Friday, January 20, 2012

The best surgery ever

Shortly after the first of the year I had surgery on my knee. Was I scared? No, not in the least. I have had five other surgeries in the past 7 years, all more involved than this. By comparison, this was the equivalent of getting my teeth cleaned. At the hospital. Under anesthesia. Was there a chance that my knee condition would be worsened by the surgery? Or that I might suffer cardiac arrest why I was under? Or respiratory failure? Or paralysis? Yes, yes, yes and yes according to the pre-surgery waiver I signed. But I wasn't concerned. But I was nervous. I was nervous about what would happen to my household while I was at the hospital for the better part of the day. I was nervous about what would happen while I was confined to bed after the surgery. I had visions of a domestic apocalypse.

In preparation for the surgery I ran around like a crazy woman tying up every loose end I could think of. I caught up completely on laundry for the first time in...ever. The refrigerator and pantry were stocked. I was as ready as I would ever be. The night before the procedure I looked my husband straight in the eye, told him I loved him and then signed an affidavit stating that I would be a good patient. I would obey doctor's orders. I would not attempt to spring from my bed less than 24 hours post-op and run off to volunteer somewhere as I have been known to do in the past. I said I would take it easy and as a show of good faith (besides the affidavit) I for the following week. I didn't schedule a single meeting. I made a point of telling people that I was having surgery, not to elicit their well-wishes or promise of meals but so they knew not to email me with requests for my help that I would be unable to deny.

So I had the surgery on a Friday. My husband brought me home and I hobbled upstairs to bed. That night I had to use my crutches to get to the bathroom. The next morning I woke up and felt...fine. By the end of Saturday I was completely crutch-free and going up and down the stairs. By Sunday I was hardly limping. And by Monday I could put all my weight on the repaired leg. The outcome was everything I could have hoped for. And more.

What more, you might ask? The *more* was in the form of the affidavit I signed. The one that required me to rest. To lay in bed. Read my book. Ask people to bring me things. I used this opportunity to have my children help around the house in ways they would otherwise reject. Such as being quiet. I had my husband take the dog to the groomer, something I had been meaning to get to for a month. I asked people to do things without reproach or guilt. It was awesome.

And my fears of the domestic apocalypse? Completely unfounded. Thanks to my sister and my mother-in-law helping out by taking my children away from our house, it actually stayed cleanish. And intact. More or less.

When Monday rolled around and the kids went off to school and my husband went off to work I was alone. And my calendar was completely empty. At first it felt weird, and I admit I was a bit panicky. But I was also still exhausted from the surgery, so I took a nap. Okay, I took two naps. Make that three. With the dog at my side. It was the day there was a light snow falling and at one point the dog and I just laid on the bed while I drank a mug of cocoa and read my book.

I would love to say I spent the entire week like that, but then you would worry that perhaps they'd accidentally given me a lobotomy in addition to fixing the knee. So I admit that by Tuesday night I snuck off to a meeting and had a few other meetings throughout the rest of the week. Yes, I did not honor the affadavit but I don't think my husband ever expected I would. At least not for as long as I did. But for almost two whole days I did pretty much nothing. And I didn't feel guilty. I felt...rested.

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