I haven’t really felt afraid yet, and that’s because my surgery is 7 or 8 months away (exact date still TBD). It seems so distant that I can’t be afraid of it yet. I’ve read many blog accounts of PAO surgery and I think I know what to expect. Some people would rather go into a surgery without knowing the details; for me, it’s better to know and get used to the idea of it than to be surprised. I’m such a control freak and I’ll be handing over total control of my body and all its functions to the anesthesiologist and surgeon for 5 to 7 hours, followed by weeks of dependence on others to take care of my most basic needs. But this is not my biggest fear.
I also fear doctors and needles. Even drawing blood from me is a major event. I have bad veins and a “simple” blood draw really hurts me. I have to get past this fear since there will be needles and tubes and drains and catheters and I don’t even know what other things attached to all parts of my body before and during surgery. But this is not my biggest fear.
I’m afraid of losing my abilities. Walking, skating, stretching, working in the garden. I stuck the skating in there casually as if it’s not too important, but who am I kidding. I have worked so hard on it the past many years that, to lose it all and never get it back would be a shame, a waste, something to cry about. Because of my hip issues, skating has been twice as hard for me as it would be for a “normal” person. Ice dancing is all about turnout. Those of you with turnout don’t know this … because you just think what you can do is the norm, and among skaters that is generally true. For those of us without it, everything is a struggle, even simple inside to inside Mohawks, about which I’ve said for years, “I can feel my hip grinding when I do this.” Doing the “simple” swing dance mohawk hurts like hell for me and it takes all my power of concentration to do that turn. That’s my version of “normal.” I stopped asking coaches about why it hurt and what I was doing wrong a long time ago and just did it, feeling and hearing the grinding at the same time as I forced my ankle to fake turning out my leg on the exit. A big smile usually hid the fact that my knee and hip were really turned in even though my toe was pointing out.
Tim and I are still skating and improving as a team. We’ve had a couple of great practices recently. I don’t even want to imagine him having to find another partner if I can’t get back to my current level of skating. I am terrified of that.