The Human Body
Every time I think about my surgery, I get a little freaked out. When I think about the doctor cutting through muscle and then drilling a titanium rod and two crews into my bones, my stomach gets a little queazy. I’m so glad I was knocked out during those two hours and I never want to know exactly how the surgery was performed. But the one thing that surprises me is the only evidence of my surgery is three small incisions and bruising, which is slowly disappearing. Pretty soon, the only evidence will be three small scars. I find that fascinating.
Today I went for my post-op appointment. My surgery was 12 days ago and I can’t believe how my body has improved in just those 12 days. My stitches are out, I can walk on my own (although with an awkward limp), and my once overly swollen hip (which made me feel 1/2 Kim Kardashian) is now back to a normal size. It’s incredible.
After my appointment today, I started thinking about how incredible the human body is. Before the nurse took my stitches out, I asked her about the skin healing. How was my skin already back together after just 12 days? She told me that yes, it was all healed and it actually heals itself from the inside. She took the stitches out and my skin kept itself together. No bleeding. No pain. Nothing. How awesome is that? (I’ve never had stitches before so this was a new experience for me.) Then I had an X-ray to make sure everything was healing as it should. The X-ray came back and all is well. I have a rod and two screws inside my bones and my bones are working just fine with them. How is it that my body knows to accept this foreign object and make it part of itself? It just blows my mind.
Last week this time, I was stuck on the couch. I was using a walker and only walking up and down the hall three times before I needed a break. I hurt, I couldn’t sleep. And my leg sounded squishy when you touched it because of all the fluid. Today I walked to lunch with my best friend, I took the stairs, and most of my walking takes place without the crutch. Last Friday at physical therapy, I was given an exercise that I could not do at all. I was to stand on my left leg (my bionic leg) and raise my right leg without shifting weight. I couldn’t get my toes off the ground. Today I completed three sets of 10 where I actually did raise my leg. Although I couldn’t hold that position long, I still did it. Just a few days earlier, it was impossible. Today it happened. Yes, I practiced during the weekend but I realized how, with enough hard work and patience, the body will adapt. It learns. It heals itself. And when you treat it right, it will help you.
I feel so fortunate to have a healthy body. Yes, my hip did fracture but it was my own doing. I did a lot of road running and ignored the aches and pains along the way. It was my fault. Now I’m witnessing my body heal itself in a way I’ve never known. I have a new found appreciation for what the body can do and I am grateful for the surgery that put me back together. It makes me realize that I really can do the things I want to. I may not be good swimmer now, but I can learn to be a good swimmer. I may not be as strong as I want to be now, but with enough hard work, I can get there. When I do get back to running, with the right plan and right approach, I can be the runner I want to be. It just takes time, patience, hard work, and a whole lot of love for yourself and your body.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,