I have been MIA from my blog for three months. While I have been writing both on paper and in my head, no words have reached the typed page. The culprit of this break is a total knee replacement. You see the month before surgery I was trying to wrap up the school year and have things in place for my last week of school absence. This included completing grades, packing up my classroom, and taking care of the long “to do” list of tasks that needed tending before I took my leave.
The knee replacement surgery or TKR of my right knee went off without a hitch. I had done all of my pre-hab exercises and worked on getting my body and mind ready for the surgery. My sister, who had bilateral TKR in October, was my guide and cheerleader. She prepped me with all the information I would need to know to make this a successful operation. Her phenomenal recovery made me think anything was possible.
I had prepared myself for the pain post-op, and the energy and determination that would be needed for PT. Neither of which were as bad as I expected. My progress was right on schedule, and I had a great three-week post-op visit with the orthopedic PA. Life was good. Yet something felt unsettling.
Dedicating myself to doing my daily exercises and icing my knee took discipline, but I made a schedule and stuck to it in order to reach my end goal. It was the other part of recovery that took me by surprise. I had no idea it would be so hard to allow myself to “do nothing” and heal. My time between exercise sessions consisted of sleeping and reading with a healthy meal thrown in between. Never would I have thought that healing would make me feel guilty. Although everyone around me kept reminding me that I just had major surgery, I kept feeling like I should be “doing” more.
Little by little I learned how to give myself permission to “just be.” I learned many lessons during the last six weeks post-TKR.
- how to slow down and listen to what my body and soul need
- who are the people in my life who truly care about me
- how to enjoy the things that have taken a backseat in my life like reading, writing, and connecting with my spiritual life
- the importance of taking care of myself and focusing on what I need to thrive
- the gift of silence
August is here, and normally I would be stressing about the beginning of the new school year about now. However, this summer and recovery journey has me rethinking my old ways. I am definitely excited for and wary of the approaching school year, but I am not letting it consume me (at least not yet). There are days to be lived and moments to be loved over these next weeks that I don’t want to miss out on.
TKR has given me relief from some pain, a lesson in perseverance, and a new vision of my world. Since I haven’t quite mastered all of these things, I have scheduled my next TKR for November. I wonder what new lessons I will learn. Whatever they may be, I know I will give myself time, patience, and everything I’ve got to the process.