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06 February 2013 @ 01:22 am
 
Apparently I still cry every time I see someone take that first step after a hip replacement, whether it's a cranky Maggie Smith character off in India or a snarky and frightened 13-year-old girl on a medical drama who's afraid everything she has known about her life thus far is over (and boy do I know that feeling). I still cry. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever stop crying over that first step. I don't think I will (especially because I'll likely be taking another or even two in my life time); I'm good with that.

It's been more than five years since I took that first step post-op (and I was stubborn as hell about it, pushing myself to do it that first night despite the anemia). I'd had four operations before that and finally putting my weight on the leg again had always been something I waited and yearned for, even when I knew the operation had failed and my hip was back to dying.

There was nothing so frightening as that first step after the replacement; it felt like the biggest leap of faith in my life. Logically I knew that my muscles and skin (however stretched) were still there to hold and support me, and that there was a walker waiting to receive me, but there was still this long moment of understanding that I was putting my faith into a body part that was not mine; I was trusting this thing to hold me and support me the way my flesh and blood hip would. Something foreign. Something that wasn't me.

I was so afraid, and then I stepped, and then apparently I passed out--but I did it and I was on top of the world.

I know it comes to mind because it was just on Grey's Anatomy (and how hard-hitting was that, to hear a teenager saying something like "when my hips started hurting I thought I had just pulled a muscle so I kept training" which is very much my story); it also has been a bit of a reminder for me. I've known the fear of trusting something foreign with almost everything I valued in my life; I've known the fear of wondering if my life would be irrevocably changed and in a painful way; I've known the fear that comes with the answer "yes".

It's not unusual for anyone my age to feel frightened of the world, least of all in this time. Some of it is still the personal fallout from that answer of "yes", facing that I could never and can never do the 'dream careers' I pictured when I was 14 and fractured and just starting to love ecology and the environment (which I went on to study in university). Some of it is the difficulty of finding even the simple jobs that won't cause me extra pain when so many of my friends do something like "oh I'm desperate for cash at this moment, I'll just work at Dunkies until I find a better job." Some of it is the knowledge that anything I end up with will cause me pain because just by living my body is painful. Some of it is regular young adult stuff from my demographic: this new world of taxes and bills and credit scores and student loans and the looming knowledge that I really need to learn how to iron things and should probably learn to sew a button on a shirt.

I guess I was just reminded of the value of balance and to have faith in myself to find that balance, even when something is foreign and new and I have to trust it enough to stand on it so things can work out. (And, I suppose, that passing out or failing from time to time is okay provided there is a mother or nurse around to quickly catch me and set me right again before anything drastic happens like a heavy meeting with the floor.)

Sometimes I just still can't believe I took that first step. I remember everyone watching Best Exotic Marigold Hotel just waiting for the Maggie!character to get out of the wheelchair and wondering why she wasn't (in Housemate Z's mind) and all I could think was, "Because it's hard."

I just like to remember, occasionally, that I can deal with things. Real things.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
 
 
 
 
 
Kiwi Crocus: Women || Rachel and Dorothy.cranky__crocus on February 13th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
(and let's face, once this question is asked, it probably wouldn't)
So much agreed on all you've said. Thank you for the kind words, as well; I do hope what I've been through will help on my chosen path and also help me know how to be compassionate with others.