Leaving the hospital was bittersweet. In my room, in the silence, I had nothing to distract me. I couldn’t focus on dirty dishes or taking care of the dogs. All I had to do was think about myself and I had nurses and aides to do everything for me. I had IV drugs when my pain was too much. I had fresh ice packs and a bed that accommodated my every comfort and need. I could just press a button and I was cared for.
The doctor who performed my surgery came in to say good bye to me. I hadn’t seen him since the pre op discussion. It made me cry a bit which was surprising. I felt a sense of gratitude that was unexpected. I mean, he was doing his job so I didn’t expect to feel so indebted to him, but I did. I realized that this experience felt healing to some past pains. I realized, in that moment, that I have experienced pain or trauma and have felt uncared for or undeserving of care. Today was different. Today I felt all the care and compassion pouring into me and it was good. I didn’t question my value. I was simply grateful for the people who put me back together.
When I arrived home, I found myself scared. Frozen at the front door. Terrified to jump the one step up on crutches. I felt silly. For all the brave things I’ve done, I wasn’t sure if I could make that one step. I thought about all the Crossfit workouts I’d done with box jumps and how much smaller this step was. I thought about tripping and falling and feeling pain and being embarrassed. I thought about how I didn’t want to be scared.
It’s so interesting to feel so confident, to show up to work, perform massages, go to a workout, lift a lot of weights, to walk around feeling untouchable in a sense and overnight, to be completely flipped upside down. To be scared to jump four inches. To be terrified of anyone touching my leg. To cringe at the thought of putting a skate on my foot.
I don’t want this journey to be about fear. I don’t want this experience to leave me full of reservation for life. I only began to dream big dreams in the past few years. I only began to truly feel strong and capable recently.
How much of this is real anyway? How much of this is the pain medication in my brain?? Will I forget this pain soon enough and be skating again? Will I forever be changed in a way that makes me proud?
Whatever it is, however this pans out, I know it will be good. It has to be.