One Year Post Op – Emotionally Speaking

Thankfully, as I sit to write today’s post I am not as upset or depressed as I was a few days ago.  In fact, it’s almost hard to sit and repeat the level of frustration that had me in tears the other night as I mumbled out to my husband something like this…
“I was supposed to have surgery last year, heal and get back to running with my new smoother stomach.  I was supposed to get back to exercise feeling so much better without my flabby stomach bouncing everywhere.  Then my mom died and I never had the chance to simply recover.”
Yes, one year ago today I received a phone call in the evening telling me my mother had passed away in her sleep.  It was exactly what she would have wanted, but not exactly what I was ready for.  She had been ill, but not deathly ill and her death was very sudden for all of us. 
I couldn’t even cry very good because of the pain from my surgery, and that made me want to cry harder.
Needless to say, the stack of books I had planned on reading as I recovered stayed unread as my days of recovery ended up being spent planning a funeral with my dad long distance, between naps and recovery walks around the living room.
My husband took good care of me, my kids had some snow days and we enjoyed some lazy days together, but I had to begin to work through the grief from the worst day of my life.  And looking back, I’ll never know what it’s like to simply have a major surgery and heal from it.
On top of my mother dying, a month and a half later my then 13-year-old son was in a major ski accident breaking his femur and tibial growth plate.  He was on a youth ski trip with our church.  We drove five hours to be with him in the hospital, watched as they took him back for surgery and as he came out with a rod in his thigh and pins in his knee.
We brought him home as carefully as possible, where he began his recovery here at home.  My husband had to take some days off of work because I was unable to lift my son since I was still healing from my surgery.  (Talk about frustrating.)
After an infection at one of the pin sites and finding a torn ACL in the fall he is still going to physical therapy three days a week to heal and strengthen his leg from that accident.
Unfortunately, those two major events in my life left me somewhat reeling.  My faith in God helped me not fall into a depression like many do, but I suddenly had to deal with more grief and struggle than I really have had to in my lifetime.  
I was still able to continue my regular life commitments, take care of my family, run a 10K in May and October and keep going, but I suddenly felt like my life had been turned upside down and I couldn’t maintain my healthy habits enough to keep my weight down.
I think you get the point by now, so I won’t go into any more details.
Let’s just say about last fall my husband had to remind me that the year started out bad, but it wasn’t all a bad year.  But when I wasn’t able to get back on track and being losing the weight I had gained I began to feel like the worst failure ever.
When I knew my one-year followup was coming and I still hadn’t lost any weight, plus I’d had to stop running and doing any intense exercise last November due to my foot and knee injury I was even more vexed.  I planned on going back to my doctor with nicely healed scars (yes) and a nice fit, smooth body (like I had at the preop, but minus the flabby skin. ..didn’t happen.)
However, *deep cleansing breath* I have had to sit and remind myself I am not a failure.
I’m a woman who has had a failure this past year, but not without some fairly good reasons behind it. It’s not an excuse; it’s the facts.  
The other night I was melting down because I felt like a bad example of a healthiness lady for having allowed these facts derail me for a time from my healthier living.  At the same time, a friend of mine reminded me a few weeks ago that I did care, I didn’t not completely give up, because I’ve only gained 20 pounds back. 
And that is why I made myself write a just-the-facts post the other day about how well I’ve healed from my surgery.  Because when I look in the mirror I see a slightly pudgier middle than a year ago post surgery, but I need to choose to see that it’s only 20-pounds and not the whole dang 70 pounds.  
So, maybe when I go to my one-year followup surgery I’ll be embarrassed that I’m that slightly pudgier abdomen, but oh well.  
It is what it is.  I healed up great, I’m happy I had the surgery and it’s time to move past the regret and take the emotional energy I’ve spent last year in sadness and turn it back into something healthful in my life. 
Tears will still come at times with regards to my mom I know;  however, my son is well on his way to healing and I have everything I need to lose this weight and get back into my new normal again.  
And until I’m completely where I’d like to be I’ll continue making the choice every day to do what is best for my body instead of giving in to unhealthy choices because “I just don’t care since ___ happened.”  
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One Response to One Year Post Op – Emotionally Speaking

  1. divad says:

    Oh Leah, the changes you had to deal with are far deeper than the 20 pounds you gained.You went with the ebb and flow of life and you coped as best you could. Speaking as someone who has gained 92 pounds back again, again, again and again, I look at you as successful. My family Dr. told me that even people who don't struggle with weight, gain during life changes. (like grief) And, you are aware of the 20 pounds and determined to do something about it and not let it become 30 pounds, or 70 pounds. Praying for you…

    Like

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