Monday, March 1, 2010

Marching to spring

Bring it on, month of March! I don't know when I've been happier to say good riddance to one month (the "F" month, aptly named I might add) and hello to a new one. Between 70+ inches of snow, endless unseasonably cold days and yet another knee injury with subsequent exercise stoppage and surgery, the dark days of February seemed to go on forever and permeate every cell in my body. And soul. But there is new light already present, only to increase in the coming days. Literally and figuratively.

I'm really pleased with the progress of my knee. It is feeling almost as good as new already! Don't worry - I'm not going to get all heady this time and start training for an Ironman or anything. But honestly, the knee is doing great. I'm shocked and delighted. Hopeful and optimistic. Did I mention pleased? As I'm typing this, I've actually felt myself exhaling deep sighs of relief. I don't know to what to attribute this so far easy post-op status I certainly didn't experience in December with Lefty.

One thing, I am being very careful and intentional with movement. I'm watching where I'm going so as not to ram my foot into a random chair leg, thereby sending painful shockwaves up into my knee. I'm not entertaining thoughts of returning to work before at least 2 post-op weeks, even though I can tell that this recovery is going to be smoother and faster. I am using my pain medicine as needed, despite its rather, shall we say, binding properties. These all seem like pretty reasonable measures to which any sane person would adhere. Key word - sane. Last round with Lefty I was trying to convince self and others of my invincibility and stellar work ethic by returning to work right away. I paid a big price doing that. It feels really good to be putting myself and my long term well being first. This shouldn't be such an accomplishment for a 56 year old woman, but it is. How much time have I spent trying to look good to others, while throwing myself under the bus in the process? I believe I've finally made solid progress in this arena.

So while I'm so thrilled to be doing so well in the recovery process, I did go on a bit of an emotional bender today. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, and that was to be my big activity of the day...the thing I was looking forward to. She called about 11:15 and cancelled because "it's Monday and crazy at work...". I totally get that. It wasn't personal. But my husband had just left for a business meeting, and suddenly I didn't have "a plan". Normally I don't need a plan, but I felt disappointed and a little anxious. "Now what?" I noticed a wave of binge thinking waft into the periphery of my consciousness. A quick shake of my head blinked away the thought, but not the emotional slump that was settling in. I ended up going to the library to return a couple of movies, then to the grocery store and back home for lunch, all with relative ease.

By this time, it was almost 2 p.m., and it occurred to me that not one person from my work had called me to see how my surgery went Friday, how I felt, if I had wakened from anesthesia...nothing. This blew some wind into the sails of my funkiness. Then in keeping with my endless tendency to be my own worst enemy, I started thinking about an AA acquaintance who always play emotional peak-a-boo with people. She also hadn't called me since my surgery. Now, let me note that on Friday night and Saturday, I had many calls and visits from friends; one gal made us dinner tonight; another brought me a big bag of stuff from Whole Foods on Sunday. But all I was thinking about in this moment were the people who didn't call. The disappointments. The negative stuff. That may or not have had anything to do with me.

Remember about 2 weeks ago I wrote about a story from the AA Big Book where the writer talked about the magnifying mind? The idea that what we focus on becomes our reality? This is exactly what I was doing. In the sea of much love and kindness and well wishes from many friends, I elected to dwell on a couple of negative things. My funky mood magnified and increased. And so did my eating thoughts. I ended up eating way more food than I have been, and stuff that is definitely NOT on my plan. It was the first bad day of eating I've had in a while, and I'm not happy about it.

So tonight I'm taking stock. No one from my job has called yet. I'm surprised, disappinted. But I know I'm appreciated and well liked at work. It isn't personal, and even if it is there isn't much I can do about it. I can rant and rave in my mind about how I always call someone when they've had something done - yadda yadda yadda, aren't i perfect - but it changes nothing. The other gal who hadn't called actually did call later, and I decided to let her leave a message. None of this stuff matters at all. It's all part of the headgame that upends my equilibrium and sends me to the food. It's not worth it. I fell prey this time but I don't want to keep doing it.

