Monday, November 17, 2008

How long is your recovery?

It has now been almost two weeks since my hip replacement surgery. I am making adequate progress as far as the healing of my body goes. The pain is not so totally consuming as it was at first, or even a week ago for that matter. I am starting the process of tapering off of the pain medication and trying not to rely on sleeping pills (thus the reason I am up at midnight). It is still sore and tender, not yet ready to bear my full weight. However, I no longer feel the the searing white hot pain that took my breath away when I so much as shifted my position. This progress begs the question on everyone's minds -- When am I going to be well?

Physically I would say in a week or two I will have sufficient stamina to resume normal activities. I hate to say that though, because then everyone is going to expect me to be fully restored. That is a scary prospect because I feel that my mental state is miles behind my physical recuperation. I still feel discombobulated, out of sorts, just not myself at all. If I push myself to bounce back before I am psychologically ready, it could be disastrous.

The reason I went ahead with this surgery was because I felt that I wasn't giving my family my maximum. The benefit of me being a whole, pain free person, outweighed the risks of being out of commission for a bit of time. I had become exhausted, irritable and just plain not easy to live with. It was time to put my family on the front burner. They had suffered right along with me for far too long. Having a chronically ill parent is not easy on a kid. They grew resentful of me not having the energy that I needed to do the things they wanted to do. Not to mention they were fed up with my crotchety, prickly reactions every time they turned around. Yes, it was time to put all of the expectations of the outside world on hold while I got myself in good shape, so I went ahead with the operation.

Really, what I am afraid of is that those distractions from the outside world are going to start creeping in before I am ready. I am bothered by the thought that people will start to see me getting better -- they will see me out and about and will assume that I am ready for business as usual.

I know that it is not fair to leave everyone in the lurch, but I didn't have this surgery so that I could be a better volunteer. I am already a colossal volunteer; I have that down pat. I had the operation to be a remarkable mom and a new and improved wife. While I appreciate that while I am not there, someone else has to do my job -- I know that finding a replacement volunteer is a cinch compared to finding a replacement mom and wife.

Yes, they will just have to get along without me for the time being. They will find a way to muddle through; I feel quite certain. I just have to get both oar in the water before I start rowing out into the deep water. There are just some things I know for sure and I know without a doubt, that I have to steady myself at home and get healthy for my family or else it will all collapse around me.

I don't know when I will be 'well'. You'll be the first to know.