Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In

You ever have one of those moments—days, weeks, or even months … where you just want the world to stop spinning. Or at the very least, you will allow it to keep spinning if it will only stop long enough for you to jump off without breaking a limb.

Exactly one week ago today, I had partial knee replacement surgery. Not gonna lie, it’s been kinda rough. But, I’m pretty damn resilient and (so I’ve been told) have a pretty high tolerance for pain so BRING IT!! Ha … no one wants this shit brought on them. Seriously, metal body parts (which I now have three) totally suck ass. I mean the doctor had to use a saw to cut part of my joint out and hammer the new one in. The aftermath brings a whole new meaning to the word pain.

Anyway, morning of the said procedure was hell. I woke up late in fact, the only reason I woke up at all is because my favorite man called me, Twice. (OHHHH … hold up, are you new here? A little explanation, no, I don’t live with him. Yes, he’s on the West Coast, I’m East … yes, it sucks … yes, we could change it ,,, and yea, maybe you’re right about that last little thought too.

Upon arrival at the hospital, all was cool until I went back to preop—that’s where I lost it. I started crying. I was scared … second guessing everything and I had no one to fall back on who could reassure me … 

My doctor is great. He knows me. I trust him. But I was so damn scared I just wanted someone to be there. Someone to bury my head into and cry, snotty nose and all …. I mean sure, my mother was a ten-minute drive away. My kids, two of them in different states one semi local, all were “there,” and I had so many friends literally begging me to call on them for help … oh, and yes, Gastro Gabe was “there,” but not really. He was still 2,500 miles away and he has his life so me reaching out to him was not an option. I’m just not that way.

And so I cried. And my anesthesiologist had me swallow some pills before even taking me in the OR, and as it turns out, I don’t even remember the OR … nothing. He settled me down rather fast and that was that. But. When I woke up I was so disoriented and confused I (of course) started crying hysterically, and they gave me some meds to calm me so I didn’t punch a hole in the wall (jump out a window). A few hours later, I went home to my mother’s house where she proceeded to keep my glass of cherry-flavored Crystal Lite full and sing Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty whilst tucking me into bed. 

So now, here I am … one week post op. The first few days after surgery were hell. Excruciating. Tearful. Streaming bouts of cynicism and feelings of despair … couldn’t eat … hated the world.

But. One week later, here I am. And though one week is nothing more than a literal baby step in what I hope is the right direction, I can’t help but wonder if the step is big enough. It’s one thing for doctors and physical therapists and even total strangers to be in awe at how fast I’m “recovering” but it’s another thing entirely for me to believe in myself. 

Point of this post … does it really have to have a point? Having been a successful athlete I know it comes with perks, as it does with pain and disappointment. And years of overtraining and abuse (physically and mentally) have landed me here. Some of which isn’t so fabulous, but when I really think about it, all of the pain, regrets, unrecognized dreams … all of it just may have been necessary to “land me here.” And here, is exactly where I want to be.

“To persevere is important to everybody. Don’t give up. Don’t Give in. There is always an answer to everything.” – Louis Zamperini

On Being a Flexitarian

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