Social Media and Medical Decisions: The Aftermath

karen putz after surgery

I'm sitting here on the couch with my leg hooked up to an ice machine that is running cold water through an ice pack wrapped around my knee.  The ice pack is tucked under a brace that runs from mid-thigh down to the ankle.  On Monday, I opted for surgery on my torn ACL, the result of using social media to make a medical decision.  It turned out to be a good decision.  The MRI showed what initially was thought to be a partial tear; it turned out to be a complete tear.

The first day of recovery was a piece of cake. Pain? What pain? The nerve block that the anesthesiologist injected was doing its job. "The block can last anywhere from three to thirty hours,"  said the discharge papers.  When that block wore off yesterday-- holy moly!  My knee felt like a train wreck.  The pain meds that the doctor prescribed didn't do much other than make me sleepy.  And grumpy.  I woke up with a headache after taking them.

Day two,  post surgery lead to this Facebook status:  "It's official. I'm declaring the pain of ACL reconstruction up there with giving birth (and I gave birth at home.) So all you men who've gone through it, you can rejoice in the equivalent of giving birth."

Day three, post surgery lead to more grumpiness upon waking up.  I wallowed in it for a while, and ended up grumpier than ever.  It's like a little snowball that starts at the top of the hill, one little shove downhill and suddenly, you have a monster on your hands.  So you have to go back up the hill and create a brand new snowball.  And that's what I did.  One thing that always works is to think of five things that I'm grateful for.  There's no way to stay grumpy after you think about what's good in life.

And because social media worked so well for making medical decisions, I decided to put that to work toward the grumpiness.  I asked for some quotes to "pick me up," and sure enough, they came rolling in:

‎"The great battles of life are fought between the ears and on no other field of combat."   - Dr. George R. Tiller

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”  --Stephen R. Covey

‎"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." —Beverly Sills.

"This too, shall pass."




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