Yes, that’s my knee — no models were harmed (or Sharpie-ed) for the creation of this blog post. I’m having knee surgery tomorrow morning. It’s an outpatient arthroscopic procedure with a really long name that I won’t bother to share, but it’s surgery nonetheless. I’m afraid, but I’m also ready. I’m realistic, but I’m also hopeful.
My left knee and I have been on a quite a journey over the past five years. Of course, the right limb has been along for the ride and sometimes taken on more burdens than she should have, but it’s the left that has really struggled. When I was 36, I started noticing a dull ache that I later dubbed “pain.” Other layers of issues arrived on top of that: clicking, grinding, tightness and swelling.
I think I was a “good patient” in terms of working through the prescribed treatments to address the issue. I went to an orthopedist who sent me to physical therapy. I stayed active because there’s this seemingly contradictory pattern of “exercise is necessary and helps these issues,” but exercise also brought on more pain. I spent a Christmas morning in an ER with the knee swollen the size of a grapefruit. There’s been draining, injections, arthritis meds and acupuncture. I lost 35 extra pounds to offer some relief, but like Robert Plant sang, the song remains the same (to this day).
So after five years, four doctors, a variety of methodically followed treatments, a MRI (I need a Xanax if I ever have to do that again — “open” or not), and a holiday in the hospital; this is where we’ve arrived. My doc, my knee and me have reached this place through a lot of discernment and discussion.
My thoughts this week:
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time: school starting, clients, finishing my work with my coaching group, creating new stuff…”
“What if I’m like the people on all of those Web M.D. message boards telling their surgery horror stories and screaming in all caps to anyone on the web who’ll listen: “Don’t do it, gurl!”
“How can I really help people in my work when all I’m doing is carrying around the heaviness that this ongoing issue brings about in my chest and my head? That fear of making a decision. The fear of imagined circumstances.”
This week, I told my weight loss coaching group that I’ve felt guilty these past few weeks because I’ve been submerged by the weight of this health issue. I was worried I wasn’t giving them 100% of what they needed in terms of what they came to learn in our group about taking care of themselves. I lugged around these thoughts until it occurred to me that I was exactly where I needed to be to teach, coach and love them.
The 35 pounds my body did not need are gone. This was my weight now — the girth of a decision and the battle in my mind about the “what ifs?” and “why can’t I fix this in another way?” I was in the perfect place to offer up my best work to them because what they’re learning won’t just help them with their weight, it will guide them through anything that comes their way and looks like an obstacle, a weakness, a punishment or a barrier. They can learn to use their minds on purpose to challenge limiting beliefs and step into an awareness of what they want and and how they’ll take inspired action to move towards it.
Not long ago, I was talking to a prospective client about this coaching model I use and explained it just about like I did in the paragraph above. She said, “I’m not trying to be fresh, but is that it?”
She couldn’t see me when I smile-hugged her through the phone lines and answered: “Yes. But isn’t that everything?”
Think of me around 8:30 a.m. when they’re asking me to count backwards and get some rest. I’ll be dreaming that I’m dancing.