Being more mindful during this second hip-joint-replacement surgery is proving very interesting. There is something to be said for having been through the process once already; to say nothing of being able to select my surgeon, hospital, type of anesthesia, and even date of surgery. I believe all of that conspired to reduce the anxiety that typically goes along with this type of major procedure—seeing as the entire body is part of the subconscious mind. Not only did I purposefully engage in specific preparatory exercises for three months immediately pre-operatively, I spent 10-15 minutes each day visualizing different aspects of the process, reminding my body of what would be happening and instructing it in how I wanted it to behave. Based on the old axiom that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it’s been fun to identify positive differences between the two experiences.
1. My body was much more relaxed during initiation of the spinal anesthetic, allowing the CRNA to “get in” more easily.
2. I was able to lift my right leg and foot up off the floor to a height of about four inches on day one post-op, which didn’t happen until day four post-op last time.
3. My brain could joke in advance about some of the procedures, which while it may have disconcerted some of the staff certainly released dopamine and endorphins as I laughed at my own descriptions.
Meanwhile, in my conscious mind . . .