Good news: I have a new ACL! I feel like I’m coming out on the other side of the post-surgery pain I was trapped beneath all weekend, and I’m hoping to start physical therapy after seeing Dr. P. for my first post-op appointment on Wednesday morning.
Know what this means? I get to actually take action to guide my recovery, rather than just sitting idly by and waiting for better to happen.
The first step in the process: Taking care of myself, which is no small task considering how bad I am about doing so (is anyone actually good at this?), and about how gifted I am in the art of denial.
Here’s what I mean about the denial: When I first hurt my knee Jan. 9, I told myself that while my ACL tear isn’t ideal, it’s also not, like, life-altering or anything. We’ve been dealing with heavier stuff than knee injuries, including friends and family members who are currently fighting cancer. This makes my silly little knee injury seem like a hangnail (if only all our medical ailments could be solved in a 45-minute surgery!).
I took the healthy sense of perspective a little too far, though, and spent weeks refusing to acknowledge that my knee is not, in fact, a hangnail; and that while it isn’t life-threatening, it certainly is life-altering, and requires some major retooling of my schedule and goals. Refusing to deal with it appropriately set me up for major heartache and disappointment my first post-injury day back at Whitetail.
My denial skills were at play again when I suggested—no, demanded—that Steve not skip our scheduled ski-patrol training on Saturday, the day after my surgery. He left at 5 a.m. and returned at 7 p.m., during which I could have called any number of friends to come provide adult supervision—but I didn’t. It actually didn’t occur to me until I was hobbling around the apartment in a Percocet haze, trying to clean up some piping-hot tea I’d just spilled all over the floor and myself, that adult supervision may have been helpful. Even once Steve was home yesterday, he had to constantly remind me that I was supposed to be resting, not doing the dishes/researching new story ideas/cooking complicated meals.
So this week, I’m motivated by the challenge to truly take care of myself. That’s my one and only goal, so I really have no excuse for not excelling at it. I’m going to do some work, since I can easily type and do phone interviews from the couch with my knee elevated, but I will take breaks and/or naps when I need to. I will put rest and rehab first, with all other life tasks—like dishes/researching new story ideas/cooking complicated meals—falling a distant second. I will continue to maintain a healthy perspective on my knee (because really, it WOULD be great if all of life’s problems could be solved with a 45-minute surgery!), but I’m also going to give it the attention it deserves.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a little break (admitting one’s faults is exhausting!).