cycling · fitness · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for August with All Sorts of Big News

All going well, I will have a new left knee by end of the day today. Yes, I know knee replacement surgery recovery is a tough slog but I’ve got 6-12 weeks off work. It’s also been a tough slog and lots of pain waiting for knee replacement surgery.

I’ve been doing twice weekly pre-hab with Defy Physiotherapy in Guelph and then daily exercises at home leading up to the surgery. I’ve also signed up for rehab, recovery focused physio starting four days after surgery.

August was lots of surgery prep–so much physio, iron pills, buying crutches and a walker, lining up help for walking Cheddar, borrowing an ice compression machine from a friend, buying books and getting recommendations for TV shows–and lots and lots of getting ready to be away from work.

But it’s not all knee surgery/all the time. August was also the Bike Rally. See all my bike rally posts in one place. We did it! We collectively raised 1.5 million dollars and rode our bikes to Montreal.

It felt a bit weird planning both of those things together.

Flopped on the grass, day 4

What else? August was Pedaling for Parkinson’s. We’re hoping next year to organize a Fit is a Feminist issue team for the event.

It was also the month that the University of Guelph announced that I’ve been appointed to a second term as dean. See U of G Reappoints Dr. Samantha Brennan College of Arts Dean.

August is the Blog’s 10th anniversary and my 58th birthday. And despite some obstacles and a very very busy work week I did manage to ride 58 birthday kilometers. Phew.

Wow. So much going on!

Let’s quickly check in on my goals for the year:

My cycling distance goal for the year is 5500 km. I’m at 4049 km which seems pretty far ahead but knee replacement surgery will slow that down a lot.

I’m at 284 workouts for the year, daily knee physio and lots of cycling have helped with progress on that front.

I’m behind on my reading goals and knee surgery should help with that.


How am I feeling about knee surgery?

I’d be lying if I said I was completely calm about it. There’s a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety floating around. I’m trying to both keep busy and make some room for big feelings as needed.

I keep reminding myself of the reasoning that got me here. It helped that I had a friend over for pizza the other night who had knee surgery 7 years ago. She’s my age and like me, she’d been reduced to just bike riding. Knee surgery was the right decision, she says. And she demonstrated how deep she could squat while were hanging out and talking about knees, far away family, dogs, and driving across the country. Thanks Jan!

Other friends are pitching in by lending me the things that got them through the early days after surgery, like a fancy ice compression machine. Thanks Deb!

I’m not looking forward to the surgery or the first few days after. But I am feeling pretty well loved and supported by the people around me. I feel lucky to have the friends and family that I do. Thanks Sarah for taking time off work for the surgery. Thanks Jeff for helping our youngest son with his big move. Thanks mum and kids for all that you do. My mum and Sarah will be my main at home support people in the weeks ahead. Thanks Rob and Sumaya for putting us up in London the night before the surgery saving us a 5 am drive on the 401.

I’m also looking forward to the weeks after surgery when I’ll have friends over for coffee/tea. Blogger Catherine Womack is coming to stay with us in October and give a talk at Guelph. More details about that later.

On the outcome side, we’ll ask do our best. I’m sure the surgical team will do their best and I’m pretty disciplined about things like doing physio 4 times a day and I’ve got appointments booked at the physio clinic for twice a week.

On the work side, I’m really thankful for the team of colleagues around me who make taking medical leave, if not easy, at least something I contemplate with worrying about work. The College is in excellent hands. Thanks Andrew, Brennan, Sandra, Sandy, and Jane. Also, big thanks to all the chairs and directors. I’m really not worried about work.

And don’t worry–I’ll blog all about it. And then next year, I hope to be blogging about long hikes and canoe trips, sailboat racing and sleeping through the night.

Red heart on book page

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