This is the first time I’ve sat at my desk in more than ten days. It hurts already. I can’t straighten my left leg yet, or bend it either, for that matter.
I’ve been trying to be positive post-surgery, trying to see the light in the dark, searching out all manner of motivational sayings on the internet using my phone. As I sit, sit, sit. Between sitting and resting, I’ve been walking. The surgeon ok’d up to two hours a day; of course, that quickly became a “must do – goal time” kind of thing, which I’ve yet to achieve. I made it 85 minutes today, in two separate hobbles about town.
My pace? A turtle-ish 15 – 16 minute kilometre. Yup. And that’s when I’m trying to go fast. The doctor also ok’d running after 7 days – I waited until 8 days but could only manage 5 jogging steps (think Cliffy) and then had to walk. I repeated this until I couldn’t do it anymore. Until it hurt more than I could take.
I failed at my goal distance of walking to the beach three times (it is a 3k round trip walk). On three separate walks I quit; I wouldn’t have made it home. Extraordinary.
Today I did make it (it took 25 minutes to get there on what is usually an 8 minute run). I stood and stared at the bay. My leg throbbed. I remembered all the wonderful runs I’ve had along this coastline, the adventures and the wind and the rain, the hot sun, the cap-fulls of water I’ve dumped over my head – all of it, I remembered all of it, and it brought tears to my eyes because I can only just shuffle now and I don’t know how long that’s going to last, or when I’ll be able to run free again.
I know surgery was the right thing to do. I was worried about blood clots from my damaged vein – my Mom had suffered several mini-strokes in her later years, and I know how this disabled her. It was right to have this operation when I am young and strong and able to recover well.
But it is so hard. It hurts every moment of every day, and more at night. I haven’t slept a good night in 9 nights. My leg is black from mid-thigh to below my knee. I can’t even climb up stairs.
It is hard to stay positive, to take friend’s kind words that this is a short thing and will be over before I know it. Time has slowed to a terrible crawl; I have slowed to a terrible crawl. If I told you I felt positive, I’d be lying, and I told you I’d tell you the truth, even when it was hard.
The truth is this is a horrible place to be. I’m bereft and feel purposeless because I can’t even stand up long enough to make school lunch for my kids. I want to howl and cry and throw things. I want to run free in the woods but I can only do this in my memory right now.
Here’s what I know for certain though, beyond the emotions.
I will fight my way back. I’ve already begun. I’ve walked every day since surgery last Monday, starting on Tuesday with 60 minutes (3×20 minutes), then 75, then 90, then 100. I scaled back for the weekend as I was shattered, but got back up to 90 today.
This will not break me. But it has changed me. It has given me great compassion for older people, for the injured. I will not look the same way at crossings roads ever again. When I entered the hospital last Monday, I knew I was setting my healthy, strong self aside for a while. I entered knowing this.
I can’t stay with you longer tonight as it hurts too much to sit and type. I’d love to leave you with words of wisdom but I am still discovering what this has to teach me. For now, I’ll leave you with the title of my favorite Bon Jovi song of the moment: The Fighter. I sing it quietly as I hobble right now.
Hope to see you on the trails soon…
I understand what you are going through. I had surgery on my knee during the first week of August. I couldn’t run for two months. I am back running now and I am grateful that I can run. During my recovery I also empathized with people who are not as mobile as they once were or as they want to be. Take your time. It’s worth the wait.
Thanks for your kind words and compassion. I am glad you are back to running – it is wonderful to come back after injury, isn’t it! I am being patient and doing lots of walking in preparation for the magic day when running returns to me. Thanks for writing!
I know that you’re not feeling positive right now, so I won’t tell you to try to be positive. However I will say this. That battered and injured and beaten person you are feeling you are right now is the same person who inspired me to do BodyPump as an instructor for the first time, about 3 years ago.
You’ll be pleased to know that I have done the module about 2.5 weeks ago and doing first aid course today. Starting team teaching next week and its a long way to go, but a certain one, at that. Just like your recovery, slow but certain.
So thank you for sowing those first seeds. They are coming to fruition, eventually.
Now the question on my mind is: what happened to your leg?
Yours (BodyPump addicted)
Take care xxx
If I cannot make you feel positive right now, I will say this: you, as battered and injured as you are feeling right now, were the first person who inspired me to become a BodyPump instructor about 3 years ago.
I have made the first steps, done the module just 2.5 weeks ago and doing first aid course today! Will start team teaching next week.
Thank you for sowing the seeds. They are slowly coming to fruition, slowly, but certainly. Like your recovery: slowly but certainly.
Now the question on my mind: what on earth happened to your leg?
Yours (made about Pump)
Thank you for telling me that – it made my day! What a wonderful instructor you will be! You must let me know when you’ll be teaching so I can come do your class! Where are you doing team-teaching? I had surgery three weeks ago to remove a very bad varicose vein, as I was getting concerned about potential for blood clots. It is taking a long and rocky time to heal. Your kind message has lifted my spirits, so thank you! And congratulations on achieving your goal!
Stay positive! You’re making progress, and you will get it back! 🙂
Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I’ve been too pitiful to blog the last few weeks, but saw your comment and it gave me a big lift. Returning slowly to running now – hooray!