This post comes with a content warning for a medical discussion.
I haven’t talked publicly about this before, but I was actually supposed to have surgery today. There is something wrong with my body that I need to get repaired, but I can’t right now because hospitals are currently dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
When my surgery was scheduled, I was really scared. I’ve never had surgery before and the prospect of recovery – of halting my exercise schedule while my body heals – was not appealing. Six weeks! Ugh.
But now it’s gone. I missed my chance. The hospital cancelled all non-emergency surgeries several weeks ago. Makes sense.
And I realized something.
At some point, the surgery shifted from being something I was afraid of to being something that I was looking forward to.
Smash cut to: me over this past weekend. The problem with my body suddenly got worse. Monday: I call the doctor and learn that I’ll have to stop running for a while. I won’t be able to lift weights, either. Until after my surgery and my recovery. That sucks. I imagine that it’ll take at least a few months for the world to stop ending, and then at least another few months to reschedule my surgery, and then yet another two months of recovery.
I was really looking forward to having an active summer – my first active summer – but that’s not going to happen now. I’ll be lucky to run again by November.
In my last post, I talked about how injury management is a big part of training. So intellectually, I understand that this is kind of just part of the process. My frustration is that I was using running as a way to cope with the world – and I’ll have to find another constructive way to cope now. And I’m not really sure what I’m going to do.
What I will do is to remember that everyone is struggling right now. To remember that my health problems aren’t life-threatening and that my primary job right now is to keep them that way. To celebrate and maintain the gains I’ve made, without putting strain on my body.
I can’t run or lift weights, but I can still walk. I can do some limited upper-body exercises. Maybe I’ll take up some low-impact exercise like yoga. And crucially, I’ll keep up my healthy diet.
This is a really challenging time, for everyone. My challenges are unique to me, but everyone is struggling. And in a weird way, the fact that we’re suffering together is oddly comforting. I hope you’re all doing okay out there, please take care of yourselves.