Changes and Uncertainties

Life is filled with changes and uncertainties. 

Several readers have emailed to ask if something happened that made me abandon the postworksavvy blog. They noticed that my irregular posting schedule came almost to a full stop! The blog isn’t abandoned; however, there’s been unanticipated changes in my life leaving little time nor inclination to write blog posts.

Through the past eight months, I supported my husband during an intensive series of chemotherapy treatments.  There’s excellent news about his health on the cancer front. PET scans indicate remission and with intermittent ‘maintenance’ chemo for the next two years, the remission may continue for a few years.

Another health challenge was mine and it involved another hip replacement.  People who know me well remember that I had my left hip replaced in 2010. I postponed surgery on the right hip three times in the past months but, knew that denial would not keep the effects of osteoarthritis at bay nor promote cartilage re-growth in the hip joint.

Two weeks ago I mustered every ounce of courage and had the surgery.  I was at the hospital at 6:00 am, in the OR by 8:00 am and home by 5:00 pm! Who ever expected hip replacement as day surgery?

Coming home was the right decision as I have experienced only moderate discomfort. I’ve hired good in-home support for personal care and physiotherapy. Unfortunately, I can’t drive or dance for the next six weeks (at least)!

Resisting Change

black and white wall mounted paper
Changes and Uncertainties — photo courtesy of Markus Spiske on UnsplashResisting Change

It’s normal to resist change especially if a change causes a loss of control.

Some changes happen because of our choices.  We choose to move to a new house or a new city; we choose how we spend our time and where we go for vacations; we choose our friends.

Changes of our choosing involve adaptations but are usually easier than unanticipated changes.

But, sometimes unwanted changes happen.  These are unwelcome and unplanned so it’s normal to resist such changes.  For example, instead of deciding to retire, the decision might be forced by a business closure. Instead of a lovely vacation in a beautiful resort, storms disrupt most planned beach days. Instead of continuing good health a cancer diagnosis recasts plans.

Unwanted changes threaten our sense of control and we fight against them.

I resisted the hip replacement by pushing myself to keep walking and exercising while ignoring the pain. I had cortisone shots with some relief.  In the past few months, I realized that I was fighting the inevitable.

Dealing with Uncertainty

Uncertainty often accompanies changes and creates anxiety.  It’s easy to worry and imagine the worst possible result. 

Any major surgery must be faced with some level of uncertainty. The orthopedic surgeon fully explained the risks before scheduling the surgery. He also explained the percentages of various risks occurring. I listened carefully and, believe me, I did imagine the worst! 

Every risk created uncertainty about the outcome before my silly brain remembered how much better I felt after my previous hip replacement. Recovery took time, but eventually, I was able to pursue most activities with no discomfort.

Since the recent surgery, I’m focused on managing pain levels, resting and coping with restrictions like not bending beyond 90 degrees, not crossing my legs or my ankles, and not twisting when standing.  Physio exercises are making me stronger although I must confess that on some days I struggle to feel progress. 

It’s difficult to maintain a sense of agency when facing health challenges. Staying optimistic and hopeful got my husband through months of chemo.  I’m taking a lesson from his positive outlook by recognizing that lives must always change — and with change comes uncertainty.  Our task is to make the best of it!

Thanks for reading my post.  Stay tuned as I will continue writing blog posts — although my schedule of posting will remain somewhat infrequent!



18 Replies to “Changes and Uncertainties”

  1. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. It was a delight to read a blog post from you again, though you touched a few raw nerves at this end when you so accurately referred to both change and anxiety.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes. No matter how often we tell ourselves that change is part of life, it’s difficult to accept change without a degree of fear and anxiety. None of us are the people we used to be and life isn’t the same as it used to be. Perhaps we need to revel in how far we’ve come! Best, Jeanette

  2. Barbara allen says: Reply

    Great post if you need anything just give a call hugs barbara

    1. Hi Barb — so far we’re managing! I will call though as we need a long coffee and time to catch up!
      Stay strong!

  3. Jeanette, I loved your account and due to isolation I needed to hear your story and put my own into a more psoitive pperspective. Retirment, moving from USAS to Canada, covid and knee replacement have had a similiar impact on me, my persoective and my enthusiasm. Today I trust I am OK where I learn of your challenges. Bravo for your endurance and for moddeling it for the rest of us.

    1. Hi Cathy — speaking of modelling, you are the best! Sometimes we don’t know how much strength we can muster until some big change or adversity comes. Keep well!

  4. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery. Looking forward to your update. Sending healing hugs.

    1. Hi Elaine, I’m sure you remember me hobbling into the yoga studio with my cane after the first hip replacement! I look forward to healing sufficiently to get an ‘all-clear’ to get back into some gentle exercise!
      Hugs right back to you and my other yoga buddies!

  5. Wishing you a steady, healthful hip recovery Jeanette!
    I have decided to hang up my knee brace alongside my hopes of avoiding surgery…will be having my second TKR in January. I am also uncertain about outcome…perhaps I would be more comfortable with the devil I know? Que sera sera!
    Such good news to hear for Rudy! Rock on!
    Cheers, Carol

    1. Hi Carol, You can’t imagine how many times I considered living with the ‘devil I know!’ I had to remind myself of how fortunate we are for the medical system that keeps us going.
      It’s tempting to try to avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of orthopedic surgery but at some point, your body makes the decision for you! Best to you and Mick!

  6. Wishing you & your husband many more years of good health & an easy recovery for you. All the best,
    Sue Klein Smith

    1. Thanks Sue. Learning to accept help is one of my recovery challenges. It’s difficult to sit in my chair and wait for someone to bring a cup of tea! Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Carmen Howison says: Reply

    Very encouraging news for you and your husband. Bravo for your courage and strength. Your words about change in our lives resonate very well with my circunstances and I truly value your wisdom. All the best!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Carm. On some days I don’t feel particularly courageous or strong! I remind myself that life changes happen to everyone. It’s how we handle the change that counts!

  8. I am glad to see a post from you again. I am glad your husband’s health has a positive outlook, and I am glad your hip is healing and will lead to less pain for you. I always enjoy reading your posts. When I don’t see posts from a blogger for awhile, I usually think he or she is just busy with life. And we all have bumps or challenges along the way. So please take care, and post when it feels right to you.

    1. I’m hoping for a more robust schedule of blog posts! Thanks for understanding that life gives those bumps and challenges that interfere with blogging. Your model of three regular posts every week is phenomenal! Keep it up as I read each post!

  9. Thinking about you! And hope for a speedy recovery. Glad you have good help at home. Book club isn’t the same without you!

    1. I miss our book club as we always have such fun! The laughter provides therapy for my soul. Keeping up with the reading has kept me busy over the last few months. I’m hoping to see you in January2023.

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