In two weeks I will have a new left hip. In the last few days all my pre-op appointments have been scheduled and all the paperwork arrived in the mail today. I stop taking all my supplements tomorrow. I’m actually doing pretty well physically. I feel strong and my energy level is good. My pain is so manageable, I sometimes don’t take my usual 2 ibuprofen at bedtime. Moving forward with surgery sooner has meant less pain and disability than last time.
This is the moment when I realize I’ve just pushed off the shore of the river and into the flowing stream. The current is fast and all I can do now is steer through the rapids.
I keep hearing that old rhyme in my head:
Row, Row ,Row your boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Since my last entry, I’ve had some anxiety. I resisted, it insisted. Feeling states are like that–relentless until acknowledged. Finally, I turned to my anxiety and listened. I realized I’d had the mental conception that because I have just done this, I know what to expect and so this surgery will be easier. Anxiety reminded me that this one is different. It said, “Now, you know just how hard this is for you and how long it takes to rehab. Last time you thought it would be easy and you would be hiking in 6 weeks. Now you know that hiking is likely 8 months to a year away. You know how hard this is going to be.”
I let that sink in, feeling the constriction in my chest and the wild beating of my heart. Then I asked for help. “Please help me through this. Carry me, because I’m not sure I can carry myself. I surrender, completely.”
Then I had this thought come into my mind from somewhere beyond me, “You will be ok. Step-by-step and moment-by-moment, you will get through this. When you need to be carried, I will carry you, or send someone to do it. Don’t be afraid. Trust me. This is the final lesson for you to learn on your Hip Adventure. Let go and trust. Surrender. And keep eating right and doing your exercises! Think positively, visualize a perfect outcome, in time. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, loving people. Unplug from anything negative that brings your energy and heart down. You will be fine.”
I am not a stranger to this Presence which gives me these succinct, powerful messages. It has been with me in every time of need in my life. It has always been right. After this experience, I was not as anxious. As I reflected on the message and honored my feelings, my peace grew and my pain decreased. It always surprises me how that happens.
I talked to Scott about it. He said, “You’ve been anxious?” I guess I don’t show it on the outside. I nodded. He said, “Well, that explains why I’m having all this anxiety I can’t figure out! It’s yours!” He told me he hadn’t been sleeping well since my anxiety began and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The next morning he announced he’d slept like a baby, which is normal for him. The whole exchange between us reminded me that our partners are on the ride with us when we have these surgical adventures. It’s important to communicate with them what is going on inside of us. Then we can both be free and sleep again. I’ve been sleeping again too.
Now I feel peaceful and ready. I know deep down it will all be ok. I will come out of this. Last night I dreamed that this one would be easier and I would recover faster. I hope this is true, and I nurture that hope in my imagination, seeing myself recovering with ease. At the same time, I don’t want to fall into the trap of that expectation. It will be what it will be, and I will paddle this river stroke by stroke. It’s all any of us can do.