I’ve wanted to update this for a while now, but things have gotten a bit busy with several new things I have added to my life, so better late than never. The surgical recovery was harder than I expected the first couple of months. After I saw my surgeon at the 6 week check-up and heard a little more about what all he did it made sense to me why I was struggling so much. It wasn’t as simple of a surgery as I had imagined. He basically had cut through fascia and moved and clamped back 6-7 muscles in addition to partially detaching one muscle to shave off the bone that was causing my tendons to rub and create inflammation and pain, and then reattached the muscle tendon afterwards. Then I had my set back at 8 days post op of going into and getting up out of a deep squat with all my pressure on that leg. Needless to say I was pretty swollen for a few weeks and very bruised. The left side where I just had screws removed took about 6-7 weeks to be not very sore, and the right side where screws were removed and all the work done I mentioned above just the past couple of weeks is not too sore anymore. I still have a lot of weakness, and I do get pain at the surgery site most days, especially when I overdo it (yes, I somehow have managed to still overdo it and not listen to my body despite 5 years of pain and 5 surgeries; clearly I’m a slow learner and have issues still with going “slow”) or when I sit too long. At least the surgical pain is gone. I received a brace at my 6 week appointment as well to wear on my right hip when I’m up walking a lot to help give it stability since the core stability and deep hip muscles are pretty weak. Without it the muscles tire quickly and my pelvis rotates and I start to limp and all kinds of crazy compensation pain happens in various areas.
I have been doing my own PT here at home, and have felt myself get a little stronger, which is exciting, but also a dangerous place to be. We went away last weekend to an indoor water park to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, and for those 2 days I probably went up and on the 4 story waterslides (while sitting in a tube, I no longer can do water slides without the buffer of the inner tube under my bottom to protect my hips and SI joint) at least a dozen times. The majority of the rest of the time I was found floating in the lazy river or in the adults only giant hot tub (like a mini heaven for my pain!). I expected to be in way worse pain after the weekend, but it actually was my normal pain only! The next day I decided to try and start on my exercise bike which I haven’t done in forever and my quads fatigued quickly and I was getting out of breath, when I checked my timer I saw I had only been on it for 1.36 minutes. I had to laugh at myself. It has been 4 years since I have been able to exercise (and 4.5 since I had to give up running), but in my head I still am in good shape, clearly this and my clothes being 2 sizes bigger than from my working out days tell a different story. So it was another slight blow to the ego. Anyways, I upped my PT stuff and actually felt better after the simple work out. The next day I felt my normal level of pain still, so I decided to do everything a second day in a row (which I have never done with my PT stuff before because it always used to flare me bad if I did more than my simple exercises 1 day in a row). I added a minute to the bike to do 5 minutes total and did the same PT work out as the day before. Again I felt decent. These days I also had run a few errands (with the brace on) so was out of the house a couple of hours too. Wednesday came and I got cocky and decided to do it all again and add another minute on the bike. After it I felt fatigue of the muscles which was good, except I didn’t factor in that I was going to be volunteering for 2.5 hours that afternoon, where a large amount of it I would be standing. And I forgot my hip brace when I was volunteering. I’m thinking you can see where I’m going here. Yesterday was NOT a good day, today is not great either. I’m just taking it easy and waiting out the flare until muscles calm and I can try and loosen them up a little. So that is why it is a dangerous place to be………I feel better, I do more, then I do too much more, then I pay the price and go backwards with more pain, then cycle starts again. I think at times I am the definition of insanity.
So where is God in the midst of all of this these weeks. As I mentioned I have taken on a few new things, which has made my days a bit more chaotic, and I had several days where I wasn’t getting much time with the Lord. I felt the difference, I felt convicted, I felt like I was suffocating and/or drowning at times as a result of not being connected daily with Jesus. I had to make this a priority. I am NOT in any way a morning person, but I forced myself to get up early and get ready so I could start my online classes as soon as the kids left on the bus, then after a morning in classes got all of my errands or volunteering stuff done, then once the kids were home, homework was done, dinner was done, and kids and Yago (he is an early bird-the opposite of me) were in bed, I prioritized time with the Lord nightly. I know many people say that morning is the best time to do this, but for me, my brain does not function well in the morning, so this time when I am winding down helps me connect and focus on reading the Bible and connecting with Jesus better. Even if it has been crazy late, I do not go to bed without that time, I need it like I need water and food. The verses from John 15 stick in my head all of the time now, about how I need to remain in Jesus and He will remain in me. Apart from Him I can do nothing, and I will not be able to produce any fruit if I sever myself from Him. No matter how busy things get in my life, I know I cannot allow myself to not be severed from the vine.
As this year comes to an end I have found myself daily with a large amount of gratitude. When I look back I see the prayers God didn’t answer (for good reasons I know, even though it was hard to hear His no at those times) and many that He did (in regards to this 5 year journey of pain and surgeries as well as in other areas of my life). I am still in pain daily, but nothing like I was 3-4 years ago. For that I am so so so grateful to God, amongst many many other reasons as well. At times I am just overwhelmed with love and gratitude and thankfulness. Especially in this Christmas season when perspective can get shifted away from the REAL meaning of Christmas, I hope that each one of you can set aside time daily to give thanks to the Lord for what He has done for you and/or given you throughout your whole life, but especially through this past year. Today we and those we love are here, tomorrow…….well, there are no guarantees. Maybe things have gone pretty well for you and you haven’t had to walk through any fires yet in your life, don’t take that for granted (I sure did before the past 5 years), but give thanks and praise to the Lord for allowing that. For those who have walked through, or are currently walking through a fire, I pray that you come to know God and his love and that you pick up a Bible and start to read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, where you can come to really know Jesus and not just know about Him. He can and will carry you through whatever fire you are in, especially when you are too weak to walk on your own. There is purpose in all of our lives as long as we still have breath, and that purpose is not just to pleasure ourselves and our families. We may not know right now what our true purpose is, but if we keep seeking God, listen to Him, and take those steps of obedience that He asks us to take for Him, He will guide us towards His purpose for us, and fill us with a joy that we cannot get here on earth in any other way. This type of joy is not circumstantial, because circumstances can and will change. This type of joy only comes from a relationship with our Heavenly Father. I hope whoever reads this reflects on what I’ve said here, and that you have a wonderful Christmas! I will write more after my next appointment with my surgeon at the end of January.