Healing is a slow, tedious business, and progress is not a linear journey. I am in a re-recovery mode, nearly three weeks post-op. I thought the worst would be the first days — the waking up from surgery shivering underneath a thin blanket, the post-operative vomiting, the painful first steps to the bathroom, the ache at the base flesh of my palms from pushing too hard on my walker as I shakily navigated life outside the hospital. One week out, I felt I left the worst behind, quickly ditching my walker and climbing stairs easily after a week.
However, my body is still reassembling and reacting to a new hip and the trauma of its insertion. One of those reactions included an allergic/chemical reaction to the surgical glue and prep, which led to red inflamed blistering misery and days of pantsless immobile defeat. It wasn’t a rash, it was psychological warfare. I am now a little less confident of my future and what this journey will look like, not knowing what other surprises may lurk ahead.
Today, large swathes of my skin are still sensitive to touch, but the fiery red has faded to a muted purple. I am pain free and itch free, and I now understand that these better moments are to be appreciated. While we all live with the reality that our health is not limitless, I am aware that I am on new joint time, which will hopefully be 30 years, but could be as little as 10. It takes a good deal of cognitive effort not to let the what ifs and second thoughts take over. As a person who values logic, I struggle with medical decisions that seem like leaps of faith.
Healing for me will be more than a physical journey. It will be embracing new philosophies that include an altered vision of my future, as I build strength and exert caution. My hope is for a more intense love for the moment I am in, the people I am with, and the legacy I want to build. I will no longer defer dreams or adventures when my feet are once again solid beneath me. Today, though, I am appreciating this time of healing, which means being reflective and feeding my inner life. Not everyone has this opportunity to take off of work, to be able to pause and know that the bills will still be paid. I am lucky in this way.