Monday, February 11, 2013
i would have never in all my born days believed that recovery from this knee replacement would be such a life lesson. in the assessment phase prior to the surgery, they make sure you are physically fit and ready for the procedure. they prepare you mentally, telling you that it is a long and arduous journey, but no one talks to you about how to listen to your body as you heal.
i have been a very active person all my life. i would categorize myself as an athlete, especially in my secondary and post secondary school years, playing several sports and being involved in teams. as a young mom i began running and ran a few marathons before my knees began to deteriorate too much. by age 35 the doctors had done all they could to keep my knees healthy, and so I was forced to slow down, and decrease my mileage to a small percentage of what it was. i became unable to do a lot of the sports that i loved - tennis, volleyball and basketball. i went into therapy to work through my fear of water (just about drown when i was 5) and start swimming. all my life i have listened to what my body has told me, slow down, speed up...yet this recovery has been even more about listening....
i have had my share of sports injuries, and i didn't listen. i remember having my ankles in casts because neither the doctor, nor my parents could trust me to not attempt to go back out on the basketball court and play after i had torn the ligaments, once again in my ankles...when they said not to run after my last knee scope, i just cut my mileage down to an amount that didn't hurt when i ran, instead of stopping and finding something else (like swimming) to do. not head strong (because that should imply that i was using my head) but merely willful...and attempting to find acceptance (another blog i'm sure) and not wanting to quit...
this knee replacement has laid me out. i was motivated prior to the surgery to do the exercises and get back on track within the six weeks and get back to work. it's not happening...the pain and stiffness are not to be messed with. the stiffness, yes, it can be worked out - but slowly and some mornings right now painfully, and the pain - now that is body language.
yesterday was another dark, and tiring day. i had pain all day. i had attempted to just go that little extra on my exercises the day before. my body was rebelling...i spent a whole day on the couch, trying to combat the pain, icing and elevating, but in the end, i had to take serious pain medication.
Life Lesson - listen to the whispers of your body. While doctors and medical professionals can spout off medical knowledge from text books and other people's experiences, they can't tell you about you. I spoke to my girl friend yesterday who is a massage therapist and she reminded me - listen to your body, you know it better than anyone else. You live in there. Something I tell people all the time is - you have to live in your own skin.
Well, living in my own skin yesterday was not good. I have decided something today. So what if i am not back at work in 6 weeks, and it takes longer - oh, well, this is my recovery and i will do it my way. if it is something that i have learned from reading spark blogs, and success stories here on Spark People - it is about how we all have to do it our own way, and that is what leads to success.
So I will listen to those whispers, for they are wisdom, and success.