I'm going to get a new hip.
This is a good thing. I've been in incredible pain for the past two years as the cartilage in my hip has disintegrated and the bones have deteriorated. The pain has increased until walking is an Olympic event for me and lying in bed at night brings nothing but misery. Bone scrapes on bone as tiny cysts form and burst, bringing their own form of exquisite sensation.
This is a good thing. The pain will be relieved and there's a good chance I'll be able to walk without limping for the first time in a few years.
I've been told not to run. Running will decrease the lifetime of my hip replacement and increase my chances of dislocation.
My doctors say it's not a big deal. I can ride a bicycle or swim--infinitely superior forms of exercise anyway.
My doctors have never survived rape. They don't live daily with PTSD. They don't understand the psychological significance running has for me. I've mentioned it to a few people, but I've never written it here--because it's silly:
When I run, I feel powerful and in control. No one can hurt me. I'll just run away from them. I'm not particularly fast, but I can run for a long, long time. Eventually, whomever wants to hurt me will get tired and stop chasing me. Running will keep me safe.
Do I know that's untrue? Yes. Do I understand that if I was truly a target for someone who wished to hurt me, chances are, running wouldn't really help? Yes. I completely understand that. But still, in my heart, I believe running will keep me safe. And somehow, when I think in my head, "I'll just jump on my bike and get away, should someone try to harm me," or "I'll just find a pool and swim really, really fast and the person who wants to hurt me will stay away because...he doesn't want to get wet...yeah...that's it..." Those thoughts just don't have the same protective impact as the running away thought does.
My surgeon says I'll feel better when I have my new hip. He says things will go well and he's happy I'm healthy, young, strong--unusual for him when it comes to hip replacement patients. He also says I get to choose how long I keep this particular hip. It will have to be replaced again, as the life of it is between 20 and 30 years for a sedentary person, and about 15 years for a moderately active person. Surgeon judges me to be more than moderately active, and suggests we shoot for at least 7-10 years on this particular hip. He says can't recommend running, but he knows some people do run on a hip replacement. He says I need to choose what activities will keep my quality of life optimal--but also says that if I choose to run, I shouldn't tell him about it.
I like my surgeon.
Getting my hip replaced is a good thing.
Tomorrow morning at 5 a.m., I will get in my car, drive three hours to the hospital, and by the afternoon, the procedure will be finished.
But today I keep crying about it. I'm the world's worst coward. I should be thinking of all the ways my life will be better--instead I'm thinking about how I really like my poor old hip and I'm sad that the surgeon is going to cut out my bones and take them away from me. I should be looking forward to less pain--but I'm thinking about the difficulty of physical therapy and remembering that I'm already tired and I don't want to do therapy again. I should be thinking about how, in a few weeks, I'll be able to sleep for more than an hour at a time at night--instead I'm worried about missing work because I'll be away from home for three days.
And did I mention that I'm kind of terrified about all this?
I need to stop being ridiculous.