It has been so Long since my last post it feels strange to be typing in my once-familiar space. To say I have missed blogging is an understatement. I also have a duty to my readers to explain Why I have been missing in action for so Long. So here goes..
February 5 – The Day It All Began
I was getting acquainted with my Dancer self over the past month thanks to the #donthatetheshake movement on Instagram – it encourages people of all appearances to just shake it off and have some fun to the music. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 videos and I was in the midst of making my 3rd one – to a Bollywood song no less – when a sudden pop sounded in my left knee.
It was rather alarming because it felt as if my bones had given way. Attempting to stand on that leg again was not possible. I had NO idea what this was – a sprain or was it a fracture? The pain was intense however so I was wheeled into an ambulance to the. nearest hospital. Many hours later, my attending doctor in the Emergency dept proclaimed it was nothing to worry about; there was no fracture to speak of and he set an MRI for the end of the month to confirm everything was A-ok.
My Father and Sister rushed to the hospital to see what was going on. They refused to let me head back to my place and stay unaided with 5 pets in tow while the hubs was at work. I relented. That night was spent in immense discomfort and worry; with my Sister asleep by my side aware that I was unable to sleep. I spoke to my Father in the morning and explained my anxiety – this did not feel like a one-off knee sprain. I have endured plenty of physical pain thanks to past injuries to know what could be classified as a major problem. This, was major. So off I went a day later to see my mother’s orthopaedic surgeon who sent me off to an MRI a day later. That Saturday he delivered me the news I expected to hear – a ligament called the ACL was completely ruptured, the knee meniscus was in disarray and my bones were pretty bruised from the injury.
Coming to Terms
While I was expectant of this news, I was hoping with all my heart that this would not mean I would have to undergo surgery. I had never been afraid of surgery Until the horror that was my orthopaedic surgeon in Melbourne when I injured my right foot. Hearing her bark into my face at how I was done for and would never walk again made me burst into tears and I fought against the anaesthetia. Woke up 6 hrs after surgery bawling from the memory of what the doctor had said and had a full-on panic attack that fuelled an asthma attack.
While I was perfectly aware the circumstances were completely different this time, I was scarred from the 2004 experience. So from the first week of February until the surgery date, I struggled to manage my nerves. I would do my best to coax myself Everyday, then freak out at bed time and burst into tears for hours.
The unique thing with this particular injury is, you are expected to be walking unaided and have a strong knee before surgery. So while surgery was of immediate importance, my surgeon needed me to work hard at physio for a month until surgery.
With already wonky left and right feet, sciatica..It wasn’t easy but I know I did my best. Even if it was not the best my surgeon was expecting. I worked Hard at the stretches I was taught – I did them by the hour. I was focused and determined to achieve a strong enough knee to prepare it for a pretty painful surgery.
Surgery Day. All that crying for weeks and then poof! I was calmer than I had ever been that day, as if my being was keeping me protected. My surgeons were very mindful for my fear of an asthma flare up and adjusted the GA accordingly. Next thing I knew, I was being woken up gently and with the nerve block (massive painkiller) still in my system I sat up that hospital bed wheeled out to my room smiling (I cannot imagine how hilarious I must have looked!) at my family members who were there to see me.
Oh but the post-op pain hit hard, fast. Doc was not kidding about the pain. That first week after post-op as someone with a pretty cool pain threshold, I was not a nice person to be around. I hate it when immense pain turns you into a jerk; it is so not in my nature to be mean when I’m in distress. So you can imagine how bad it must have been then. Anything hurt. Sleeping hurt. Sitting hurt. Bathing hurt so bad. Walking hurt.
I was in that pain fog for a week when it began to lift and I felt more like myself. During this time apart from my pets, I missed them so dearly..it was really hitting hard how much I missed my independence and my home. But god knows I could not have survived those months without my immediate family. Suresh would come by to visit after work daily, so my companion and constant helper was my Sister. She rose to the occasion. She knew how pained I was physically and emotionally. She would hear me crying from the other room and bless her heart she would send me sweet texts to stop me from crying.
Right now I type from my own bedroom with my dog lazing in bed with me. I have only just (like a few days ago just) made the transition back to living at my home. I manage rather well, making myself breakfast and going to the washroom unaided. The only time I require help is my daily shower or when I need to step out. So for the days that I have physio, I live with my folks the night before so my Sister can accompany me there.
Despite this sudden Shit storm of an injury, I count myself very very lucky. I have not had the most fantastic relationship with my immediate family but they really stepped up to help me out this entire time. I have this amazing Husband who keeps me calmer and makes me laugh. My friends and followers across social media have been so supportive through this process. It has opened my eyes up to the people who ‘think’ they care and to the people who actually do.
This was as concise as I could get with the details! There are other important issues surrounding the injury that I will get into now that I have Finally started writing. I Will be writing heaps more.
To those who stayed on – Thank You so much
…and on a rather superficial note: I’ve had a haircut! It’s more practical than for vanity but more of that in posts to come.
Sending you love and light,
Aarti Olivia Dubey xxxo