Be Your Own Badass Hero

Being stuck in bed recuperating can be depressing for any Wild Rider. Foggy-headed and cooped up for days after my partial knee replacement gave me too much time to think and by that I mean feel sorry for myself. Multiply that with weaning off the Oxycodone and I had a pretty big crash.

I regretted the timing of my surgery even though the x-ray showed I walked on borrowed time. The desire to get it over with and impulsivity was a perfect combo for, “I’ll take your next available appointment!” Two weeks wasn’t long enough to prepare myself mentally. I was also dealing with the guilt of sleeping so much and not writing.

Being in great shape, I expected to exceed my doctor’s and home care physical therapist’s expectations. I’m competitive and goal-oriented. Instead, a week after surgery, I suffered a setback. My leg ballooned up with blood. I had to reduce the swelling before I could make any real improvements with mobility. (You should see my bruise. It’s amazing. It runs from my hip to the bottom of my calf. Yes. I took pictures.)

When my PT stopped by that Wednesday and told me I wouldn’t be off the walker by Friday since I seemed unstable and added I wasn’t ready to use the exercise bike, it broke me. The funk sunk in and continued to make itself comfortable the next morning.

At 10:00 AM I needed something to eat with the Ibuprofen. I pushed my walker to the top of the stairs and then gingerly lowered my foot one step at a time. I shuffled behind my other walker to the kitchen and turned on the TV. I became transfixed by an advertisement for The Hunger Games even though I’ve seen the movie and read the book. I thought, Katniss Everdeen was the ultimate badass.

Katniss_Everdeen

AND THEN IT HIT ME WITH A JOLT. “I don’t need a hero,” I said out loud, “I am my own hero. I need to fight for myself!”

Filled with hope, the corners of my mouth formed a smile. The funk lifted. Hope forced funk out of my gloomy recesses and obliterated it.

I ate my toast, took my pills, exercised at the counter, and then pushed my walker to the stairs. This time, instead of starting with my good leg and pulling my bad one up to the same step, I lifted my bad knee and walked up those freakin’ stairs like a normal person. Well, a normal person who grunts while grasping the banister.

When the PT came a few hours later, she saw a huge improvement. I graduated from the walker to a cane. YES! Then she instructed me on how to use my exercise bike.

Now all I need is a top hat.

GAME ON!

Can you pull yourself out of a funk?

86 thoughts on “Be Your Own Badass Hero

    • Thanks Darla!
      I’ve never looked back since I had that jolt. It really did pull me out of that mild depression after surgery.

      Guess what!! I get my staples out in a half hour! Woohoo! I will be doing my own version of a happy dance, cane in hand.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me too! I am like the happiest and most optimistic person you’ll ever meet. I had my staples removed today and was told that Oxycodone can cause depression. It sure did, but obviously there was a mental switch to all of it. I’m so grateful I flipped it!
      Thanks so much JCC!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oxycodone when taken for even a few days consistently can indeed cause depression, migraines and oddly, body aches that don’t relate to any physical reason. Beware of valium as well, it can cause severe depression and very quickly.

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        • That makes sense. The nurse who took out my staples said that about the Oxy too. I would never have taken it, but they wouldn’t let me take Tylenol or Ibuprofen while giving myself belly shots of blood thinners. I was so stoked when those were over. I’ll never take Valium again either. I took it for Lasik surgery and it made me hyperactive! Ha!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve been in a similar situation where I was healthy and active one week– and then after some surgery I spent the next year pretty much sitting still. It was depressing and defeating, but if that had not happened I wouldn’t have become serious about blogging. My point being: good can come from a change of routine, if you allow it to happen. Hang in there and enjoy your snooze-time.

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    • Thanks Ally! That is great advice. I’m glad to hear you made recovery a positive experience. Are you back to your normal routine?
      I am coming out of the fog and for the first time feel like I can get some “real” writing done. I know it will be worth it in the long run. I’m doing EVERYTHING I am told and expect nothing but a complete recovery. I’ll be on the slopes by March!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You describe the moment of the flipping of your happiness cards perfectly. It’s pretty amazing to go from a black mood to hope in a heartbeat but that’s what we humans can do. Thanks for the reminder. Pass on my thanks to Ms. Everdeen, too.

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  3. Toast will do it every time. No really, Moving always seems to make the next motion easier.
    Depression is a side effect of surgery – the body has been traumatized as well as all the medications. (Do be cautious – no re-injuries to slow you back to square one….or harm the other knee!)
    Hip Hop dance outside into the sun if possible …you can finger dance along with the chorus line for a day or two if necessary. (and the cane will be handy to swing at squirrels – no matter how many legs they have)

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    • My thought process needed rearranging. I met with the nurse today to get my staples out (Yay!), and she said the Oxy is notorious for creating depression. Like you said, the surgery was a shock to the system too. It’s all good. I’m doing everything the PT says to do and will be dancing in another month if not sooner. Don’t worry. In the meantime, I’ll use my imagination. 🙂

      My cane is fantastic. I picked it up at a garage sale many years ago. I think it’s made out of alder and it has all kinds of knots where it used to have little branches. I sanded it today and rubbed it down with olive oil. Roxy gives it a lick every time she trots by!

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    • Awww! Thanks so much Diana! I really worried this time. I went into my double boobectomies feeling badass. This time it caught me off guard. I found out the Oxy did contribute big time, but I’m up and on my way!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully done. When I was doing PT last winter (it was a total of six months PT, from twice a week to once a week), there were some visits that I barely had any energy to do anything. And then there were days I felt fantastic. After having had surgery to repair torn tendon and remove broken extra bone, I sat with my foot elevated for about 2 months. What I didn’t realize until part way into PT, was how weak the muscles around my knees got. So we had to shift exercises to strengthen my knees. I remember one day realizing how I had a choice of doing downhill, or fighting my way back. In a moment, I wanted to be able to run and play with my kid, and decided to fight. There was definitely a turning point. Now, when I see someone my age who is using a walker or scooter to get around, I kmow how easily it could have been me.

    I suspect that your coming off the narcotics had a hand in your state of mind. I had a rough time coming off them after being on them for almost 2 months. And you don’t have to be on them long for them to mess with your mind. So glad to hear you’re bouncing back.

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    • Wow! Thanks for sharing your story M2M! That sounds intense. I’m glad to hear you are back on your feet. I’m so proud of you for making that choice. It isn’t easy, but man, it makes a huge difference!
      You’re right! When I got the staples out today, I found out the Oxy was the culprit in my mental health. Good thing I never have to take another one of those pills. I never want to have surgery again. EVER!

      Thanks M!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely done! I believe that a person, any person, is the only one who can pull themselves out of the funk. It goes along with that saying, “We can’t help you until you help yourself”. It is sometimes hard to see and often camouflaged but whatever it takes to trigger it ultimately we have to respond to that trigger. You are a hero, Susie. Don’t ever doubt it.

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    • Awww! Thanks SPP!
      You are right! I had tried several times, but it wasn’t until that moment that I had enough! I found out the Oxy did cause the depression. I’m so glad to be rid of that medication. The decision to fight for myself was a powerful feeling and after being so defeated, I was stoked!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anneli! It already has. 🙂 My eye is on the prize of being able to do everything I love, pain-free. Looking back, I didn’t dance very long at a wedding this summer since my knee bothered me. Soon I’ll be dancing again!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That is the way to make your day count! Moving forward is always good – you are a BAD ASS HERO – keep your eye on the prize. Thank you for providing the kick my butt needed today. Have a wonderful week and don’t hit anyone with your cane. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Clay!
      It’s easy to fall into the funk. I’m glad this picked you up!
      So funny. When I retrieved my (I think it’s knotty alder) cane from my hall tree (it has served as decor for years) I shook it at Danny and said, “Get off my lawn!”

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  7. I thought Sharon was doing well with her recovery from her hip replacement, but after a month, she still has to go up and down steps gingerly, one step at a time. Glad you’re doing so well, Susie.

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    • Thanks David! Give Sharon a hug for me.
      Today I didn’t even realize I was walking up the steps normally and without hanging onto the handrail until I was up four of them! Some days I take baby steps and others I leap!

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    • Awww! Thanks Sons of Thunder! I’m amazed at my improvement after deciding to fight for myself. It’s all in the attitude! PT just stopped by and I no longer need a cane for walking indoors. Woohoo!

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  8. That’s awesome, Susie! So much is about your outlook, and if it’s positive you’ve won half the battle! Yes, be your own hero. I love that. We all need to be so strong. Good luck on your recovery. You can do it!

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    • Thanks so much Amy!
      Full speed ahead! Believe it or not, my PT came out today and told me I didn’t need my cane indoors anymore and prescribed 20 minutes of bicycling! Two weeks after surgery and I’m on my way. A positive perspective is everything! 🙂

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  9. When you get back on the bike, lose the freaking toe clips. Badass heroes do NOT use toe clips.

    That said — don’t get in a hurry and hurt yourself again. This is a man who blew his knee out again two months after surgery….

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    • Noooooooooo! How did you do that?
      I will be careful and will do everything as instructed. I will spin on my exercise bike 20 minutes tomorrow as per PT. Don’t worry. I won’t fall over while in the toe clips. 🙂

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      • The original knee injury was a hyperextension while playing racquetball. Surgery was three weeks after the injury, after the swelling subsided, cartilage repair with a ligament tear untouched (my choice — I didn’t want to wait through a year of therapy). Two months later, the doctor released me to light activity. The night of my release, I played a league basketball game and blew the knee out again. This time I just let it heal, walked on it injured.

        Oh, don’t worry about the toe clips. I just think they are nerdy. I am a clipless snob.

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    • Thanks so much for all your support Patricia.
      I totally agree. I am doing EVERYTHING I am told and am working hard. Today my PT said I didn’t need the cane indoors anymore. Woohoo! She prescribed 20 minutes on my exercise bike tomorrow. Maybe I’ll break my first sweat! Another month and watch out for this Wild Rider… 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Lisa! The funk is gone for good. I am cruisin’ now. PT went spectacularly today and I don’t need the cane indoors. Woohoo! I walked up the stairs after working out on my exercise bike and forgot to grip the railing. I even walked down the stairs today. I never realized how much knee flexion we use. Baby steps every day!
      Roxy is right by my side here in bed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic, Susie! Your attitude is an inspiration.

