If I were to describe myself, one characteristic comes to mind: I’m happy-go-lucky. I’m a positive person with my glass half full. I prefer to have fun, be spontaneous, and laugh. I have always been proud of my maiden name, Freuen, which in the German language is a reflexive verb meaning “to be happy!” My mom told me once, when I had grown-up, that she worried about me as a young woman because of my go-for-it attitude. She was right to worry; I have many a story to depict my shenanigans–and they didn’t end once I “grew up!”
Another characteristic to describe me would be my fierce independence. I don’t ask for much help, and not many people really, really know me. I prefer the airy fairy, happy smiling version of myself. I’m also confident–obviously; I’m writing and posting myself all over the Internet. I’m no Kardashian by any means, but I do have pics floating around these interwebs of me in my swimsuit. What what!? Crazy I know! However, just because I appear confident does not mean I don’t have insecurities, but I’ll save that for another post. Today, I’m talking about something else….
The two characteristics mentioned above have kept me tight lipped about something–something major. I’ve been in pain, big time pain, for a while now. I don’t mention it much, but I’m beginning to. Basically, I don’t like to cause anyone trouble, and I don’t want to ever sound like a whiner. That’s why I’m always so upbeat here on this blog, and that’s why in person not many people have known what I’ve been going through. I can’t quite figure out why I’m divulging now, but it could have to do with not wanting to keep up appearances any longer. I can’t. I just can’t do it anymore.
This by no means is an indication that I won’t be posting all my stylish attempts, posting selfies, posting my favorite lipsticks, and posting pics of more and more of the tennis shoes I’m buying to replace my heels. But, there’s going to be a shift in how I write here. I want to write more honestly. If I have an opinion–even if it’s negative, I plan to start sharing it. If I lose a follower or two, so be it. I’ve had some serious struggles, and I really can’t keep them to myself any longer.
I’ll start with the most recent update that can’t be avoided. I replaced my right hip. It was so utterly painful I could not bare it any longer. The details of this past year from the initial hip operation on August 28, 2015, are so many, both before and after, but suffice it to say that by the middle of April of this last year, I finally had to seek help. I am not in any way embarrassed by this. In fact, I’ll most likely speak more about mental health. To start, if you feel depressed for any such reason, it is ok, and it is even more ok to go get help. The chronic pain I was experiencing was taking my mind, and luckily with guidance I was able to start thinking rationally again. It had been a while…
I still have a very long road of recovery ahead of me. This is it though–there is no other measure I can take now that my organic hip is gone. I am hopeful however, and I am fully motivated. I have amazing family support from my two kiddos and definitely from my super star husband. My employee has granted me the time off to recuperate, and I feel very lucky for this. But this is it: I have to make the most and best of my situation. Again, luckily with the positive attitude that permeates my life, I will make it through this.
How did I get here? Well, that’s the thing, we aren’t suppose to look back. But when you’re at the doc, he’ll want to know what you’ve done. All I was able to say was how active I was. I was an athlete at one time in my life. I used to play volleyball and was a cheerleader in high school. As an adult, I ran, skied, stretched with yoga, and hiked. And ultimately, my whole life, I have always been very, overly flexible, AND I have always been a show off. So, I was the girl that was doing the Chinese splits, touching my stomach down to the floor, and then pulling my legs through to lay flat on my stomach. I was the young girl that held my legs high over my head in a raised, extended leg kick begging my mom to let me dance. I wanted to be a ballerina, a gymnast, a dancer. Oh, I wanted it so bad! When I described all these things to the doc, especially the desire to be a dancer–not ever properly trained, he named all of these reasons as the cause for the degeneration in my hip. My right hip was filled total osteoarthritis, and it was progressing at a rapid rate! The pictures made it look like a white, over grown forest. I don’t regret any of it: I’ve always been a ballerina wannabe. And I still am if truth be told. I love to dance. It makes me happy. And as stated before, I like to do things that make me smile–only those things.
But let’s be real. Or I should say I’m going to be real. I’m going to try. Guaranteed I’ll still be smiling because that’s just me. I prefer to be happy. So, here’s to me and here’s to finding happiness with my new hip. I am hopeful to become strong again. I am hopeful that I will be able to walk again. That is really the only thing I want–oh, and to dance!
It’d be a shame not to include pictures of this sweet little lady (who happens to be my photographer!). She fills me with such happiness. Her tenderness in caring for me is beyond precious. I have to stop myself for feeling bad for my kids. I think, “They don’t deserve to see their mom in such pain.” It breaks my heart how many tears they have witnessed. But this Gigi, she’s always there, always consoling me. Always helping me to feel good again. I think I need to borrow her tee, don’t you!?
*These photos were taken out at Spirit Lake during the summer BEFORE I got my hip replacement on August 5, 2016. Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to stretch like that top pic again…