After every surgery, a day dawns when the reality of the long road ahead truly penetrates my consciousness. Events conspired to anoint today my 'reality day' for this surgery. On my morning walk, even the view of the mountains looked gloomy. But, I reminded myself that I was extraordinarily lucky to be capable of walking to a mountain viewpoint.
The first event that contributed to my dark mood was that the long weekend was over, so I was on my own except for my lovable furry companions. What would I do without them?
Since my surgery, I've had the luxury of family and friends popping in frequently, keeping my mind occupied with fun things. Today, I'm on my own so I need to generate a serene and happy spirit by myself. An upside to the relative solitude is that I'm taking more naps, something that I sorely need. So, there's a good side to everything if I look at it from the right angle.
A second contributor to my less cheery mood was that, for some inane reason that even I can't fathom right now, I decided that I could cut back on my pain meds today. It would be an understatement to say that I wasn't prepared for the avalanche of pain that greeted that decision. Unfortunately, pain tends to be tenacious once it takes hold so returning to yesterday's dosage hasn't made a dent in the pain. I've learned my lesson, and each lesson learned is like a glimmer of sunshine through the dark skies.
The final straw was that I caught a glimpse of a mountain biker zooming by on my road. The sight literally stabbed me in the heart. I desperately wished that I was on a bike, flying free. But, to look on the bright side, I'm lucky that I'm allowed to ride a recumbent stationary bike to keep my heart and legs prepared for the day when I can ride a bike outdoors.
Alas, I know from past experience that I just have to slog through this phase until I'm able to focus on the glimmer of hope far away on the horizon.
I took a number of short walks on our snow-packed trails today. I have to be super careful not to fall during the recovery period. To enhance traction on the slippery trails, I have 'screw boots', a pair of Sorels with sheet metal screws drilled into their treads. They work as well as commercial traction devices, and they don't wear out or fall off.
On our first walk of the morning, K and I intersected the elk herd, who were just about to cross 'our' meadow. This herd frequently encounters people and dogs hiking the trails so they simply retreated into the trees, watched us hike almost out of sight, and then resumed their trek.
At instants like the one when K spotted the herd, I'm glad that I spent innumerable hours training her to walk politely on a leash. She watched them with interest but didn't yank on me, which would have been a disaster for my neck. Normally, K is off-leash (and doesn't chase elk even then) but her surgery recovery requires leash-walking for 2 weeks.
On a later walk, R joined us, and he was a model citizen. He romped off-leash but stayed close and responded to every cue. I can't call him as loudly as usual because of the swelling around my throat but he heeded the softest call! Both K and I were jealous of his romping as we plodded along the trails.
Tomorrow will be another, perhaps brighter day. I'm lucky to have wild forest surrounding my house so that I can sample a modicum of nature each day while I do my rehabilitation walks. That makes all the difference to my spirit.
And, the support of my blogging buddies keeps me smiling!