Sometimes you need a reality check to focus and regain perspective. More on this in a bit.
Dislocating my hip really rattled me and I have been in a constant state of anxiety and fear. Fear of something else happening. Fear of the unknown. It is exhausting! I cry at the drop of a hat and have a difficult time sleeping.
Two weeks ago at PT, I walked for the first time in over THREE YEARS without my crutches! I was pushing a cart for support, but I did it! It was ah-mazing! Such a weird feeling to fully bear weight on my damaged leg. When my OT stood me in front of the cart and took away my crutches, I said, “Okay, now what do I do?” We all know the response was, “walk!” Easier said than done. How do toddlers make it look so easy? My leg didn’t want to move at first so I had to will it to move. Walking down that hallway without my handy-dandy leg sticks felt fantastic.
The next day when my nurse came and we took down the wrapping on my leg and foot, there was a little blood. Immediately I got nervous and thought, “here we go again.” Over the next two days, there was more blood and some drainage. We took pictures and sent them off to the nurse practitioner that I have become friends with so she could share with my surgeon. (One of the MANY benefits of having this beautiful soul in my life.)
I was off to my local wound center the next day so they could determine what was going on. Thankfully it is only a minor issue and we are hopeful it will heal. Each time something like this happens, I make myself sick with worry and panic.
My doctor and I have discussed the possibility that I am exhibiting signs of PTSD. This never occurred to me but makes sense. It’s been a long road and perhaps things have finally caught up with me. It’s not to say that I can’t cope with situations, rather, I have been through a traumatic experience and over time, this anxiety and fear has crept in.
When I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon, I asked why I can’t get to the finish line without setbacks. I just don’t understand why I have these milestone moments and the other shoe always has to drop. He said that it is an unrealistic expectation to think there won’t be setbacks. Again, I asked, why?? He explained that I am doing things (like fully bearing weight) that I haven’t done in years and of course there may be setbacks.
At first, I was thinking, “what a jackass!” He hasn’t walked in my shoes or had to live through these last three years as I have. But you know what, friends? The more I thought about what he said, the more I realized that he is absolutely right.
I haven’t walked on this leg in over three years. The skin on my foot is fragile. With each new goal I reach and the more weight I bear on this leg, the greater the opportunity for setbacks.
The conversation with my surgeon was a reality check. It reminded me that I just need to breathe. Let things happen as they will. I am making progress. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but life is moving forward. It may be slower than I would like and it may be filled with setbacks, but I need to remember how far I have come.
So I am going to work on easing my fears and anxiety. I am going to continue to work hard at PT and work on regaining my confidence. Things happen, folks, and you just have to roll with the punches.
If you are struggling with things in your life, I wish you well. I wish you peace. Fear and anxiety can eat away at you and I don’t wish that on anyone. Stay strong and know you are not alone.
Until next time, be well and go out and do a random act of kindness.