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Lessons Learned During Recovery

October 17, 2012

Two years ago today I was recovering from a major hip operation. It was the best decision I ever made, resolving years of chronic pain, but it was also a hard, hard recovery. No pain, no gain. Here are some of the things this busy momma learned while laid up.

  • Pre-op is always cold. REALLY cold. They strip you of everything – your clothes, your socks, your dignity and leave you nothing but a skimpy backless gown in return. Vulnerability at its finest.
  • Hot blankets can cure a lot of ills, beyond just the feeling of cold. Anxiety. Nerves. Fear. A hot blankie goes a long way. (Actually, my three year old could have told me that.)
  • Recovery-room nurses are BOSSY. (No, I do not want to open my eyes. NO! I do NOT want to sit up! I want to SLEEP!)
  • Never, never, NEVER take pills on an empty stomach that are marked “take only with food.”
  • You cannot run while on crutches.
  • Your three year old will be curious about the sight of you puking into a trash can. “What you doing, mommy? Why you do dat?”
  • Allowing others to help you is hard, when you’re used to being the help-er.
  • Life goes by slowly when you sit in bed all day.
  • Crutches are far more fascinating to little boys than the sight of their mother at the end of the day.
  • Playing Junior Scrabble on your bed with your kids just might be the best thing about your day – by a long shot.
  • Listening to your kids manhandle their grandpa all through bathtime can be lively entertainment. Seeing his expression afterwards, even better.
  • Garbage in, Garbage Out: the same goes for good stuff. In my medicated haze, snatches of song and scripture keep flitting through my mind. Right now it’s Matt Redman singing “oh, no, you never let go, through the calm and through the storm…”
  • Your kids will know that something ain’t right at home, and they will act out on that. You can’t control it. It’s going to happen. Try to accept that it’s not your fault (haven’t won this battle, yet).
  • Kids can pick up bad language ANYWHERE. Even from PBS and NOVA.
  • When kids pick up bad language, they like to try it out on their friends.
  • Using bad language at school is an immediate trip to the principal’s office and a phone call home.
  • Eavesdropping on your weary husband and kids across the hall, a blessed, tuneless serenade  of bedtime stories, can be one of the sweetest sounds in the entire world.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2010 1:31 pm

    >Thinking of you… Those are some very sweet moments 🙂

  2. October 7, 2010 5:32 pm

    >I feel like I'm right there with you! I love your favorite sounds ending…

  3. October 7, 2010 6:23 pm

    >Oh girl, I can relate to this. I had surgery on the wrist of my dominant hand when SB was not yet a year. It SUCKED! Yes, I learned about taking those pills on an empty stomach. And about the nurses.I was unable to lift or hold my baby, feed her, change or clothe her. Basically take care of her. I had to have help in the house 24/7. It was awful. I felt like a failure. I felt helpless. And yes, accepting help is a foreign concept to us. But, the most important thing is that you rest and let your body heal. Life can't continue as normal until then. So go with the flow. Accept what you can't control, and feel better soon! 🙂

  4. October 9, 2010 8:22 pm

    >Awww, hugs and recovery to you. Sounds like you are finding ways to appreciate and learn from the step-back it has given you…

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