Last Monday, I went in for my surgery. Up until they wheeled me into the operating room, I was wondering aloud if even doing it was a good idea. Not because I didn’t trust my doctor or because I was thinking that my discomfort was blown out of proportion. It was because there was so much that had to be taken care of for the household to keep spinning while I recuperated. A cost benefit analysis was making things look bleak. I spent the days prior to surgery prepping the house like I was going away for a walkabout or something. Meals were made and frozen. Copious amounts of laundry were washed, folded, and put away. Playdates were lined up and carpools were arranged to get little biscuits from A to B. It was a herculean task — proper prior planning and all — for what I anticipated to be a week to ten days, but I used to be a Girl Scout, and like they say, “Always be prepared.”
9:30am on the 13th was go time. I remember the OR nurse telling me to get my bare buns up on the ironing board sized operating table. I remember the anesthesiologist saying she’d give me something to relax. When it got flushed into my system, it burned like alcohol on an open wound. I remember her voice above me saying, “Oh! Hang on, I’ll fix that.”
And then I woke up.
I’m bandaged from knee to toe. I’ve got crutches. I’ve got a collection of pills and meds that qualify for a pill minder. I’ve got pillows supporting my leg. I’ve got family and friends supporting the daily routine of life at home. My one job is to rest and get better.
I’m SO going to get fired.
I don’t make a good patient. I don’t have a lot of patience, either. Staying in bed, having meals brought to me, and being told to just relax, read and watch TV may sounds like a dream, right? And considering how much I’ve been bellyaching I’ve done about really needing a break, this seems like the answer. No, this isn’t an invitation to a pity party. This is just me being honest about life going from speeding down the Autobahn to slamming on the brakes, stopping on a dime. That’s exactly what it feel like.
I stink at being patient. I have trouble waiting for water to boil, for mail to arrive, for my nails to dry, so being told to wait 15 days to be seen by the doc to unwrap the bandages has me rocking in the corner going “buh, buh, buh, buh, buh, buh, buh.”
From what I understand, my surgery went well. I didn’t have to give up any tendons from other places in my feet in order to save the one in my ankle (yes, that was an option). There was enough useable muscle to re-tension the existing tendon, which according to my doctor, was pretty much a wet noodle. Think of it this way: the tendon is what attaches muscle to bone. It’s thick and stretchy like the rubber band around a bunch of asparagus. Imagine cutting that rubber band, then trying to tie it back together to bundle up the asparagus. The tension isn’t going to be as strong, right? That’s where I was two years ago. Two years of wear and tear on a tendon that was already kind of weak meant whatever was going to be discovered on the 13th was probably even worse for wear.
I won’t go into specifics. I don’t really have any details anyway. The Hubs attributes the ribbons of pain curling around my leg to the fact that the doctor “really got in there and worked things out”. Lord, I hope so. Already this recovery feels much different from the previous ones. I don’t know if it’s the invasive-ness of the procedure, the weakness that was present or what, but I’m drawing upon reserves of patience I didn’t even know I had. I’m calling in chits, asking for prayers and good wishes as I readjust my expectations about when I’ll be moving under my own steam.
Did I really think after a week I’d be moving around, back to business?
Call me naive. Call me unrealistic. I have high expectations for myself, so why couldn’t, why wouldn’t that happen? Because, as the saying goes, Man plans and God laughs.
I’m not making any more plans. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m tamping down the #FOMO. I’m not going to stress out because the kids are watching TV. I’m not going to worry about whether or not the kitchen counters are clean and clear (I can’t downstairs to check anyway).
I’m watching TV. I’m reading books. I’m catching up on the Lily For Target madness, Britt McHenry, European migrant crisis, and the 2016 presidential race. I’m watching the birds outside my window. I’m breathing. I’m resting.
It may not be the the break that I had wanted — there are definitely no swim up bars or white sand beaches — but I’ve been given some time. This is just a small paragraph in this particular chapter of my story. It’s not exactly what I expected, but lemons into lemonade, my friends. Lemons into lemonade. . .