Its been exactly two weeks since my surgery and things are going A-Okay. I think its a good time to talk about how easy it can be to get discouraged during the first weeks post-surgery. For the most part, you can't do much.
Whether you had lower body surgery or upper body surgery (and I've had both), you can start feeling really discouraged about what you can and can't do. But what you come to realize is how easy it is to adjust to a new way of life. You learn how you operate and do the normal tasks at home.
But the big one, how do you know what you can and can't do when you work out?
For the most part, you will be on a strict plan by your surgeon and/or physical therapist. This is not to be taken lightly, at any time during rehab.
Just... NO. Do not mess with plan that is set out for you and start doing things because you think you're too tough for your body to heal. OMG STOP. The biggest mistake I have seen athletes make over and over is when they try to come back faster than is originally suggested. And it never turns out pretty.
Just the other night, I had a stranger give me advice that they wish they didn't push it and go back to sport or normal life too soon because they ended up having the surgery re-done once they re-injured it. THAT would be my worst nightmare. As an athlete on my third surgery, I have never had complications once I came back to sport – which unfortunatley is not always the norm.
Its okay to be humbled by a big injury and by major surgery. It is what now requires all your focus and dedication. When it comes to working out post surgery, you need to have realistic expectations. Your job now is to creatively find the ways to maximize what you can do, without emphasizing or criticizing yourself for what you can't do.
It is often the athlete's sentiment to want to prove that they are stronger and tougher than their injuries. I say no, let it humble you. Realize that you are in this situation now, and you have to do the right things, not the things you think are tough. The things you can do, do them with enthusiasm and with a focus of excitement!
Tell me about your injuries, current or past!