depressed post surgery

Nobody Told Me How Depressed I Would Be After Surgery

This is hands down the hardest part of recovery.


To say my summer has been filled with adventure is an understatement. I had hopes of going on vacation with my family down to South Carolina and just spending time with friends. However, I had to push back my ACL reconstruction surgery to this summer, which has been the only exciting thing that has happened so far.

Originally, I thought about getting surgery last summer when I initially tore it. My doctor recommended for me to do physical therapy before surgery so I would have muscle memory and be able to bounce back sooner.

By the time I was finished, I had only three weeks before going off to college. There was no way I could miss my first semester.

I pushed to get surgery during Christmas break. My university had other plans since I only had a little bit over a month in between semesters, which didn't give me much a recovery time. I didn't want to rush getting better just to come back to Philadelphia in the winter when I might fall and hurt myself again.

All of this meant that I had to come home back to the Pittsburgh area to have surgery. I was excited to get my knee fixed, so I could get back to swimming and doing Zumba classes.

I was really anxious that something might go wrong and I wouldn't be able to walk properly ever again.

Look, I know what you're thinking. Yes, I was a bit overdramatic and thought of the worst-case scenario thanks to my anxiety. You've got to understand that I've never had a surgery like this before.

Sure, I've had my wisdom teeth and tonsils removed, but that's it. I've never even broken a bone before (knock on wood).

Fun fact: Mental health issues and a major surgery do not mix.

Obviously, I survived my surgery. It wasn't as bad as I thought, especially since I had the nurses who explained everything they did step by step, and my parents to keep me company until they wheeled me back to the operating room.

My surgeon also helped relieve some of my anxiety and stress by reassuring me it was actually a minor surgery and he was a professional. I ended up getting to go back home that evening so I could begin recovering.

I was advised that I would be on bedrest for 48 to 72 hours, which seemed great. But once again, I was wrong. This was the beginning of when I felt depressed.

My leg was wrapped up tightly and I had to constantly run this weird machine that pumped ice water through the bandages to help relieve some of the swelling. I've been stuck in a knee brace as well since I was unable to walk for the longest time. I was then told I might have to use crutches for four weeks, which I've never done before. This was a whole new world to me where I had to rely on other people to help me.

I still remember how I bawled in front of my house because I couldn't even go up the steps properly.

For the next week and a half, I had to rely on my mother for everything. I had to call my mom to help me out of bed, to help pull up my shorts, to help guide me up the steps, and to help with whatever else I needed.

I felt useless and just absolutely miserable. I felt like I was a burden because I couldn't do things for myself or help around the house.

I also wasn't able to shower for about two weeks, which just made me feel even worse about myself. I just felt disgusted especially when I started physical therapy because I wasn't able to shave or wash my hair, and everyone could tell.

I was insecure since I wasn't able to take care of myself. My hair was so knotted from only brushing every now and then just to be put back up in a messy bun.

I'm not normally one to obsess over my appearance, but I just don't like seeming sloppy or weak to anyone. It's just not who I am.

On top of all of that, I was worried if my knee was healing correctly. I had a panic attack one night when I was adjusting my position in my bed and my knee bent a bit, nothing extreme either. Yet I was convinced that something was wrong and had to make an emergency call to my surgeon, who confirmed nothing was wrong and I was just gaining feeling in my knee.

I was worried just because I couldn't see what my knee looked like. Like before, I was imagining the worst-case scenario in that I might have an infection and might need more surgery.

Nobody told me the effect all of this would have my mental health. I was nowhere prepared for how reliant I would have to be on other people since I was so used to looking out for myself. I've also tried to push myself to be this strong independent person, so this surgery really forced me to look from a different perspective.

My mother was the real one who helped me get through this tough time by reassuring me it was only temporary and it was okay to cry because it was tough. She might be acting as my nurse for a majority of this summer, but she always has been able to encourage me that I can get through life's toughest moments.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.

Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Being Skinny Isn’t As Great As You Think

A reflection on the struggles that come with a person's body image.


Body image. It is one of the most powerful and harmful things on a person's self-esteem. Society and media have placed so many images of what we "should" look like. How we need to be eating, exercising, dressing, EVERYTHING. According to others, we always need to change ourselves or second guess how we see our bodies.

For as long as I can remember everyone has called me "tiny". Sure, being small and being able to fit into a lot of clothes is fun, but being tiny or thin isn't always a good thing. I am your typical college kid eating whatever I want whenever I want.

The only difference between myself and other students is that I almost never gain weight. Some girls or guys may read that part and think that I have a gift or blessing. That I can do whatever I want and still stay small and "pretty".

Have you ever finished a meal then looked at yourself and felt like something wasn't right? Some people in today's world and in history will spend time looking at themselves and seeing multiple things that are wrong with their body.

Some handled that by exercising and losing weight or gaining muscle, others have gone as far as throwing up their food or taking pills that force their bodies not to gain ANY weight. Hearing about that from adults or doctors seems crazy but people do it all the time. Possibly the people around you and you would never know.

I went to middle school with a girl that always finished her lunch walking to the trash and then taking herself to the bathroom. She wouldn't come back to our table until the lunch bell rang. Most people didn't give a second thought to this situation, me however, I followed her one day. What I saw next was something I wasn't prepared for as a 7th grader.

Two sinks, a mirror, and three stalls. One was occupied and the rest were empty. I walked into crying and nothing else. The girl had already taken care of her food and was trying to gather herself after what she just did.

People told her that she was gaining weight, that she was "chunky" or fat. She wasn't the only girl around that dealt with horrible comments like that. It's also not just girls dealing with issues like this.

Boys and men are constantly judged and only "ideal" if they are muscular. Young boys are called pigs or disgusting only because of their weight and looking bigger than the "average" person. Men are downgraded to a lesser meaning when they are thin and "stick like".

Even as we grow up kids and sometimes adults say things without realizing the effect. Being called tiny or skinny all of the time can make someone just feel small. Getting comments to eat a hamburger and fries can make someone feel insulted.

Having comments made about your skin or hair and people making assumptions about you can make someone feel misunderstood or judged. Being told that you need to eat more or go tanning because your body doesn't "look right" can torture a person.

There are so many things that play into a person's self-esteem. Average size, too small or too big is simply just words coming out of someone's mouth that don't understand the true beauties in life.

Do you ever look at a big oak tree and say, "You're too fat, you should really lose some weight."

Do you ever see a flower that blooms smaller than a quarter and tells it, "You are tiny! Why don't you go eat a burrito or something?"

No. You probably don't. Just replace the oak tree with mom and see how that feels coming out of your mouth. Replace flower with a teenage girl and see if you can actually say all of those things. Imagine if you were a parent and it was your little girl or boy that you were talking to and you said those words. Would you be happy with yourself? Would you feel guilty? Would you push them to make their body unhealthy just to fit society's standards?

I hope that you wouldn't

There are so many of us out there being told what to do with ourselves in order to be happy with our bodies. How can someone else determine our happiness for us? I have personally gotten to the point of breaking.

I see friends on a daily basis that want to change their body because it's "ugly". Many of those thoughts are because of things society has put in our minds, and not what truly matters.

As a society, we need to push towards total acceptance. Now, I am not meaning the sexuality or ethnicity type of acceptance because those are important on a different level. Respecting each other and our bodies are something that needs to be understood and enforced as much as sexuality acceptance is pushed.

I want to live in a world and raise children in a world that doesn't make people feel horrible about their bodies. It is THEIR body, not ours. The only body we should be worrying about is our own. I want my future daughter to grow and love playing dress up without wondering if her body looks right in what she's wearing. I want my future son to go to gym class and be able to do only one pull up with all of the other boys cheering him on to do better.

Is that too much to ask?


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