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My scars tell a story

Saturday, February 06, 2016

My scars tell a story.
They are a reminder of times
when life tried to break me,
but failed.
They are the markings of where the
structure of my character was welded.

Scars can be manifested in a number of ways. They can be a visual of life lived, falls taken, operations succeeded.

They can also be hidden, times when life gave you hard knocks, when you were emotionally torn, but you were able to stitch yourself back together, and to move forward with dignity and courage.

Both kinds of scars are a critical part of our character. They both can hurt so much, they can almost break you, but it is their repair, and what is left of them that makes us into the people we are now.

I have met a number of interesting people in this care center. One woman in particular really shook me up tonight. She called me over when she was eating alone in the dining room. (You can eat in the dining room, or eat in your room, and MOST people eat in their rooms with the TV on.) I eat in my room, just for the quiet, and do not have the TV on. I just happened to be passing through the dining room on one of my many walks down the halls, to try to kick my healing process into high gear.

This woman stopped me and asked me what I was "here for". I told her that I had a knee replaced, and she said, and you are WALKING? I asked her what she was here for, and she told me she was also in for a knee replacement. I asked her how long it had been since her surgery, and she told me that it had been "just over" two weeks. I was now wondering why she was so astounded that I was walking with a walker. I asked her why she wasn't walking, and she told me she hurt too much, and was unable to walk yet. I asked her, wondering what the problem was, if she was icing her knee and doing the exercises. No, she said with a sigh, she had not gotten around to that yet. She said, do you? I said, I ice at least five times a day, and do the exercises whenever I think of it. I had surgery a week AFTER she did.

She asked me if she could walk with me, and I said, well, first, ice your knee, and then start walking around your room, and make the physical therapy people understand you are very interested in getting moving. She said, well, I am not that interested yet, as it hurts way too much. (Big internal sigh....)

I told her that the longer she waited before she got moving, the harder her recovery would be. She told me that OBVIOUSLY I do not hurt as much as she does. I didn't get into the fact that I had to have a bone reset, along with the knee replaced, but these kinds of people don't want to hear anything but they are having the worst possible luck....)

I ended up agreeing to walk with her next week sometime, knowing that I will likely be home by the time she decides to get going and get walking, and she will probably not be walking by the time I leave, hopefully, this coming Wednesday.

I went back to my room, and really thought about her. Why would you go to all the effort and yes, pain, to have this surgery, and not do what it takes to follow through? Is it fear? Is it just lack of energy? I don't really know, but I do know, that I am doing everything I can to get out of here as soon as I can. I have this weird thing happening, where I still cannot lift my leg...I don't think my brain is sending the right signals to move that leg yet. The staff thinks it is is because it is still so swollen, and my body is saying "you are not quite ready yet". Regardless, I am doing everything in my power to try to get it moving, and know it will sooner or later, and I am going to be in the best possible shape when it does.

My scars all tell a story. I most definitely have some emotional scars from my time as a former fat person, and have a number of scars from surgery, that were, in fact, easier to heal than the emotional scars.

No matter the type of scar, they all require our courage, require us to forgive and love ourselves, to give our best effort, no matter what.

My character is re-welded every day, and I feel like these welds are becoming stronger and stronger, and I am becoming better and better because of, not in spite of, my scars.

I carry all of them with pride and courage, knowing that I can face any scar, and meet it head on. I know how to weld them, and am getting pretty darned good at it.

Spark on.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have an attitude similar to yours about rehab. The rehab with a hip is much different than a knee. I have two knee replacements and I was very aggressive in my therapy. The first knee was totally destroyed and,all the muscles had atrophied. Due to my young age, the surgery was put off. This made rehab much more difficult. The knee itself healed in six weeks, the rest of my leg took 5-6 months. My second knee took 5 weeks. I started to approach my hip therapy the same way but my therapist pulled me way back. He explained that because of the position in the body and the location of the incision, therapy is a balancing act. Recovery time is expected to be much longer. I was surprised but I will do whatever it takes to recover and be healthy!
    1842 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    I hope that "dining room lady" will think about you and your conversation, while she is spending her time sitting. Because she will be spending lot of time in that position if she doesn't start moving. It does make you wonder if she had any idea what lay ahead of her as far as recovery was concerned.

    Jane, I think you'll get a laugh out of this. Before my bi-lateral knee replacement my daughter-in-law said, "Well I guess you won't be going swimming anymore." I was rather surprised, but I explained that I couldn't go swimming until my incisions were fully healed. She said, "But you'll have ugly scars. You won't want anyone to see them, will you?"

    Well the truth is their my scars and I see them everyday. I don't think about them they're just a part of me. In fact I'm really glad I have them because without them I wouldn't, be emoticon emoticon emoticon and my latest adventure emoticon

    So you just keep doing what you're doing and you'll be lifting your leg and having all sorts of grand adventures.

    1845 days ago
    1845 days ago
    BRAVO to you. .. for just "doing it."

    Unlike grey hair we can't Just color scars and move on can we?? nor should we. They are our medals so to speak we have won in our battles.

    Another great blog from you. Thank you.
    1846 days ago
    emoticon I had both knees replaced at the same time and did EVERYTHING they told me to do. Best decision for me.

    I have friends who went the through the surgery and did not do ANYTHING they were told to do because it "hurt". Yep ... it does ... but they will truly regret it as time passes.

