“Believing is half the cure.” – Toba Beta
It was 3 days after ACL surgery.
I’m on crutches, limping down my driveway.
My neighbor yelled at me.
“No way you’re still 100% Italian. Zero chance that guy was a paisan.”
Wow! Great to see you too. I’m fine, thanks for asking.
Sarcastic neighbors aside, the dust was starting to settle.
The grind was about to begin.
The week after ACL surgery feels like a year long.
It begins with a bumpy, semi-conscious ride home from the hospital.
It’s rare that I get into a car and think, “Not enough leg room in here”.
But any ACL patient will tell you that you have to pull out your best Cirque Du Soleil move to get into the backseat post-surgery.
Your leg is numb, swollen, & immobilized.
You bounce around in the back seat like you were just tasered.
Back home you get planted on your sofa, mobile as a fire hydrant.
Nothing left to do but lie there with a nasty headache as the anesthesia wears off.
The Body Follows the Mind
The RECOVERY process is more mental than physical.
Your recovery begins when you BELIEVE it does.
The week after surgery:
- You can’t move the way you want.
- Getting comfortable is impossible.
- You get tired fast.
It’s easy to get frustrated. Your attitude gets tested.
I made a choice to stay away from all things negative.
- No negative people.
- No local news.
- No depressing movies or TV.
In 1956, Earl Nightingale wrote, “You become what you think about.”
This idea is as true today as the day it was written.
As soon as I believed I was healing, so did my body.
I couldn’t believe when my surgeon told me to report to physical therapy (PT) 3 days after surgery.
The thought of bending my knee scared me.
It seems counter intuitive, but being inactive sets back your recovery.
A PT friend told me, “Get a good night’s sleep, then get moving.”
Plato wrote, “Lack of activity destroys the human condition, while movement preserves it.”
Movement builds upon itself.
Nutrition is Everything
The day before surgery we took a page out of Hippocrates playbook and, “Let food be thy medicine.”
We did a Whole Foods’ run and stocked up on fruits & vegetables.
Healthy eating is a HUGE strategic advantage.
I am convinced that a healthy diet sped up my recovery.
By the end of the 1st week, the pain meds and crutches were history.
Sometimes the smallest victories are the sweetest.
Feeling down and out is AVERAGE.
Believing things are getting better feels REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone