“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Key
All days are not created equal.
I knew this day would be different the moment the surgeon autographed my knee with a sharpie.
It was time to get a new ACL.
There is an incredible SIMPLICITY to surgery day.
The present moment is all that matters.
Getting ACL surgery brought me back to 3 basic truths.
Preparation is King
Knee surgery requires the same planning as an incoming blizzard.
Food is bought in advance. Commitments are put on hold.
All the ACL gear I collected had to get packed up and brought to the hospital:
- Full knee brace
- Breg Polar Cube
At the hospital, 4 different people asked me to confirm my name and what type of surgery I was getting.
The OR prep room was an odd mix of orthopedic & plastic surgery patients waiting to get wheeled back.
ACL’s clashed with cheek implants.
This would not be an ideal time for a chart mix up.
I was there for a new ACL.
I did NOT want to wake up looking like Joan Rivers.
Trust the Process
A physician friend told me, “Do NOT YouTube the procedure. You have a great surgeon. Trust the process.”
“Orthopedic surgery is still all about power tools: drills & saws.”
Worrying solves nothing. Anxiety is wasted energy.
My focus was to:
- Clear my mind
- TRUST the process
- Stay Positive
This attitude served me well when it was game time.
I was wheeled down a hallway, into the operating room.
The scene looked like an alien abduction.
Picture being captured and brought to the mother ship.
- You are lying on a table.
- Bright lights, beaming at you.
- Masked strangers hover over you wearing gloves and goggles.
- Loss of consciousness.
I may have become an honorary member of the Grateful Dead that day.
There were enough narcotics injected into me to buzz the cast of Breaking Bad.
My anesthesiologist had to be a LA Lakers fan.
I was waiting for her to say, “Count to 10…”.
But she did the no look, behind the back, Magic Johnson sedation.
The next thing I know, I’m in another room with a nurse telling me, “Wake up, it’s all over.”
When I woke up, my knee looked like it was about to be shipped to China.
It was stitched, wrapped, braced, iced, & elevated. Wow.
It had everything but a FedEx tracking number.
Surgery (like life) has risks.
You have to be prepared to run past fear & doubt.
Sometimes you have to take a leap of FAITH.
You have to trust your surgeon, the process & your ability to recover.
How will my rehab go?
But preparation, trust, & faith are great places to start.
Being afraid is AVERAGE.
Taking a leap of faith is REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone