Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Poor, poor pitiful me

Disclaimer: My post title is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I'm really doing okay - but am sick and tired of being down for the count and not able to do what I want, when I want, how I want. Hence, poor moi. Self pity feels like shit.

It feels like forever since I've posted, though it's only been since Sunday. Long time for me who tends toward the "diarrhea of the mouth" brand of blogging. I've been blog reading and commenting a little, but generally I feel out of the loop, and I hate it. Just typing that makes me well up and start crying. In the general scheme of things having arthroscopic knee surgery is no biggie, but it's thrown me an emotional wallop where I'm impatient, irritable, hungry, and a complete and utter bitch. Ask my husband. (He'd never agree, but it's true.) I feel like a shrew. Oh - and a martyr, which is a newer category of being off the beam for me. I don't even know where to begin with writing today which must be why I'm going on and on about what a fill-in-the-blank mess I am. Might as well jump in.

Truth be told, I feel fine physically in every way other than my knee. It aches and feels stiff, thick, creaky. It doesn't look too swollen though it feels congested and boggy. It seems to be coming along fine. After rest, ice and elevation, it feels increasingly less afflicted. After I'm up for a couple of hours, it starts to get funky. Makes sense, I think. I go for my post op visit tomorrow at 11, and will get the whole scoop on what the doc found in the knee and what he did with it. I'll also find out if, or that, I'm progressing on an acceptable timetable. I was fully expecting to be essentially back to normal by now other than a little stiffness. Where I got this idea I don't know, because the doctor told me to plan on staying off work this entire week. Which brings me to an apt place to talk about my newest dysfunctional behavior...martyrdom.

4 weeks ago when I put in my request for the time off from last Friday through this entire week for the surgery, I felt a little guilty. After all, I'd just had 8 work days off in early November for the trip to the Dominican Republic. I'm the only nurse at my job and when I'm not there, it's harder for everyone to do their jobs. Other staff are trained to dispense medicines, but that's just one part of my job. All medical issues come through me, including simple first aid, evaluating concerns about our clients found by staff, emergencies, and so on. The knee injury came up unexpectedly, of course, but I still felt guilty about asking for yet more time off. No one made me feel that way - I signed on for it.

Today, even though I knew better, I decided to go into work, planning to just stay half the day to do meds and catch up on some stuff. It was a dumb idea motivated by me reading between the lines of a few phone conversations I'd had with co-workers over the last few days where it sounded like they were doing okay but would be re-e-e-ally glad when I came back. I went in and ended up totally overtaxing the knee. There is a looooong hall with a loooong ramp that I hobbled and limped up and down numerous times, which is nothing when I'm on my game. But I'm not there yet. We ended up having a 911 call (so glad I was there but they'd have dealt just fine if I wasn't), plus general busy-ness and mild chaos. Like everyday. I felt very annoyed that "they'd made me feel like I should return sooner than I was ready..." which is a load of crap. No one did that to me but me. WHY-Y-Y? So they'd think I was superwoman? All that happened was I practically had to be carted out in a wheelchair because the knee swelled a bit and felt like raw meat! I came home, took Ibuprofen, a Vicodan, slapped on 2 bags of ice and got horizontal to rest and elevate it. Two hours later if feels MUCH better.

I learned my lesson. I'm staying out the rest of the week and will continue to rehab it so it continues to heal. I may have set myself back a day or two with my stupid headstrong action.

Which brings me to patience - or lack of it in my case. I see what an activity junkie I am. I tend to flit from here to there - booking my days in 2 hour increments after work of meeting friends, shopping, going to meetings - just constantly on the move. This enforced downtime is making me crazy, yet I know it's what I need. I so often complain that I don't have enough down time; here when I do have it, sanctioned, even - I just want to fast forward through it.

Oh - and wait 'til you hear friend Lisa, with the lung cancer, came over after work to bring ME flowers. She had to pick up some rx's for herself and do a couple of errands and decided to stop by and pay me a sick call! By the way - thanks to all of you for your kind words about her family and her situation. All offers of thoughts and prayers are graciously accepted. She's hanging in for now and feeling better after going on steroids for inflammation after having a gamma knife procedure to remove a metastatic lesion from her brain last week. Her other known metastatic sites are a hip bone and her spine for now, and the original lung lesion that is growing is causing rib pain. According to her, it's manageable for now. I fear it won't be for long. I'll keep you all posted on her status. It's surreal to see this happening to someone so healthy and vital.

