Recovery Time

Agnes and Asters

First, apologies if the formatting is wonky on this.  For reasons known only to them, WordPress has eliminated their easy Classic Editor in favor of Cumbersome Block Editor.

As I mentioned last week, my husband, Jim, had total knee replacement on his left knee on September 29th.  He came through surgery very well.  However, the recovery is a long one, even for someone is in relatively good shape such as Jim.  We know this, because we’ve been through it before, about two years ago, when he had his right knee replaced.

Long?  What do I mean?  A year before full endurance and mobility return, although there are definite improvement stages along the way, including not needing a walker (shifting to a cane), needing little or no pain medication, and being able to drive again.

As of this writing, Jim is rattling around the house on a walker, doing limited in-home PT, and trying to reduce how much pain medication he’s taking without going overboard.  He’s an over-achiever, so a long recovery like this one can be frustrating. 

As for me, I’m trying to balance between helping too much and not stepping in when he’s over-doing.  As for writing…

Well, as I’ve said repeatedly, I can write pretty much anywhere: in company or alone, longhand or on my computer.  The one thing that can make it hard for me to write is uncertainty, because that’s when my storytelling brain switches over to trying to figure out how to deal with the different logic paths that evolve out of the uncertain element.

Take the day of Jim’s surgery.  After I dropped him off at the hospital, because I couldn’t be with him in pre-op or recovery, only once he was in his room, I reluctantly went home.  I then started working out what needed to be done before I went back.  As I worked through the list, I also was mentally timing events.  Since I hadn’t been informed of any delay, I assumed that surgery was happening on time, at around noon, as I’d been informed. 

You can imagine how I was thrown for a loop when I got a call from Jim at 12:30 that there had been a delay, and that, in fact, there would be another delay.  I’ll skip the details, and just say that he didn’t go into surgery until somewhere around 3:00 pm.  Those hours of uncertainty, including whether or not I’d be able to go see him before visiting hours ended, were creatively null.

Oddly enough, once he was in surgery, I was able to write for about an hour and a half, because whatever happened I wasn’t “on deck” to deal with it.  When the indecision kicked in again (How did it go?  When will the surgeon call?  Will there be time for me to go see him today?), I was booted out.

Now Jim’s home.  There’s a certain element of disruption, but often I can find a time— usually when he’s napping—where the uncertainty ebbs, and I can write.

There you have it!  Thanks to those of you who have sent Jim good wishes.  I’ve been passing them along.

4 Responses to “Recovery Time”

  1. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    I get the same way with uncertainty. I completely get how once he was in surgery you knew you were completely “out”. My daughters get more worried during times like that.

    I’m glad you’re finding times when the creative juices can flow. I’m like Jim in recovery… I want to get to the healing already. I’ve been called stubborn, but I prefer determined.😂

  2. greywolf Says:

    I helped my mom recover from heart surgery last winter, so I totally get that whole “need to be there to help and support, but want to give them as much independence as reasonable” thing! Most of the time, I asked her what she needed, and went with that, but occasionally I had to tell her “No, you’re not doing that. Go lay down.” She says I did well, and appreciated my help a LOT! Good luck to you both!

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