I had a little breakdown last night.
See, when you have hardware removal surgery on your ankle - there are a few things you hear over and over: "it's nothing like the last one" and "recovery for this one is really easy" and "you'll be fine." This is great, because it's an encouraging thought that recovery for surgery #2 won't be THE FUCKING FLAMING HELL that surgery #1 was. But it's also not great - because it doesn't actually help you know what to expect going in, and afterward, it makes people forget really quickly that you're in surgery recovery mode.
Of course, I have a really supportive network of friends and family - I'm not blaming anything on them. Hardware removal surgery is deceptive because you are up and walking the first day, you can move your foot (kinda), visually there is way less going on, and you've already done the physical therapy and everything. So your loved ones will be tricked into thinking that everything's cool. But for me - inside - there is still a lot going on! My digestive system is still weird, I feel a little light headed sometimes, my ankle hurts and is bruised and I have very little range of motion...not to mention, I went shopping yesterday and within 10 minutes of being on my feet I was swollen and limping. Oh! And now I have to walk EXTRA carefully because for the next 4-6 weeks I'll have holes in my bones where the screws are and can re-fracture really easily.
In many ways, it's a lot like recovery from the first surgery. I use the same stack of pillows to elevate, the same ice packs with all its timing and wrapping rituals. I'm back to not being able to do yoga which SUCKS. I'm nervous about going back to work tomorrow (I worked from home my first week of recovery) - maybe I should bring some ice packs with me? I have to be back in sneakers after I've been back to real shoes for a few months and loving it. Ugh, that part is terrible.
The hardware removal, though it may be nothing like the first one, is still surgery...and it conjures up a lot of old emotional stuff. I was able to break down last night with my mom and just talk about all of the stuff that's in pain and freaking me out...so I think I'm ok now. Kinda. There may be another breakdown in my future. After surgery #1 I had little breakdowns literally every single day. I'll keep you guys posted...of course.