Friday, December 30, 2011

Definitely WILL

"We acquire the strength we have overcome." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Girls in the wheelchair ready for me to use!
It has been 11 days since both of my knees were operated to become "bionic".  While I know that in due time they will feel much better, I truly DO believe and understand that, I recently had a few days of "Pity Party Table of One".  The nerves of the surgery not "working", frustrations of not being able to rotate my feet and knees comfortably, angst of pain while sleeping, and the lack of endorphin rush I get from exercising were starting to wear on me.  BUT I am blown away with how great I have felt too!  The first day I could walk...yes I used the walker, but I was able to walk a bit and hold myself up on both legs. Both of my knees were operated on...that felt wild.  The nurse said in her 9.5 years working at the surgery center, she only had one other patient have double knee surgery.  To compare he wasn't able to walk on both legs for a while.  I thought for sure the girls would be pushing me in the wheelchair, as they were to eager to call me their "old mama".

The first week I had meds in me...lots and lots of meds.  I was a good patient, taking them every 4 hours as prescribed.  I "signed" an agreement with my orthopedic surgeon that I would listen to my body and not do much.  I iced every 90 minutes for 60 minutes, and still am icing, A LOT!  The icing is good since it makes me sit down and "chill" pun intended.  I hadn't felt the urge to push it and exercise; I was overly focused on being a good patient and having a strong recovery.  This is a surgery that affects not only my knees for doing competitive sports; but my livelihood being a personal trainer and fitness business owner, my anxiety through healthy stress release in exercise and my ability to partake in many of our fun family active adventures. While it seems frustrating, I know it is temporary. It is interesting though, I had friends and family asking daily how I was holding on.  They know me way to well and have been phenomenal!  They were supportive and kind, curious if I was jonesing yet to take off and "go".  I felt ok until Christmas Eve.

Emerson riding to help pass out bread- She "Believes"

Day 6 had me eager to move and get out of our house.  We walked to Pappo to help at the Christmas Eve soup kitchen.  The girls rode their bikes and I was able to walk holding onto E's bike's handle bars.  We had planned on helping out for a long while and knowing it was only 1 mile to Park Street, I thought I'd be ok.  It felt SO GOOD to be out and helping other people.  TO help those in need and give them a smile. I may have been hobbling a bit from table to table, but the girls enjoyed it and knew they were fortunate.  While I may have been healing from my surgeries, I knew that we healed from being supported by family through jobloss related relocation or Makenzie's long term hospitalization last year.  Those we were helping aren't so fortunate and many, the girls found out, don't have families to love them. Yes it hurt when I got bopped while turning to pass a plate, or squeezing by a family to sit down.  But the message of how blessed we are was needed by all of us.
Icing in the office at Pappo- small price to help others 12.24.11

After Pappo my knees were a bit sore so I pulled back my walking. Christmas was full of fun, presents, painting and enjoying family.  I stopped the intense pain meds since they were to much on my system. Thus I enjoyed some needed wine.  Dad's wine tasting was much more appreciated because yes, it did help with some of the pain. We celebrated how far we have come and grateful we all are for the little things, with my brother, Tyler, throwing in some funny and lame comments of course, but  reinforcing again that the double knee surgery is temporary.

Day 10- feeling pain.  My post - op appointment was  rescheduled by Dr. Z on account of jury duty and is now scheduled for January 4th.  The eagerness to move has started to grow. Reading all the Facebook posts by my peer personal trainers to their clients, mapping out my own goals for my clients and the desire to focus on New GOALS for 2012 has started the bubbling to burst even bigger in my belly to train hard.  And yes, I do have a little belly now from not exercising for 11 days over the Holidays. Your body can shift, remember that peeps!  Use it or lose it!  This little tummy is temporary too, I do know, but the excitement for training has me excited and nervous.  Thus...the words Definitely and Will.  

The wise bicycling Makenzie- Age 7.5   Dec. 29, 2011
Yesterday on Day 10 we walked to the park with the girls. They rode their new bikes and for me, upon going to the park for the first time in 11 days, I felt a bit nervous.  I have felt stronger walking each day, but what about uneven bark chips. How would I hold up?  The imbalance was surprisingly ok, but I forgot I would have to say, "No I can't yet girls".  No to tag, no to monkey bars, no to pushing E on the swings, no to dinosaur tag.  So Makenzie asked me to try and do some push ups on the raised portion of the play structure.   Yes, she is my daughter and learned well.  I did. I started with 20... damn it felt good.  I did another 20 and then followed with 3 sets of 25.  I felt on top of the world and then....I felt my patellas from the pressure.  I had tried push ups a few days prior using our elevated steps to place my hands and relieve the body weight pressure.  It was too intense and painful on my knee caps.  But it was a positive physical step.  I looked over at Jack and started silently crying.  He was running, chasing a squeeling Emerson, and my heart felt heavy.  The thought of, "What if I did this surgery and it didn't work" passed through my head.  Since I was quiet I thought Makenzie didn't notice, but she did.

Makenzie's serious COACH face. "Definitely WILL"
Makenzie came over, looked at me straight in the face and pulled me to her chest in a tight hug. She released me and asked, " Mom, what is the matter?  Are you ok?". I said, "I am watching your Daddy run with Emerson and I hope I will be fast at running again. I hope that my surgery took and I will be faster at running and can race with you and your sister when you are older. I really hope so.".  Makenzie immediately grabbed my cheeks, and looked me straight in the eyes again.  She said:

" Mom, YOU know better than that. 
You replace Hope with Definite 
and So with WILL. 
There is NO HOPE SO. 

More tears now streaming down my cheeks and I smiled saying, "Makenzie, did I teach that to you? If so, you listened and great job on your timing, kid.". She responded, "No Mom, it's all from up here (pointing to her brain). But you can use it if you want since it's true." Ah, Makenzie,  what a wise soul. I feel so grateful she was a miracle blessed to my life. 

NOW, for all of you wishing to make goals for 2012 happen, think of a wise 7.5 year old. Don't ever say: HOPE and SO.  But you say, "I DEFINITELY WILL!".  

Much love and many goals and challenges to overcome to make us stronger in the New Year~ 

Erin Kreitz Shirey

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I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey