Why Knee Surgery is Good For Workaholics

For the past four years (and my whole life) I have been a workaholic and a busybody. Every weekend was something else,  a conference, a retreat, or a campus event. Even weekends when we were off I tried to get as much done as possible because who knew when I’d have another free day. I spent those days building furniture, cleaning, hanging stuff, riding and running miles, or going somewhere. Not even vacations were relaxing because they were spent trying to suck as much activities out of the vacation location as possible. Moving to Merced made it even worse. We have been here for three months and I have yet to sit still. Never did it cross my mind to just do nothing; in fact the idea of doing nothing was scary. This weekend changed all of that because knee surgery forced the issue.

For the past 9 months I have needed knee surgery but moving and insurance issues had postponed the procedure. Finally, after almost two months of weekend events at UC Merced, I had a weekend to do the surgery. This past Thursday I went in for a 17 minute procedure that would keep me immobile for 4 days. Though I was really scared going in to the operating room and don’t like the look of my shaved leg, this necessary surgery was a blessing in disguise. Since it hurts to walk and I am sufficiently doped up on Vicodin for the pain, I have done absolutely nothing for the past 72 hours, and it has been glorious.

I got home Thursday at 4:30pm and took over my place on the couch which would be my home until Monday. Bella decided that it would be important to help so she took up residency as well.

So here is what I did since I got home:

Thursday night:

  1. Ate pizza and garlic bread
  2. Took pain killers
  3. Iced knee
  4. Relaxed on the couch and watched movies
  5. Woke up, felt dizzy and nauseous…not so fun


  1. Ate leftover pizza
  2. Took pain killers, many times 🙂
  3. Iced knee
  4. Dozed on and off
  5. Watched tons of TV
  6. Read a book
  7. Ate Chinese food


  1. More pain killers, feeling better and very relaxed
  2. Iced knee
  3. Ate leftover chinese food
  4. Watched 12 hours of College Football go RU!!!
  5. Ate assorted snacks in “Get Better” bag from my office

It was at this point that Bella exhausted herself in her Dad protection mode


  1. Took off the leg wrap
  2. Showered!!!
  3. Took only a few pain killers (Ok, that’s not entirely accurate)
  4. Walked a little
  5. Watched 12 episodes of Triple D and more football
  6. Went out to dinner with Virginia’s Mom and Angel

As I wrap up this recovery with another day of TV on Monday and go back to work on Tuesday I have to say that these were the most relaxing days I have had in recent history. I had no concerns about getting work done, I was not anxious about working out. I knew that physically accomplishing tasks would be impossible so my body just gave in and relaxed (with a little medicinal assistance). I feel so rested and ready to go back to work that it gets me thinking about balance. We talk so often about finding balance but in those conversations it is almost always about finding something else to occupy your time when you are not working. This thing is usually a hobby, an exercise, a sport, or a task but perhaps for balance sometimes all you need is to spend some time doing absolutely nothing. Even if you don’t meditate, a day on the couch with no worries can go a very long way. We shouldn’t feel bad about that and we definitely shouldn’t need to have knee surgery to force the issue.

Here’s to taking some time every so often to just relax and be lazy, it can work wonders. Hopefully you can do it without doctors orders. Good thing though that I might need surgery on my other knee pretty soon. Just something to look forward to.

7 thoughts on “Why Knee Surgery is Good For Workaholics”

  1. Thanks for finding my blog and “liking” a post. Because it helped me find your blog and i love this post! I am just starting to catch up a bit, but i am guessing that the wildflower is an olympic or longer? Did you come up with your own training schedule? I am trying to find a good revision of a sprint training schedule for an intermediate person. Overweight, but willing! Suggestions, if you know any (other than beginner triathlete, for example 🙂

    Have a great recovery. Blew out my entire acl years ago, then ankle surgery to tighten ligaments i lengthened about 30 years ago in a stupid accident.

    1. The wildflower is either an olympic or a long course but I am doing the olympic because it is my first time. I did make my own plan based off of a lot of things I saw online. It is basically a 3/1 training/recovery plan focused on volume and the swim because of my knee. It has gone through a ton of revisions but seems to be working well for me now.

      Sorry to hear about your ACL, knee injuries are awful and I am so scared about hurting it again.

      Thanks for liking my post and blog! The training plan will come out in it’s entirety after the race.

      1. Well, my ACL and ankle was years ago, but as you know–it hurts like the dickens and I’m always scared of redoing it. I tended toward overcautious, which led to overweight. Dammit.
        I’m excited for your doing the Olympic. I’m still at the Sprint level until I can consistently run more than 5 miles. I’m not even at 4 miles (Okay, twice I did four miles–and I hurt both times).
        Looking forward to following your training and your race. Good luck!

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