Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the day doing preoperative tests and attending a physical therapy information session all in preparation for my total knee replacement. The concept of this surgery has been simmering in my brain for months, but now that it is a reality, I have to process this differently.
I don’t enjoy being the odd man out, so to speak. In a room full of people, I was the youngest by at least 20 years. I watched as some took diligent notes (which wasn’t necessary since they gave us a booklet) and others heavy sighs as if they were indicating their lack of interest. I, on the other hand, was in my head thinking “what the fuck am I doing here?”. That is the moment that I unraveled. You see, I know I need this surgery. I know that I will heal and feel much better. I know that I have a solid support system filled with people ready to help me while I recover. The hardest thing to admit is that I am scared, which makes me vulnerable and that makes me uncomfortable.
When I got home yesterday, a dam of tears were released. The spark of annoyance stemmed from someone not following directions to crate the dogs, which resulted in me cleaning up their mess. Bending is difficult. No one was home to help and at that moment I felt completely alone. I needed those tears. I needed to acknowledge that this surgery is a big deal. Making light of it is not allowing me to absorb the magnitude. I have spent the week listening to well-meaning individuals either sharing horror stories or simply telling me that it isn’t a big deal – which doesn’t help soothe me. Intellectually, I know I am going to be better than I am now.
After all the tears were shed, I experienced a blessing. While outside with the girls, a butterfly came out of nowhere and landed on my hand. I spent, what felt like an eternity admiring its handsome color pattern and being grateful for this moment. You see, this happens all the time when I am lost and feeling alone. I know it is my Dad sending me a message. Time and time again, just like he did when he was alive, he is reassuring me that despite the fear, this is the next right step to take.