My Experience

Tomorrow is Surgery Day

I have to write about this because it’s heavy on my mind. I’ve been preparing all week, moving upstairs, buying snacks and sweatpants. Going out with friends and ensuring my health is all in order. Today, I have a few preoperative appointments. I’ll sign documents that accept the risks of surgery, which is always anxiety provoking for me. I’ll meet with a physical therapist that will tell me my restrictions. Most of which are pretty extensive for the first few weeks. I didn’t anticipate needing hip surgery. When my original physician brought it up I assumed it was a scare tactic. Stop running or you’ll cause real damage. I didn’t think he meant I had already done extensive damage.

To prepare myself mentally, I’m writing down things I’m grateful for multiple times today. I’m focusing on what I can control and trying to relax and accept the anxiety that is present. For most people, surgery is a scary endeavor. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth. Of course, every surgery I have, I learn from and try to do things better. With my tonsil surgery, I spent a lot of time worrying about pain and recovery. This time, I’m trying to accept that the experience will be dictated by my attitude. No matter how bad it hurts, I will survive. So much of everything in life is about perspective. I know, I’m repeating myself but it’s worth saying again and again. It’s always a good reminder. 

In order to lead with my best mindset, I plan to meditate more and shift my focus to playing with Crush. I want to spend time enjoying activities, rather than let my mind wander and focus on fear. I’m grateful that Crush can come with me on surgery day, it makes such a huge difference. Having such a large mobility restriction, combined with my neurological problems, proves to be a challenge. Crush is a huge help. I’m glad that I’ve spent time preparing him for this change but that doesn’t mean the transition will go smoothly. I know that he will be jarred by once again sleeping in his kennel but unfortunately, there’s no way around it. It’s important for me to remember that this is stressful for him too. In a way, it’s easier to focus on taking care of him because it will be a distraction from taking care of myself. 

That being said, it’s important that I follow recovery and take care of myself the best I can. This means following protocol and not pushing to rush the process. This will be difficult. The first question I asked was when I could start running again. Running is my stress reliever. Not having been able to run since November (almost three months now), waiting another four seems like torture. I think the process will look different once I’m hitting milestones but right now I’m scared. 

I don’t know what to anticipate for this surgery. I’ve never had orthopedic surgery. The previous surgeries I had were polar opposites. The outcomes were very different. In the end, my surgeries have been successful and that’s what I want to hold on to. Removing my tonsils and gallbladder were an educated guess. It was assumed they’d fix a problem but there was no guarantee. This is different, they’re very confident that this will solve my problem. Some of this fear is coming from a place of excitement. I can’t wait to run again! I’m so excited to be able to play fetch with Crush and not have pain. There are so many factors that will improve from having this surgery and that’s what I need to hold onto. 

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