Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pain in the Ass and Elsewhere

     I am having my left hip joint replaced on November 13. As weird as it may seem, I can hardly wait.
(See my July 13 post for initial discussion of this long-term hip issue.)
     I met with a potential surgeon on Aug. 30 and everything is a "go." I like him, he will perform the anterior procedure (yielding a quicker recovery than the posterior version), and there was no question as to whether the replacement is necessary. Alas, with the surgery date scheduled, and having an end to pain in sight, I feel like my butt muscles (hence the pain in the ass) are hurting more than ever. I continue to use over-the-counter pain medications sparingly. I am regularly in the conundrum of "I don't want to move" vs. "I have to keep moving." No one activity seems to make the ache worse. It's just that some days and nights are worse than others.
     This leads me, during these six weeks prior to surgery, to ask myself, "What do I really want?"
     First and foremost, I want to go into the surgery with my body in a maximum state of healing ability. That involves several things. I have to keep moving, which really isn't a problem for me as I am very consistent at regular exercise (swimming, golfing, yoga, walking, MELTing). I don't have many travel plans or events in the next six weeks, so being home enables me to have more control over my diet, and I am committed to eating well on an ongoing basis. I may lose some weight, I may not, I'm not too concerned about that. I will enjoy it if it happens!
     Next I want peace of mind. This isn't just about not being scared going into surgery.  I want to be free of the self-criticism for allowing myself to get to the point of needing surgery in the first place. It's an easy, negative trap for me to fall into. However, when I ask myself if I would have done anything in life differently to try to avoid this, the answer is "no." I am spectacularly healthy overall, and life has been and continues to be good. It's simply time to fix the issue and move on. I am so thankful that it can be fixed!
     To support peace of mind going into the surgery, I'm using the methodology described in the book, "Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster," by Peggy Huddleston. It uses meditation, relaxation techniques and affirmations before, during and after surgery to inspire the mind-body connection to heal comfortably and quickly. It includes information on many studies that have shown these techniques to speed healing and reduce the length of hospital stays.
     Another thing that I want relative to this experience will be some help from friends. There are a few days after surgery wherein my husband needs to be out of town. Also, the surgeon told me that I would be on a walker for 7-10 days, and I'm NOT going out in public with a walker, so I will need friend visits to keep me from going stir-crazy at home during that time. I'll be OK with a cane (doctor said another 7-10 days after the walker), but for some reason, the walker just screams "old lady" and that's not me. The key thing relative to friends is that I have to ask for help, something that is not necessarily on my "easy to do" list. Fortunately, I'm confident that folks will step up gladly to support me.
     I ran across this lovely prayer by Ernest Holmes which I shall take with me on surgery day:
There is peace at the center of my this peace that holds me so gently, I find strength and protection from all fear or anxiety. It is the peace of God in which I feel the love of a Holy Presence. I am so conscious of this love, this protection, that every sense of fear slips away from me as mist fades in the morning light. I see good in everything, God personified in all people, Life manifest in every event. Spirit is not separate from persons or events; I see that It unites everything with Itself, vitalizing all with the energy of Its own being, surrounding everything with peace and quiet and calm. I am one with this deep, abiding peace. I know that all is well.
     Closer to surgery time, I will also be contacting some friends and family members to hold me in prayer the day of surgery and during initial recovery. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer to support and heal. 
     To be continued,

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