Finding Humor in a Horrible Situation

One of the best ways to retain your sanity during recovery from knee surgery (or any surgery, for that matter) is to try to find the humor in your plight. If you’re laughing, it’s nearly impossible to be in a bad mood; If you can make somebody else laugh, even better.

My main reason for starting this blog was to kill time while recovering from surgery, since I can only watch the entire South Park series so many times before losing my mind. I decided early on that I actually wanted other people to read this thing, and it’s such an uninteresting topic that I had better try to make it funny. Nobody wants to read a bunch of bitching and complaining; there’s enough of that nonsense on Facebook. I, personally, would prefer to read things that make me chuckle, so I assume everybody else shares that preference. Also, I don’t want to be a negativity spreader. The fact is, it’s easy to sit there in your recliner and whine about how much you hate being infirm while healing up. And there’s a time and place for that too, since nobody likes a relentless Pollyanna either. But you’ll find very quickly that people aren’t going to want to hang around with you if you’re just complaining all the time.

No bueno

The truth is, recovering from surgery sucks. But 90% of the things you’ll experience are of the “I’ll look back at this and laugh” variety. I vividly remember my first sitting-down shower after surgery, when I went to so much trouble to set up my chair in the shower, climb into the shower, sit down, carefully take off my brace, then turn on the water which hit me in the face at a temperature of roughly 33 degrees. I was pretty pissed, but at the same time I thought, “That probably would have looked hilarious to somebody else.”

"He got in the shower before the water got warm! What a stupid asshole! Just look at him sitting in that dumb shower chair!"

I’m not saying you should go around just laughing your head off at every negative thing that happens to you, but it helps to put things in perspective from time to time. Is it really that big a deal that you can’t play golf for a few months? No, probably not. In the cosmic sense, does it matter that you have to sleep with a knee brace? No way. The best way to deal with these little inconveniences is to realize that 1) it’s not that big of a deal, 2) everything will soon be back to normal, and 3) it’s probably funnier than you think at the time.

Case in point: the guy on the left probably didn't find this funny at the time. I, on the other hand, find it to be hilarious

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About Andrew Sacks

I'm a 27-year-old former college baseball player, currently working as a strength and conditioning coach in Baltimore, MD.
This entry was posted in Knee injury, Recovery, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Finding Humor in a Horrible Situation

  1. Tim Battrick says:

    Hi Andrew , just came across your site and Thanks. I had mcl surgery 2 weeks ago today and I’m sooooooo bored. I tried to get ready for the time off by thinking ahead, groceries I wanted to munch on, books for my next course I studying for, new laptop and 2 external drivers from my students full of movies, I’ve got it made, ya right! I’m on the ice twice a week, in the gym 3 days a week, as active as I can be- I love it. I’m 51, teach at a college here in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Buggered my left knee playing hockey.
    I’ve got at least another 3 weeks in the full leg brace ( my new best friend, just don’t tell my dog ). I’m not “bitchin” about the situation, my thoughts on sports- you want to play, one day you’ll pay. I’m just bored stiff and was thinking ” is there were anyone else out there” lol. Thanks for the smile and laughs from your site. I’m doing the stool in the shower but have to admit I did start the water first.

    Tim Battrick

  2. Rose says:

    today I am three months out from my knee surgery — allograft for ACL and MCL and a bunch of stitches to the meniscus. 50, 5’0″, 120lbs. agree that laughs are essential. I also made myself focus on crunches and upper body stuff and seeing the gains there kept the endorphins going and me smiling. Then I caught up on Justified the new BBC Sherlock. I found this surgery cool… I broke myself and they fixed me, told me what to expect every step along the way and that is just how it goes. yeah, rehab sucks, but you do what they say and you get better. all medicine should be like this. the meniscus stitches limit how far they let you (let you… haha) bend past 90 the first 6 weeks. Now I am at 128 (that is right thank you very much, not 127) as of yesterdays PT. I have learned that my husband/friends can’t quite keep up the energy for celebrating every single degree, but I still do! single leg press up to 120 (was 140 pre-surgery). I am back to normal walking and going up steps. Down steps and on uneven ground I have to slow down and focus. The stationary exercise bike is my new best friend.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Hello Andrew,
    I tore the ACL in my left leg while in a Judo tournament then I tore the ACL in my right leg going back to wrestling practice too soon. Now after a staggering 16 months of recovery and rehab I was starting to feel like the world is blowing past me. However, after reading you blog I am reminded that this whole situation is pretty funny and that 2 years of my life isn’t so much in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for putting things into perspective!

  4. Jo Greenwalt says:

    Hello, Andrew, I’m in the process of doing the prelims of total knee replacement (L) then right knee. I know rehab has to hurt like fire but have been told by doctors that I am a “perfect” candidate(nice to FINALLY be considered perfect for SOMETHING!!). I’m 66, do “in home health care” with shifts from 24 to 96 hrs. I’m going to add your blog to my favorite file, so I can come back to it during rehab and shout “oh, yeah, Andrew this if funny, wish it could go on forever!!! Yeah, Andrew’s da MAN!!!! Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Andrew Sacks says:

      haha i’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Most of the humor is of the “look back and laugh” variety, but if you can find the humor in the present then you’ll have a much better experience

  5. Allan says:

    Hello there.
    I have been ACL surgery March 23th and My patience keep growing…as the matter of fact, i am sort of buddhist guy.
    Well, can’t wait for next friday when I will review the recovery with my doctor. Can’t wait to get back to the gym at full power and return to my sport to complete a challenge I did myself: squeeeeze a marathon under my feet.

    Hope we do all get better.

    Cheers,

    Allan

  6. seema jain says:

    i m so motivated to read these all experiences. as my life was so boring after my knee injury

  7. Lali from Georgia, Tbilisi says:

    Hi, everybody! How are you? Please, write something how is life after knee injury, for me is very new and I am depressed 😦

    • ibz says:

      Hey lila…..itz okay…..it can be very depressing at first bcoz u will hav da fear of not being exactly like wat u were earlier…..i also had a knee injury….nd az I want to be a pro baller,it waz very depressing fr me at first….but I later did many strenghtheming exercises for my leg and it feels gud and I do evry thng that I did earlier and play eben better….bcoz an injury often teaches u a gud lesson about life……after ur rest time is over….dedicate ur full concentration nd power in rehab….nd wear a gud protective kneecap while playing a sport….nd try to alwayz stay connected to a sport….it will make u feel that like nothing ever happened to u…..get well soon..hope dis wz helpful.bye 🙂

      • Allan says:

        Hello all.

        I also had one surgery last year and I doubted a couple of times. I do running as favorite sport and tjonking about not doing it was killing.
        After rest period I also did exercises that would make my legs stronger.
        Now iam full back into my favorite activity with something else. .. With better ears to listen to my body signs and it’s limits.

        Be patient and focus when time comes, to have recovery exercises to make yourself stronger. … patience also an important exercise.

        All the best.

        Allan

  8. Annie says:

    Hey, everyone, I’m recovering from a dislocated knee cap– it’s not as serious as surgery, but I am having the same experiences with depression, frustration, and attempting to stay positive. I started playing this game online called Superbetter (www.superbetter.com)– it’s pretty neat. You use it to make the daily activities of recovery into a kind of game. There are quests, bad guys, and powerups and you tailor it to your own experience. It’s making my recovery feel a bit more managable. For example, my quest today was to find a funny blog of someone dealing with a similar situation and that’s how I ended up here. Thanks, Andrew for reminding us that keeping your sense of humor is essential when you have a long healing process!

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