I don’t think I was mentally prepared for just how painful (and emotionally draining) ACL repair surgery would be. Not the actual surgery because thank goodness the anesthetic knocked me right out and the fentanyl and morphine made sure I didn’t feel much of anything for the whole first day and a half. But the days and weeks after are kinda brutal, at least they have been for me. I had never broken any bones or had any surgeries before this so it has been quite the learning experience.
I am so happy that I purchased a Cyrocuff icepack because it helps SO MUCH with pain management and keeping the swelling down. I initially said no to it, because I thought the clinic was just trying to upsell me – but seriously it is SO worth the cost… And I am ever so grateful to my loving and caring fiance for filling up the ice cooler every 6 hours and carrying it up and down the stairs for me and basically answering to my every beck & call. I’m so lucky and feeling pretty damn loved.But being in constant pain has made me into way more of an erratic bitch than usual which I’m hoping I am getting to the other side of now. I mean, I anticipated the crying because I’ve always been a crier but I didn’t expect the bursts of rage that have accompanied me on this journey of healing.
Before the surgery I thought I’d be on crutches for a week after or something and then right back to it but it’s been 12 days and I definitely can’t put all my weight on that leg yet. The post-op package I got says most people use crutches and then a cane for 3 weeks to a month afterwards. And I can almost extend my leg fully now which I have to be able to do at the end of two weeks post op. So I’m just hoping and praying I can walk by the time my next film shoot comes along mid January because I’m really excited about it and don’t want to have to forfeit the Dead North Film challenge on account of my knee.
I have been able to start biking on a stationary bike with no resistance for 10 minute intervals 3-4 times a day but 10 minutes feels like forever when there is a severe stabbing sensation up and down your leg every time you pedal.
I know now that it’s going to be a much longer road to recovery then I thought and I really need to slow down and let myself heal. I went back to work three days after surgery and I really should have taken last week off. Upon reading the post-op guidelines it says if your job is not a physical one you can return in ‘a few weeks’. But I just thought because I work an office job I’d be fine to just keep my leg elevated. Bad idea! My body and mind have just felt so utterly broken and exhausted. And that’s it, healing from surgery is just emotionaly and physically exhausting.
It has been especially hard for me to be so vulnerable and have to ask for help all the time which is just not a skill I have mastered. I’ve become much more aware of all the places and spaces I go on a daily basis that are not accessible. Even just trying to get in and out of the bathroom at work last week was a struggle. Privilege often blinds us, and I feel more awake to the discrimination and accessibility barriers people with physical disabilities face on a daily basis in our modern ableist society. Time to make some art about it and challenge these systems of oppression. Okay, not quite yet, but definitely soon!
I feel much better after having 4 days off for Christmas but I’m starting to feel a little stressed about my Dead North film project. There is a lot to plan & coordinate for the shoot. I know I can do it- but I also know, I never know when to say no and not push myself to the point of exhaustion.
Hopefully my team will pull through and we will be able to create something amazing together even if I’m not feeling 100%. After all, time, rest & physiotherapy will heal my knee, but creativity will heal my soul. ❤
Happy Holidays Y’All. Hope you’ve had an excellent, rejuvenating break 2.