Surgery and My Mindset
Back in July of 2012, I had knee surgery to replace my right patella due to a torn meniscus and osteoporosis. I loved my doctor and his staff. I had an overall pleasant experience with them. But since I was taken to a hospital where he is not affiliated, it was two weeks before I could have surgery due to his schedule. I was not about to let anyone else touch me. I called him the next morning, but he was away and I was unable to see him for another week. Thank goodness for Vicodin. I was always in pain.
When I finally made it in to see him, I had additional x-rays done because it had been over a week since the incident and he wanted to see what he was dealing with. I watched his face for any sign of the seriousness of my injuries when he returned from reading the film.
I'm not going to lie. It wasn't pretty. I had ligaments torn so badly they had to be reconstructed. They were shredded. My left knee is being held together with rubber bands - literally. What was left of my original ligaments were stitched together to strengthen them as best as possible.
My doctor explained he had some commitments he could not re-arrange so we decided he would perform the surgery the following week -- January 19, 2016. He sent me home with a prescription for more pain killers and urged me not to bend the leg. It had to remain straight both before surgery in order to prevent additional damange as well as five weeks after the surgery in order for it to heal, at which point I could begin physical therapy.
With regard to my wrist, he recommended a hand surgeon who was kind enough to see me that same day without an appointment. I was extremely lucky he would do that.
Now, my wrist was fractured near the joint and I also had torn the TFCC ligament. (I had no idea how complex the structure of your hand is!) The hand doctor thought we could perform surgery -- put a plate over the bone in the wrist. I refused and asked for alternate treatment. At this point he suggested putting it in a hard cast for five weeks. His thinking was that because it had been set so well in the emergency room, there was a good chance the bone would grow and heal nicely. I would then have intensive occupational therapy to strengthen the wrist.
I sank into a deep, dark hole. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I could count. I didn't even see the point in writing. For a week while I waited on my surgery date, all I could think about was my Mom, my brother and my friend. I prayed I would just fall asleep like he did and not wake up. Honestly, I was just fucking miserable.
I wondered what lesson was I supposed to be learning from all of my losses and the aftermath of those deaths. I became painfully aware of my own fatality. I worried about my daughter and my grandson. How would they cope if something went wrong during surgery and I died? I began to doubt my own beliefs. I believe in reincarnation, I do. But, I know there are no guarantees that I would be able to protect them from wherever I went as a spirit. Was that even possible?
This incident not only impacted me, but my whole family. Everyone came together for me and I am deeply appreciative for everything everyone did on my behalf, but it also made me take a long hard look at my life and everyone around me. My knee surgery would take place three weeks before my 59th birthday. I got clear as to what I wanted to do, what kind of life I wanted to live. I asked myself the hard questions.
What if I only have twenty years left? How do I want to spend that time? What makes me happy? Who do I want to be surrounded by?
There was nothing I could do but think. I was bedridden. I could only use my weak ass left hand. But I did come up with some answers.
First, I needed to really look at the people around me. Friends, family -- everybody I encountered on a daily basis. I needed to evaluate where I fit in their lives and where they fit in mine. You know, ying/yang. Then move forward from there.
I was scheduled for surgery the afternoon of January 19th, 2016,. I went into that OR with my head all fucked up.
Next: Recuperation, Rehab and Return to Life with Gratitude