I just stared at this tapestry in my room that says “Walk on a long journey” for a week straight. My daily routine consisted of.. working from home, icing, and do the exercises they suggested on the paper work.. consistently.
.. the first night I slept poorly.. the pain increased.. (mainly because I tried to not take pain medicine as much as possible). I then ended up sleeping the entire second day..
by day three I was in a complete different mindset.. I was applying pressure (with the brace on).. and “walking” using both crutches; because in my mind this was the only way I was going to be able to get around.. grab ice.. food (etc.) successfully with out falling on my face.
Taking a break from working out being active was tough..
After four days.. I was sick of doing nothing but the little leg exercises.. so I would sit on my butt and use the dumbbells I have at my apartment.. and bands to do upper body.. (and some core work).. don’t worry I made sure it was “modified” and not in anyway injuring or straining my knee.
Since I was confined to my one bedroom apartment ..(if you know me).. I decided that if I had the brace on .. I could just use one crutch.. which would make it even easier to navigate around.
In my mind.. I wanted everything to be back to “normal” at the snap of my fingers..
but I had so many restrictions…
All I wanted to do was have the freedom to drive myself.. to the store .. to my follow up doctors appointments etc etc.
I didn’t want to continue to ask my friend to drive me places… because I felt like a burden, inconvenience, annoyance.. (flash back to my second knee surgery).
After a few weeks I felt like I was starting to come back around mentally and physically…
That was until, I went to another one of my post surgery doctors appointment..
(Meanwhile this was a new doctor to me as my normal knee doctor is in CT).
I explained to him how I wanted to go into the office, how I wanted to drive, how I live up five flights of stairs and that the brace was annoying me .. restricting me. He was just doing his job .. but the news he gave me .. limiting me.. being strict .. didn’t sit well with my mindset.
After my appointment .. I just drove around.. I cried..(little dramatic if you ask me) because I was so unbelievably frustrated.
Frustrations like that will legit knock me out mentally.
They sometimes to me can be a “step back” in my mental journey.
My focus disappears.. and I just felt overwhelmed .. alone and like I needed a F’ing break.
This recovery has been an interesting one.
I mean Life itself during these past three months has been interesting to me.
I feel as if I constantly keep learning over and over again who the real people are in my life. The ones who show up.. who reach out.. who don’t have anything to gain or need or want in from me but to just genuinely be there. They just want to share kindness and genuinely catch up.. chat. Vs the ones who have been in my life .. forever and will probably read this and be like wait what.. you had knee surgery?..
A handful of different things have happened these past three months besides this knee surgery and I made the choice for myself to keep it private; while I processed it all and mentally checked in with myself.
I personally enjoy keeping things I go through private until I have processed them and can understand them. I do share a handful of things here and there.. but I prefer to keep a handful of personal things like this private at first. Its not because I wish to be secretive..thats not it at all. I just felt as if I needed to mentally handle it with out any outside noise coming in (of course if anyone reached out to me just to check in like usual.. I let them know when they asked how I was etc.).
My perspective is always changing.. or it is always open to other views.. (I have no idea if that makes any sense at all).
For instance, again when I stop reaching out to certain people, I never heard from them..
That was of course, until they needed me for something..
Don’t get me wrong I will always show up for others in my life no matter what.. it is just interesting to me how things play out like this. How once you create boundaries you are then able to see how these people walk along them.. tip toeing on the edges.
This blog was just essential my random thoughts, and what was going on with me during this “recovery.”
For my rehab.. at home (considering I wasn’t allowed to go to PT until after 6 weeks)
I decided to set personal goals in order to get back to my “normal.”
I started going for walks.. just around my building.. then a mile.. then two miles.. then four miles.. then I would walk on the sand.. then I started hitting the gym again semi normal routine (upper body, eventually into some lite lower body movement exercises).
I started going back to the farmers market (the whole time I was still making healthy foods, juices, and working on small projects and brainstorming some ideas).
These goals were important to me, for when I would be allowed to go to PT
.. and for my own mindset and physical health.
Not to mention I had three weddings to attended at the end of September/beginning of October (And I was proud of myself.. because I wore heels at all three of them and I also stupidly went for a four mile run).
Even though I had low moments the last 3-4 months.. where I questioned a whole lot.. I chose to understand what I was thinking..I tried to find new ways to process things..
Then when I could I drive .. I went straight to the beach and I went in the ocean.. I would stand there in the waves .. breathing .. and looking around .. taken it all in. That was probably the best therapy for me during this time.
Side Note: .. When I did go to PT (only once for 30-40 mins) she said I didn’t need to be there considering my own rehab was going so well.. she gave me a few suggestions to add in.. and sent me on my way. I felt so proud of myself.. I accomplished my personal goals I set for myself.
For me, my strength is something that I value and I appreciate moments like these for reminding me of my strength.
Life is going to “kick your legs out” from underneath you from time to time .. its going to send you on detours.. but always remember your strength.. always remember even if you feel like you are all alone.. you have support and other around you.
I am grateful for each person who has been apart of these last few months and the support.
It was such a simple little surgery compared to what I have had in the past; but mentally it was another challenge.
Love your Journey