This new month, the rising temperatures and melting snow, the increasing light and 2 newly repaired and soon to be optimally functioning knees fill me with motivation, anticipation and excitement that I am going to get back into the excellent eating and exercising routine I was in last summer and early fall when I lost 25 pounds without killing myself in the process. I was focused and determined. Maybe it's silly, but the new beginning that March represents feels big right now. It's been a long crappy winter, and the promise of spring in a couple of weeks is almost electrifying. There will finally be nice warm walks, gardening, stepping outside without having to layer up the woolens. Very appealing. And I believe I'll appreciate it this year in a way I never before have. And I'll never again take pain free days for granted.


  1. MiraLAX - used to be prescription - went OTC a couple years ago - white bottle, bright pink lid - mix it in HOT water with lemon squeezed in it.

    Broccoli helps a lot - really good fiber.

    Avoid iced drinks ('freezes' the GI system) - Hot beverage before each meal and regularly throughout the day - helps relax things. Herbal tea (naturally decaf) or hot water with lemon are best.

    Glad you are vry centered as you go through this recovery.

    I have NEVER called someone after a proceedure - I always assume they are sleeping or will hurt themselves trying to get to the phone. So that might be part of why you are not hearing from work - they might figure that you are enjoying your time off.

  2. well, hey leslie...sometimes you just have to let strange days go....
    *says the person who rarely does*
    I am a font of wisdom.
    feel better soon okay.

  3. Yay for March! :o) It's a beautiful day here today - you should come over sometime!

    I'm so excited your knee is feeling so much better so quickly... Now, don't f*ck it up by doing too much too soon... (Preaching to the converted, I know!)

    Well done for getting rid of the binge thought as soon as it entered your head. That on its own is an amazing achievement for the day - I should know! ;o)

  4. :D So glad you're getting better quickly! Love the self-awareness, too. Isn't it interesting what our minds can do to us? We can just think ourselves right into an emotional black hole in a spiraling moment, can't we? Glad you're pulling yourself back up!

    March--here we come!


  5. I had never heard it put that way... the magnifying mind.

    "The idea that what we focus on becomes our reality?.... I elected to dwell on a couple of negative things. My funky mood magnified and increased."

    Thank you for writing about this... I really needed to read this now.

  6. I am sooooo happy it's March. I was very excited to flip the "F" page on my calendar!!

    I'm glad your knee is doing well and your listening to doctors orders.

    Great evaluating of all of your emotions. That is a huge success!! So often, we mow through a bag of salty goodness and don't look at the why of it... I think the only way to heal from the binge monster is to look inward. I tend to forget the positives sometimes to, and get hung up on what didn't happen.

    Thanks for rejoining my new blog secret blog :)

  7. thanks for the comment
    i am so happy its march too
    and its warming up yay!!
    glad your knees are getting better
    you have a very positive and inspirational blog so i definately joined to be a follower
    talk to you later

  8. I couldn't agree more - February couldn't have left soon enough.

    Glad to hear you are recovering well - keep it up!

  9. You said that you are very careful and intentional with your movement. I really liked that and also wanted to say -- we can use that attitude with our eating. That outlook provides purpose with everything that you are doing with your body.

    Keep up the good work.

    BTW - Nice blog!

  10. Leslie, I think sometimes with work relationships people tend to err on the side of over cautiousness. I know I tend to be that way and it's not a matter of caring at all! Glad you are moving deliberately and carefully... here's to Hope Springing Eternal!

  11. I think everyone (east of the Rockies) is thrilled that February is over. I was happy to see the spring-y cover of the Pottery Barn catalog in yesterday's mail!

    I had surgery in 2008 and was in the hospital for 11 days. When I came home, I wished I didn't have a phone. Every time I would doze off, someone called. I ended up turning it off. Now I never call anybody who's post-op; I don't fail to send a card in the mail. Every one seems to like that. I'm sure that's what's going on.

    Have a speedy recovery!

  12. Yay for the snow melting and the temps coming up! And I'm soo glad that your knee is healing so nicely. You have done a great job with taking it easy during recovery.

  13. Glad to hear that you are having a good recovery. I have a tendancy to agree with the other ladies - I wait a little while before I contact someone by phone but do get a card in the mail to them right away. JMHO.