This is the year I’ve finally caved and [after an awful lot of wrangling] got a new hip. It might not be the longest surgery I’ve ever had, but it’s still a little bit brutal and requires the inevitable recovery. As someone who will happily disappear completely in to their own world – frequently involving teenage ‘noone understand me!’ type tantrums – the prospect didn’t fill me with joy.
While it’ll still be about a year before I’ve recovered to whatever ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ is going to look like for me, I think I might have made it over the initial stuck-in-the-house phase. I’m back at work. I can go to the pub. I managed a trip back up to Glasgow myself. And, to be honest, this has definitely been the easiest recovery I’ve ever had. While there’s a whole heap of stuff I can’t do at the moment, this is the first time I’ve had real hope that I will be able to at some point. Just being able to stand up straight with both feet on the ground is something that still makes me internally giddy from time to time.
And the biggest thing – the constant pain is gone. Yeah, there’s some muscle niggles and stiffness, but it is absolutely nothing compared to the constant dull ache or the feeling of someone stabbing you in the hip with a shard of glass repeatedly. When you’re going through chronic pain it’s so easy to doubt yourself and feel like you’re being weak or exaggerating things. I now know that I wasn’t. I can sense the total impact it had on every part of my life and that using it as an ‘excuse’ for why I found so many things difficult was actually a reason.
It’s surreal to have this massive weight lifted off. Options open up – I could be whoever I want to be! I might be a gym go-er in the future. I might be less angry. I might join the circus ….
The downside of this is that I’m a little bit terrified of what to do and who to be right now. I’m not the same poor little person who will need help with everything forever and I’m scared with how to handle that big a change. My biggest concern – anything I’m ‘good’ at is something I’m only ‘good-at-for-a-sick-person’. I’ve spend so much of my life justifying pain and difficulties that I’m not even sure I’ll know what to bloody well talk about, let alone do. Any kind of recovery does involve stepping out of the world a little bit and figuring a way back in to it is inevitably …. interesting.
Hello world. If you want to point me in a direction, that would be great.