Last month I had knee replacement surgery. Overall, my recovery is going well, but I have gotten slammed in an unexpected way: I am exhausted. The smallest effort (like making the bed) drains me and I have to sit and rest for several minutes before doing anything else.
I commend all of the healing helpers I encountered. They had a lot of attention on pain management, and I feel I’m managing the pain well enough. However, I don’t remember anyone telling me I might feel like I’ve been run over by a tank.
The exhaustion is triggering an emotional response (again, unexpected) I’m struggling to deal with. I am used to feeling good on most days. Yes, my knees had pain, but overall my body felt strong, energetic, even buoyant most days. This last few weeks since surgery have found me complaining, whining, and even crying.
Talking out loud to myself one morning, I said, “How is it that I feel like I’ve lost control of my body?” and a voice echoed, “When did you ever?” It took my breath away. When have I ever really had control of my body?
The more I thought about it, the more I had to agree with the voice (who knows what/who/how that voice was. . .). The great majority of my bodily functions go blithely on without any attention or effort from the ego-me. So occasionally, I move my body in dance or walk, but I really have so little control over what my body does I’m amazed I’ve never really thought about it before.
Is this what I’ve had to go through to learn that? What a strange event I’m going through! It’s widened my perspective far beyond this surgery and recovery. And I’ve been very lucky. This recovery, while painful and emotional, is trivial compared to what others endure–I know that. But I did something most people don’t: I asked a question and I listened to the answer.
Photo by Sharon Waldron on Unsplash