Finally, my food has gotten a bit messy the last couple of days. No binges, but I'm eating more than I need, and making choices that I wouldn't if I was following my plan to the letter. It feels kind of crappish - but it started feeling like too much to keep to the letter with my food while negotiating my knee and my funky self-pitying mood. Can you believe I can even say this right after talking about what Lisa is going through? UGH. I'm trying to do the best I can, but falling short. When I went to work today, I think I was hoping for my usual good food routine to fall back into place. Instead, when one of the room supervisors brought me a piece of a cheesecake she'd made, I scarfed it eagerly and silently wished for more. Si-i-i-i-gh!

It feels good to know I'm about to send this tome out into the ether for perusal by others. I miss my daily doses of readin', writing' and commentin' that are part of my rhythm, and I need to re-enter and regroup. Consider it done. If I could write a title for the end of the post, it would be - "Feeling better for sharing"!


  1. Hi Leslie. I understand how even a *relatively* minor physical ailment can cause a person to feel very out of sorts psychologically. I felt I was sitting at the bottom of a black pit for a few days with this virus. Luckily I'm feeling better now both physically and mentally but still some way to go. I've been surprised at how depressed it made me. Ridiculous really.

    The breaking of my routine drives me batty. Frustration is a surprisingly destructive thing. And sometimes being alone with your own thoughts can lead one into unfortunate mental territory.

    I am working on deliberately stopping negative thought streams and switching to thinking about other things. Some things when they come up into my mind now are just "No. I'm not even going to go there".

    Hope the dicky knee heals quickly. And don't you dare overdo it again!

    Bearfriend xx

  2. I think any time we get out of sync with our lives, whether for pleasure or necessity, it can throw everything into chaos. Of course, you already told yourself the same thing I would say to you if I were there, so there is no need repeating it, but I will emphasize you need to take care of that knee. There is no need in making this last longer than it has to.

  3. I hope you feel better soon leslie. It sounds like your friend is making a real effort to keep up her spirits. That is awesome.
    I hope they can remove the lesions and she can maintain for a long time. Take care of your knee, and you will be up and around in no time!

  4. I hope you feel better soon too. Your friend sounds great . Having so much going on and still thinking of you that is a good friend. You are very lucky. And so is she having you.

  5. the 'after' bites!

    And I totally recognize not wanting to sit still with yourself. Keeping busy in thought and deed. I didn't understand how hard it was to keep a clear mind and sit with myself until I started yoga. I was running too.

    My two cents - learn to literally put your hands behind your back when someone hands something to you. You do not have to take it - just because they give. And this is not just food. It might be a volunteer job, a paper, a thing. And it doesn't matter if they carried water by the spoon full to water the plant and then harvested the crop to make the item. You do not have to take it. Because if you do - you'll eat it. No matter what your intensions at the time. Not only will you eat it - you won't even taste it - you will gobble it down. We all do.

    Glad that your friend is finding balance. Helping you, caring about you, helps her (I am sure).

  6. Awww... Poor you... :o( But you know you MUST rest your knee because if you overdo it while it's healing, you'll undo all the good healing work so far... (I'm knackered, so apologies for poor grammar/not making much sense!)

    I can TOTALLY understand the pity party - I've been the same way about my poxy arms... I've been RARING to go with my weights workout and they've been stopping me from not only doing that, but really simple things like unscrewing the lids from jars... They're a lot better but they're still not right...

    Hope you feel much better very soon. :o)

  7. My DH will have to have both knees replaced at some point but he just deals with the discomfort for now.

    I hope that you can rest and let your knee mend and some how get your head in a good place! I never feel more helpless than when a friend is feeling Sh^tty and there's nothing I can do for them.

  8. Leslie--knee surgery takes time to heal. I've had knee cap replacement surgery and I was down for months. I know you feel guilty about not being at work... especially given that you're the only nurse. Just hang in there. It's gotta be frustrating. My sister is sendentary and she's decided to lift weights. Sitting down in her chair. She says it helps her feel like she's doing something. Beign active.

    Maybe you could pick up some handweights and do some reps or something.

    We'll get out of funkytown soon enough. Maybe if we concentrate on eating clean... I'm sorry to hear about your friend. What a sweetheart... bringing you flowers.

  9. Leslie,
    I'm sorry your knee is not recovering as quickly as you would like. I know it's very frustrating to not be able to do all the things you'd like, especially at a busy time of year like this. But PLEASE, take care of yourself and don't go back to work before you're ready--give yourself the time you need. And just because your situation isn't as critical as your friend's doesn't mean you aren't entitled to feel upset for yourself. Don't feel guilty about complaining--I'm sure she wouldn't want you to either. Hope your back to your normal chipper self soon! *Hugs*

  10. I hope that you feel better soon. The recovery time varies so greatly from person to person. I have one friend who was up and at it very quickly, and another that took a lot longer. But both did recover and had a really great result.

    Take care,

  11. I have been checking in every day - hoping that things are even-ing out for you. I know how hard it is to be in limbo after surgery. Are you back to work?