    Do EVERYTHING you can do to make life better for yourself.
    1846 days ago
  • HEDSTS58
    Some people want to have a pity party all the time and some people like yourself would rather do something, anything but that. I hope you keep doing well in your recovery
    1846 days ago
    Good for you for working so hard to get your mobility back. My mother-in-law is just like that woman you met - she broke her leg and didn't do the exercises. Then she had back surgery "because it hurt so much" before her leg healed - leading to more problems with the leg and now the back "hurt too much" to do the physical therapy. So another surgery, and another, and then a morphine pump to manage the pain and now she can't do anything by herself - get out of bed, go to the bathroom, even put her teeth in. It baffles me! I realize that a person's pain threshold can be different than another person's but whatever the pain, I don't understand why you wouldn't want to do everything in your power to get back to activity as soon as possible.

    It sounds like you are making great progress, but then I wouldn't have expected anything less! Happy Sunday.
    1846 days ago
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    1846 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1846 days ago
    A positive attitude is such a key requirement for successful recovery, as your story proves. You decided BEFORE you had the surgery that at some point in the future you would emerge better and stronger than ever. And so you will.
    You will recover better than the dining room lady, not because you are luckier, or because your pain wasn't as bad as hers, or because it was easier for you, but because you are braver and more determined, and you are not sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and waiting for things to get better all by themselves.
    I don't doubt that it's hard to stay positive with all that you are going through right now. But despite it all you remain a beacon of positivity and a ray of sunshine!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1846 days ago

    Oh, girl, you just keep on going. I love this blog. Not only does it speak to your character and determination to heal and walk proud again, but to your heart. I love that you engaged that woman. Let's hope that the "sleeper effect" gets to her and she gets off her duff and tries.

    One of the hardest things about being a caring person is wanting others to be braver than they are, don't you think? I think that's the empathetic part of us that just can't stand it that they won't 'do for themselves' what obviously needs to be done.

    That said, maybe her scars are a lot bigger than yours and mine.

    And THAT said, let's just keep on trucking. And engaging (-:

    1846 days ago
    Oh Jane I know where your coming from, I was in hospital 5 days for Knee replacement, then home, I was like you up and walking in a day, and it was painful, but you have to work through the pain if you want to have full use of the knee again. When I was in therapy there was a woman there who refused to do the work, she now walks with a limp. It is so important to do the exercises no matter how painful, the pain will go away the more you work! Have you done the bike yet? emoticon
    1846 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15724029
    Great blog! I carry a lot of scars too!
    As for the lady you met, I'm not sure that she is any different than many of us here . We have carried excess weight for varying lengths of time, knowing it's unhealthy ,knowing what we need to do to get rid of it- and yet not taking those first steps!
    1846 days ago
    I loved your blog, and the contrast between your attitude and hers.
    I really feel for her, and understand her fear from pain... but what she is doing does not make pain go away.
    What you do, Jane, requires effort and determination, and may cause pain temporarily - but you will be free of pain and walking happily by the time she will still be inactive and in pain. Not to mention mental pain of helplessness, which I'm sure you don't have : )
    1846 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon You, obviously are a Warrior Woman and the other one isn't. Her loss.
    1846 days ago
    Oh... Em.... Gee..... What in the he*** was my mother doing in your wellness center telling you all of her troubles???

    BR>This is so typical of people of a certain age who are bound and determined not to get better even after surgery to fix whatever was ailing them. They get stuck in their heads that their bodies just aren't designed to improve because of age, or fitness, or attitude. We know better, don't we???

    I loved reading the story that was recently featured on SP of the woman who decided in her 60s to start swimming and lost over 200 pounds. She's now past 70 and in the best shape of her life. What an example of what a positive attitude can allow you to accomplish!

    We can be 50 and sluggish or 70 and fit as a fiddle or 90 and still dancing! It's all about what we believe we can do, and then doing our damnedest to get there. I know that you're in pain, and the swelling is awful, and the scars are still mending, but you are KILLING IT with your desire to walk. I remember that feeling well.

    I think of it every time I do a push-up and my shoulder hurts. Yes, I need more surgery to repair this stupid rotator cuff. But will that stop me from pushing myself as hard as I can? Heck, NO! That scar is evidence of a battle that I've won! And I will keep pushing and keep Sparking and keep loving this wonderful life I have been given. Because the alternative SUCKS!

    I am so proud of you for encouraging this poor woman. We both know how that will turn out. I wonder how long she'll actually stay at the spa. I'm guessing at least another month, if not more. Tragic.

    I can't wait to say "WELCOME HOME" to you on Wednesday! Much love to you!!!!!
    1846 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/6/2016 11:13:11 PM
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    emoticon emoticon
    1846 days ago
    emoticon Job! You're doing GREAT!
    I feel for the woman you speak about. And I understand the feeling well. I DO NOT like pain of any kind either. And try to avoid it as much as possible.
    But, when the inevitable does happen, I'm all out ready to get through the pain as soon as possible and get back to "normal" whatever that may be.
    I pray that she rethinks her position after having spoken with you.
    1846 days ago
  • no profile photo SWEET-4
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon you rock lady!!!
    1846 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/6/2016 10:41:22 PM
  • no profile photo ELRIDDICK
    Thanks for sharing
    1846 days ago
    HUGS sweetie. Hope you continue to work you hardest . . . I know you are.

    People like the woman you described astound me too. Anything worth doing is hard and may even cause pain, but if you push through, you are so much stronger!
    1846 days ago
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