I couldn't put any weight on it for 6 weeks. So I crutched EVERYWHERE and it was crazy trying to be a mom on crutches. Crutching from the car to parent teacher conferences, band performances, track meets was awful. Super awful was grocery shopping. I totally used the driveable little carts and looked ridiculous but I couldn't wait for Ryan to do it. He was full enough trying to pick up the rest of my slack.
I have a love/hate relationship with these objects. One one hand, I need them to get around. On the other hand, I need them to get around. #braceisheavy #crutcheareexhausting
Today's spring break activity: my 5 children push my wheelchair on our favorite trail to our lunch destination--Red Robin. #nowheelchairshame #rolereversal
Prepping for my first post-op swim! #cardiofinally!
My handicart and I are a menace. #theaislesaretiny #pricetagsandhangersareclingingtomycart
You know what this means? It means tomorrow I can start putting weight on my my left leg! #6weekspostsurgery #walkinghereIcome #ihatecrutches
I was so happy to start Physical Therapy. I am someone who likes to WORK on stuff when it's messed up and so starting exercises and stretches and therapy toward that end was huge for me mentally. The day I could fully rotate my leg on a recumbant bike made me cry.
Look what I'm doing! #whenPTsaidyesIalmost cried!
There was almost no pain after the first two weeks. The repair went super well and the pain meds seemed to work awesomely. I was paranoid of dependancy (and wanted to get pregnant) so I only used one round of prescriptions.
The hugest problem was, and still is, my limp. I am almost 9 months post surgery and I still limp. It's gotten better...the first 6 months it caused major back pain. I hardly notice it now, but others do and it makes me CRAZY. No one can quite figure out why I limp. It's either a straightening problem (probably the biggest cause in the beginning but probably not now) or a strength problem (Hip? quad? no one knows) or a mental thing (like, my brain has just gotten used to limping). I kind of walked away from PT and doctors about 3 months ago because I'm hoping it will get better with time and the pregnancy doesn't help it and I'm just frustrated. I can hike, bike, swim, run (I ran 3-4 miles a week August-November) but I walk like a gimp. Grrrrr!
Just some picture from MY FIRST BIKE RIDE OUTSIDE #mayhavecryingatinybit #feelssogoodtobemovingmybodyNOTinagym
Why it has been hard:
- I don't like being perceived as weak. I hate that anywhere I go, people can see something is wrong with me.
- I hate that I can't identify the problem (with the limp) and just work my hardest to fix it.
- I hated giving my already over-loaded husband so much of my job. It made me feel pointless as a wife.
- Um, weight gain? Yeah. Started the pregnancy 20 lbs overweight. Not fun.
- I hate having to talk about my stupid leg ALL THE TIME. I'm not bugged that people ask, I just don't have answers and have to say the same stupid phrases over and over.
- I hate not being the athlete I've always been.
- I hated having to modify what I could do with my family, especially in the beginning.
- Add that to morning sickness and other pregnancy ailments, starting in May, and it's been a rough year.
What I've learned/silver linings:
Just kidding. Kind of.
I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the purpose is in this injury. It's what I do. I have a very fatalistic (things happen for a reason) way of looking at life. It makes me to feel better about the hard things that life throws at you. So, I've tried to look for what I'm supposed to be learning. And it's not completely clear.
I've definitely learned a lot about service. Those 6 weeks that I was non-weight bearing were humbling and sweet as I watched people give my kids rides everywhere, drop off dinner, babysit bored 4 year olds, stop by with flowers, leave plates of cookies, clean my kitchen. This is what I learned:
1. Doing something is all that matters. It doesn't at all have to be the perfect thing (plates of cookies did nothing to speed recovery or help the housework get done--but it made me feel remembered and that is a service.)
2. You have to just show up and start helping. People who said "call me if you need me" were sweet but I never called them. People who said "I'm bringing dinner one day this week. Pick a day." or "I'm here and I'm cleaning your kitchen" were the ones who actually performed service for me. It's been a huge revelation and hopefully has helped me improve.
These kids deserve thank you Notes for all the extra they've done around here the last six weeks. #luckymom #alsotakingthemonathankyoudate
I've tried to learn that my worth doesn't lie in my output or appearance. Isn't coming easy, but I think that's why we have a long life, with lots of experiences...so Heavenly Father can teach us a small percentage at a time.
I've learned that sometimes I just have to endure. I can't MAKE things change or happen a lot of the time. I realized about 3 months ago that the reason the limp bothered me so much was because I, deep down, thought it was MY FAULT. I thought if I'd used crutches longer, or did PT every day instead of every other day or didn't go to kick boxing, etc. that I wouldn't be limping. Ryan laughed out loud when I told him that and said "what is it like in that head of yours?!" I think this is a hard thing that just takes time to work through.
I knew I'd find a use for the 40 lbs of cranberries I accidentally ordered last November. #icepack
I learned a little bit more about compassion. I can relate a teensy bit more to people with chronic illness, depression, physical malfunctions, surgeries than I did before. I think there is great value in that.
So there's the summation. I can't quite type "I'm glad I've had to go through it". Wish I could. I can type: I'm glad my Heavenly Father knows me and trusts me to grow and change through trial. I might still be limping along, but I'm getting stronger and better everyday...in my knee and in my heart.