Tomorrow I’ll experience a bilateral TKR – total knee replacement, both knees. So I’m T minus 1 day . . . and counting.
It’s been a journey to get here.
Since the end of July when I got the bone-on-bone diagnosis, I’ve been doing stretches every morning and working out with weights two or three days a week. I’ve been getting my mind ready. I’ve been getting my spirit ready.
And now the time is here.
I was super nervous the past several days. Much more nervous than I was for the hysterectomy in March.
I suppose that’s because I know this is a tougher surgery with a more challenging recovery. I’ll have to do a lot more.
But I know that my cancer journey and its challenges have prepared me for the pain.
And I know that my background as an athlete make me more ready for physical therapy (plus I have an excellent physical therapist, one of my former student/athletes from early in my teaching/coaching career).
Plus all of the spiritual work I’ve done over the past years will give me a much better foundation for dealing with difficulty.
I’ve been using the Welcoming Prayer, nicely explained here. It’s a welcoming of whatever emotion you’re feeling, sinking into it rather than trying to escape it, acknowledging God’s (Higher Power’s) presence, and letting go of the need for safety and security, affection and esteem, and power and control – as well as the need to escape the situation.
Lots of letting go.
Today my anxiety is settling. I finally slept well through the night. Even though I have a scratchy throat and headache as if I’m catching a cold, I feel much better overall.
Anticipation is often the most difficult time for me. But now I’m at the edge of stepping into the challenge that I’ve felt looming.
It’s finally here – and I finally can go into the next step (literally – because steps/stairs will be one of my challenges!).
I always ask for prayers and good vibes before surgeries and health challenges because I believe that prayers and good energy literally make a positive difference. We don’t have the technology (yet) to measure how that works, but I’m sure it does. I felt it during my cancer journey. I’ve felt it at other times.
I believe we’re all connected, that thinking positive thoughts about someone can help that person. So I very much appreciate those prayers and good thoughts that friends and family are sending me.
I’m hoping to be updating on Facebook pretty often, to let people know how I’m doing. And to ask for more prayers and good vibes.
And if I can’t update on Facebook, my sister will do that for me. She arrived on Sunday and has been a great help with finalizing getting the house ready for what I’ll need after surgery. Plus having her here is emotional and spiritual support to go along with the physical/material support.
My sister is my Ebenezer. Merriam-Webster gives the root as “Hebrew ebhen hā-ʽezer stone of help; from the application of this name by Samuel to the stone which he set up in commemoration of God’s help to the Israelites in their victory over the Philistines at Mizpah (1 Samuel 7:12).”
Ebenezer is the name of the community where we grew up, where our childhood church is located, where our paternal ancestors settled back in the mid-1700s to escape religious persecution in Germany.
So Ebenezer has a special meaning for me and my sister. And I truly feel that she is my Ebenezer.
She’ll spend tomorrow night at the hospital with me, just in case. I hope that my recovery will go well, and that I’ll not need her to stay overnight beyond that. But I know she will if I need her.
Her help plus the prayers and good thoughts of friends and family will help me with my challenges. And I know friends will be available to help in other ways when I need them.
So even with a big surgery and recovery challenge starting tomorrow, I’m feeling pretty ready and grounded today.
I trust my surgeon and medical team. I’ll be at a good hospital with good care. I have my sister with me. I have lots of support all around.
So tomorrow I’ll be saying, “git ‘er done! Let’s do this!”
And then I’ll take the next steps (no matter how challenging) to have much better knees!