John 15

John 15
‘I am the vine, you are the branches'

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 7 - The Rehab Ride - "What is your drug of choice?"

Did I catch your attention? Good - because post surgery rehab is like teetering on an uncontrollable see-saw .....
From no pain to pain to no pain.
From weak to strong and then weak again.
From mentally unbreakable to the black abyss.
Another layer of paint expunged from the meticulous self painted image.

This is the rehab ride.  What is your "drug" of choice?
Is it to loath in self pity?
Is it to look fear into the eye and extinguish it?
Is it to be afraid of what may never come?
Will anger boil over burning everyone and everything?
Or will you be emotionless - void of feeling?

And here's where I am going to let you in on a little secret.  All of the above emotions will be your drug of choice and then some. There will be days that you sit in the blackness of the night convinced that you are bipolar ready to self commit and on other days you will feel as if you never had surgery.

The rehab ride can be scary. No matter how much you try to mentally prepare yourself for the up and downs, it will be mentally hard when you hit the down slope of pain post surgery. Fear starts to creep in, the mind taunting you....

At times, it's easier to have a pity party than it is to shine through the clouds. While it would be great for this recovery to be as easy as a hip or knee replacement, we all knew that it wouldn't be.

Therefore, it's important to remember...

1. During this stage, it's not about how fast you get there, but that you keep moving forward.
2. No matter how small each step may seem, it's still a step forward.
3. Every day of pain also means that the next day another muscle grows stronger.
4. Don't make grandiose assumptions of what you will be doing by when. The key to surviving this is by staying flexible and adapting to any shifts in the sand.
5. Accept your emotions, but don't let them manage you. You were born with emotions, you had them before the pain set in, and before diagnosis. Expecting to bury them will only make them surface stronger and more frequently.
6. Open your bible.... have faith....
7. Meditate. If you don't know how, learn how to. If you live in a larger city, look into meditation groups. Also experiment with different styles. I prefer mindful meditation over the clear you mind and don't think of anything style...
8. Don't isolate yourself. Like I mentioned in my  "Elephant in the Closet" blog, you may have to reach out to your friends. Don't expect them to reach out to you. Likewise, utilize the boards to connect with others going through this.
9. Find a surgery buddy... there are over 1,000 people on the PAO board. You will likely have surgery +/- a few days from someone else. For me, I was +/- a week from 4 other people. We kept in contact supporting each other along the way.
10. Do something you are passionate about. Change the neurons in your brain to fire in a more positive manner. Neurons that fire together wire together. If you are constantly trying to trump eor with the "woo is me syndrome", then you are enabling a negative vicious cycle possibly promoting depression.  Joe Dispenza is a great author who has written 3 books on this subject.

If you are what you eat, then in same cases you also are what you think. Buckle in, fasten the see-saw, but don't give up because one day you will get there.

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