Tag Archives: surgery

Are You Gonna Be OK?

25 Mar

When I first started on this Peg Leg journey, my biggest fear was that I would never run again.  This was a visceral fear that I literally felt in my core.  Terrifying.  Running has been my rock and my constant since I was fourteen years old.  I depended on running when I felt happy, sad, scared, stressed, you name it.  I wanted to run.  Long hours on the dirt, away from complications, niceties and falsities, left me feeling refreshed and renewed no matter how badly I had felt when I headed out to the door.  Nothing else has ever made me feel so clean, safe, confident.  Just the thought of losing this companion brought tears to my eyes (dramatic, I know, but true…and I am not much of a crier).

In fact, running is what I have thought about most before and after surgery.  However, just as I was surprised by how I kind of luxuriated in being a nuisance (see past post), I have been surprised by how I have learned that I will be OK no matter what happens with my foot.  Shocking, even.  I do feel this, though. And I am sure some of these thoughts have been preemptory to prepare my psyche in case that is what the doc says.  Train the brain and the truth will be less painful.  I have done this now for months, so today, I felt ready.

I picked up my new orthotics and all seems good with my foot.  I have run a couple days each week for about 30-45 minutes and only been sore.  I have come to enjoy the gym more and all the cardio equipment has to offer.  I am even doing a daily 100 push ups (yes, big boy style) and weights.  After a few minutes I asked the doc about hills and running.  He tried to be encouraging, but basically, running is the worst thing I can do for my foot.  Running highly increases the chances for a joint replacement in the near future.  F**K!

But, I pulled up my big girl pants and felt OK.  I know I will be OK.  I can do things.  I may not be able to rely on my runs for all the things I once did, but I can do baby runs without hills and I can do many other activities.  It is empowering to know I will be OK.  I might even be stronger than I thought…I’ll keep you posted on that one…

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Settle the Unsettled

21 Feb

What is going on?  There was an asteroid close to earth, a meteor buzzed by Russia and made such a racket that people were injured and glass was shattered, there have been two deadly shooting rampages down here in So Cal and an Olympic athlete is accused of murder.  The world and my area of that world feel quite unsettled.  I don’t like that feeling.

Feeling settled is comfortable.  It takes effort to get to that feeling of calm, collected, “I know where things are, who is going to be there and where I fit in.”  The obvious example of this sensation settles into your bones a few months after a big move.  Your home starts to feel like a home and your routine starts to seem normal and comfortable.

I have been unsettled since my routine has changed with my surgery.  Not only has my running completely dissipated, but my relationships that come with running have changed.  My relationships in my house have changed..for the better?  The teens are much  more willing to help, Sirskatesalot is more protective and more helpful (Remember “Bubbles”?), my friends are caretakers of me.  Unsettled.

The randomness of the recent events in the atmosphere and down here in So Cal call into question that feeling of comfort and the need for vigilance.  But, I don’t think anything can prepare you for the random.  It’s too scary for me to think of all the ways to be more ready for things I have no control over.  So, whether it be a psycho running amok, a meteor boom or the concept that I may never run like I used to, I am not preparing, I am living this life now, for today, in whatever muddled state I can, enjoying those friends and family and the physical activities I can do (I am actually able to enjoy some of my swim time now…mind over matter).

These unsettled times seem ripe for some wisdom from Dr. Suess,  “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

Peg Leg Perspective

3 Feb

Being a Peg Leg stinks.  I will admit, there have been minutes, days, these past few weeks when I am feeling a bit down, bummed…ahem, sorry for myself.  However, I had perspective drilled into me as a child and I remind myself many times a day in the whole scheme of things, this whole Peg Leg experience is not a big deal.  I had many, many eye surgeries as a child and most of them required extended hospital stays at California Pacific Medical Center.  When I was little, pediatrics was combined with pediatric oncology.  You can imagine what the kids were going through.  We shared tutors, a play room and nurses.  We knew the details of each other’s medical issues.  My mom was a nurse.  She made it clear that there would be no pity party for me.  I would live.  Period.  “Do you know what these kids would give to just have an eye surgery?”  I got it.  Even at age nine, I got it.

We all get doses of perspective in life.  The clear vision we see during these times, the appreciation, the acceptance, and the honor we give to life is amazing.  It is something to be celebrated.  Yet, life gets busy, we get better, we forget.

My Peg Leg has helped me remember.  A friend’s son recently had a bad accident.  His cast is WAY bigger than my boot and he is a child.  He cannot have the perspective from years of life. This sucks more for him than for me.  We put our legs up, we play chess.  He laughs.  He does not complain.  I admire him, his strength, his ability to just deal with what has been handed to him and to try to make the most fun with what he has.  A cast from heel to groin at age 13 does not sound fun.  He does not complain.  He smiles, he laughs, he will live.  He will be OK and he knows it.

I get it now, too.  I won’t deny that I am bummed.  I miss running more than I can explain and I miss being totally independent and in charge (which in my house means being mobile 100% of the time).  However, I get it.  I know this is temporary.  I know I will be OK.  I know my pity party is trivial.  Tales of a Temporary Peg Leg are just that.

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