Friday, April 5, 2013

Going Back to Go Forward

Our daughter had her knee surgery yesterday afternoon. (See my previous posts). 

Leading up to the surgery, she was starting to be able to get around the house without her crutches, but she was still limping, and the knee was quite fragile. Yet - she managed. She convinced herself that she was fine, even though the doctor had put her off work for the duration. She was only "getting by."

Yesterday, she went from "getting by" back to being what she calls "a cripple." The feeling of helplessness is hard to escape - and for her, it is embarrassing to have to ask for help to do the simplest things. 

Yet, the damage to the knee was something that would not have healed correctly on its own. It needed that operation, even if it feels like a major set-back. 

And now, she deals with post-op pain and (what is worse) that feeling of needing to depend on others. She is housebound for almost the next two weeks. The loss of control over where she goes and what she does is quite real. Even the most simple and taken-for-granted movements are things for which she has to ask for help: getting up from lying down, keeping that leg free of encumbrances that would pull on the stitches - even under the splint! - so keeping it elevated slightly so it doesn't get caught in blankets or between sofa cushions!

The surgery - in the final analysis and if all goes as planned - will have made the difference between just "getting by" and "moving forward." 

This was a few months ago, shortly after the
initial injury. The current splint looks
similar, but is totally rigid.
However, it doesn't seem like that right now. 

In her more reasonable and lucid moments, she agrees that it will be good to walk without wincing, to be able to not only function but to thrive. 

But now - now is hard.

Her dilemma resonates with me on an emotional and spiritual level. I can relate quite a bit.

Her struggle reminds me that it is pretty easy to get used to living life with a limp - when I don't have to. 

Getting better, though, sometimes involves going back to the place where I was injured, submitting to what can be painful emotional surgery, and then, paying attention to my most simple actions and reactions.  Even if it means feeling some of those same feelings again: helplessness, anger, sadness, pain - relearning lessons I thought I'd learned before. It's embarrassing. It's unsettling. It's necessary.

It's necessary, if I want to heal in the right way, because even though it feels very awkward at first, those new behaviors are the pattern on which a whole new lifestyle is built. 

I don't want to just limp along for the rest of my life. 

It's awkward for me to ask for help - but I need help because I can't do this alone. It's awkward for me to say to someone with a problem, "No, I can't fix that." It's awkward for me to say how I feel when I am feeling it, to confront someone with something he or she might not want to hear. It's awkward for me to go back to where something has gone awry and correct it - set a boundary, enforce one, respect one, look after myself, and/or pray. Yet, it's so crucial. 

It's the only way for healing to do me any lasting good.

No comments:

Post a Comment