In the last couple of weeks post-surgery, I’ve interacted with my body, my life, and the city in completely new ways.
After rupturing my ACL, I chose to have my ACL ligament reconstructed with my own tissue taken from my patellar tendon. From the small slice they took, my entire quadriceps muscle group shut down.
Though I knew what would happen and what the recovery would be like, you’d still have to color me somewhat flabbergasted to experience such hard work at just squeezing my thigh so my knee will straighten. At my last physical therapy session, I spent the better portion of my hour re-training myself to walk properly, which included telling my leg muscles to turn on at a specific spot in my stride and then having to wait for their response.
What an experience to see how many things you can’t do with your body that used to be autopilot. To see how many simple tasks or movements you take for granted. It’s been a great lesson in finding accomplishment and joy in the smallest of things, like being able to sit down on the couch almost normally, getting in and out of the shower (thank god I have good balance), getting in and out of a car, putting on my shoes, even putting on my underwear for goodness sake!
For the first time in almost 10 years of living in NYC, the subway has been terrifying. Stairs that I wouldn’t typically think twice about have now become a deciding factor as to whether or not I choose to go into a building. I already knew how small most cafés and restaurants are in NYC (since I’m forever carrying 2 bags), and now they seem even smaller.
But the most notable change in perception is time. I’ve had to allow for so much more time to accomplish anything. Daily tasks have slowed down into more intentional and focused activities. Travel takes so long. Multitasking is still a luxury.
It’s humbling to watch the city fly by you – to see how fast it moves while you are moving so slowly.
The more important thing was spending time being in my body and taking care of myself. Some of that meant opening up to being helped.
Many of us find it hard to accept help in one way or another. I happen to come from a long line of capable women that are more comfortable being the helper than the “helpee,” so this felt like a lesson for the generations. In accepting the help of friends and family, it made my process so much smoother, connected me more to those people, and helped me to begin my healing process from a place of feeling abundantly cared for rather than struggling from a place of scarcity (cheesy… but true).
Of course, I have to give extra special thanks to Paul Ochoa and F2PT. Without them, I’d have a noodle for a leg!
P.S. - I may be moving slowly, but at least I'm still dancing.