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)!
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!