    Those first few days, it’s easy to be a bit whiney, especially when there are setbacks. But is it whiney if you have good cause? Sometimes, it’s just stating the facts. And aren’t those bruises something? Thanks so much for your post. It makes it a little easier going through something so similar at the same time.

    Keep up that Wild Ride. 🙂

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    • Thanks Piper! I found out the Oxy definitely was to blame for the slump. I wasn’t whining as much as having crying jags mimicking real depression for a couple days. It’s over! Banished for good. I’ll never use that drug again. I had to snap out of it!

      You will be amazed at how fast you will improve after those first 10 days. I’m off the cane while indoors and am supposed to spin for 20 minutes on the bike tomorrow. I could hardly move the pedals last Thursday and it’s only Monday!

      Hang in there girlfriend. Once you turn the corner all that hard PT work will start paying off. Keep icing and move once an hour! Remember to point and flex!

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  11. I’m in a pretty deep funk right now because I’m home computer-less. Yeah, my ancient MacBook bought its rainbow. But when I consider what you’re going through right now, I know I have it easy. I hope you make a full recovery soon.

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    • Thanks V! It was a weird couple of days. You know how optimistic I am. It was as if my brain was taken over by aliens! It’s all good and I’m more mobile every day. I even set up a date to meet my son for breakfast on Friday! Woohoo!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on finding your inspiration to be more awesome! I feel like I have been pulling myself out of a funk on a regular basis in the last six months. While I’m an optimist by nature, there’s something about packing up your family and moving 4,500 km away from home to Canada’s Northwest Territories that brings on regular bouts of homesickness and guilt. And yet, they don’t usually last very long. I pick myself up by remembering why I moved, which was to find a life where I could spend more time with my family while growing my writing career. I have already seen significant improvements in both in just three short months. Thinking of this helps me get out of the lowest of lows.

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    • That is so great! Moving is extremely stressful. Just learning where all the light switches are in the dark, takes time. We can reprogram our brains with conscious positive thinking while making the choice to be happy. It takes perseverance, but it’s worth it!

      I found out it was the Oxy that placed me in my funk. I bet that’s why people get addicted. If I had taken a pill, the fog would have lifted. Good thing I got rid of the pills! I never want to take them again!
      Thanks so much N!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the reply! Having to be on such strong medication must have been tough! I insisted on getting through the pain of my two planned c-sections on Tylenol and Advil alone. Then again, even though they were major surgeries, I completely understand there are many procedures that are much more painful. Good luck with your continued recovery!

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    • You are so sweet! Thanks so much.
      I know I’ll be glad I did it. I suffered silently for years after skiing or playing tennis. I didn’t even dance very much in the last year. I look forward to being pain-free! Woohoo!

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    • Thanks Peg!!! That person I became for a few days was the polar opposite of me. She is banished for good! I’ll never take Oxy again.
      I think I’ll be fine as long as I keep doing everything they tell me. My PT said I was the most compliant patient she’d ever had! (It must be the good Catholic girl in me. 🙂 ) I don’t want to push and be up all night.

      I’m driving to PT today all by myself. WOOHOO!

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    • RIGHT???? I’m so glad to be over that. I didn’t recognize myself. My nurse who took out my staples said Oxy caused the funk.
      My in home PT was amazing. She has me riding 20 minutes on the exercise bike! I will be driving to my first Out-patient PT appt. today. I wonder what she’ll think!
      Thanks so much Widdershins! We are both so badass!!!

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  13. I was down and out with a terrible cold this past week. And, when I’m sick, that’s when all those feelings of self-doubt come seeping in and making themselves at home. So, not only did I feel horrible physically, but emotionally too. I did pull myself out of my funk — by writing. It works every time! That, and snuggling with my son during a movie. Can’t get much better than that.

    Keep up the good work!

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    • That works for me too! It’s the best therapy around. I hope you’re feeling better.

      I found out the Oxy was the cause for those three dark days. Now I know what it’s like to truly feel depression. Thank God it was just drug induced and I could snap myself out of it. It feels great to be happy and hopeful again!

      Thanks Kate!

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  14. Good you’re getting better.
    I’m badass lucky: I had a head injury when another cyclist crashed into me while I was cycling on a bike path…on New Year’s Day. So just walking around now before returning to bike which won’t be for another few months.

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  15. I call it “Discovering My Strong” since I am going on over 2 years in the recovery and rehabilitation process with my injury. I had that aha moment when I was down on myself and in pain – I had to fight back and so glad I did! It feels great to find my inner warrior – badass sounds better though – ha 🙂 Wishing You the BEST – Good Luck – Take Care xoxo

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  16. Sorry to hear you had to have the surgery, but I admire your determination. It’s frustrating when our bodies don’t do what we want them to do. Hopefully things are healed up for you now.

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