Sitting in the Rocking Chair of Worry

20 02 2012

I don’t know where I saw this saying but it has stuck like a big wad of bubble-gum: “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but won’t get you anywhere.”  Brilliant.

My parents are polar opposites when it comes to worrying.  My mother worries enough for the entire family; Dad doesn’t even know how to worry.  And I take mostly after my dad.

father daughter in Texas

This was last week when I was visiting - don't I look just like him?!

Usually this is pretty nice.  My life seems to be a lot less stressful and much more peaceful than that of folks who worry themselves to death over ever little thing.  And what’s the point?  If you can do something about it, then get after it.  If you can’t, move along and get over it already.

The problem with this little personality quirk surfaces on the rare occasion that I indeed have something that nags me into worrying: I don’t know how to deal with it.  Today is one of those such rare occasions.  I knew it was coming, but another of my fun quirks is that I can rearrange things in my brain so that if I don’t want to think about them, I just don’t.  But the sun rose this morning whether I wanted it to or not, and I could hold back the events of the day about like I could have stopped Katrina.

The big event?  My dad had to go in for hip replacement surgery.

I heard you scoff at that!  No big deal, you say?? Lets see you go under the knife for ANY REASON and say it’s no big deal!

Ok, I realize it’s not a triple bypass or neurosurgery, but my dad’s a young spring chicken, not yet 55 years old!  He shouldn’t need a hip replacement yet!

The problem is, he really does need a hip replacement.  Trust me, if it wasn’t absolutely necessary, he wouldn’t have done it.  Dad hates doctors, hospitals, the whole works.  He’s stubborn as a mule and can take a lot, and will do things normal people couldn’t stomach if it means avoiding a clinic visit.

My dad’s a real man, a real cowboy at that.  He’s tougher than a box of nails and rarely lets anything slow him down.  We were working cattle once when I was pretty young and Dad somehow had his shoulder popped out of socket.  Naturally, he just popped it back in and kept right on with what he was doing.  Then when I was in high school, he was breaking a horse and got bucked off.  I’m not exactly sure if he hit the fence or just landed bad, but his right knee cap was shattered in the process.  So he just pushed all the pieces back where they should be, more or less, popped a Tylonol, and went to work.  He worked as a ranch hand at the time, and that day he was riding a 4-wheeler around.  Finally, he couldn’t keep his leg bent enough to ride the 4-wheeler anymore, so he told the boss-man he was going to pop into the hospital and have them drain his knee, and he’d be back.  That turned into full-blown reconstructive knee surgery that left Dad laid up for weeks.  And boy was he pissed about that!

To this day I strive to be tough like my daddy.  I’m no where near, and he tells me all the I’m just a little girl.  And it’s true, I’m a pretty big pansy.  But I try my best to suck it up any time I get banged up a bit (nicks when I’m shaving my legs, bruises from running into walls, paper cuts…) because my dad is also full of inspiring quotes.  Anyone who’s ever met my dad has probably heard at least one of these, at least once:

  • Oh walk it off!
  • Just rub some dirt on it, you’re fine.
  • Looks bad.  I’ve got my knife – want me to cut it off?  (referring to the limb/appendage the wound is located on)

And his favorite of all time…

  • I’ve had worse than that on my eyeball and didn’t cry half as much!

So here’s what kept me pumping back and forth in the ol’ Worry Chair: dad was scared about this surgery.  And that terrified me.  Dad, the man not scared of anything in this whole wide world, was a nervous mess.  And for good reason!  But him admitting to it left me shaking in my boots. He might have been a tad off when he said he the doctor was going to come at him with a chainsaw and hack his leg off.  But a few years ago my paternal grandmother had to have her first hip replacement replaced (talk about a bummer) and they ended up shattering her leg bone in a gazillion pieces.  Same doctor.  Not comforting.

The real worry for him stemmed from the knowledge of what was coming after the surgery: pain.  In massive doses.  He knew from his knee surgery what was in store, and he didn’t like it one bit.  The nurses also informed my mother that the younger a person is, the more pain comes with hip surgery, because there’s more muscle mass to deal with.  And sure enough, when he started waking up from the 2 1/2 hour surgery, he was hurting something fierce.

The surgery was much needed.  Dad’s hip was in bad shape – worn down to bone-on-bone – and causing him a lot of trouble.  I think I’ll let one of his heroes sum it up for me: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”  John Wayne.  Daddy – I’m sorry I’m not there to keep you company. ❤

young John Wayne, American Icon

A favorite of my dad's (and what a looker!) *Curtesy of*

By the way, the surgery went well.  He’s maxed out on morphine at the moment, but I’m sure he’ll be ready to throw a full blown hissy fit in the morning.  Maybe I should really be worrying about my mother!




4 responses

21 02 2012

Glad to hear your father is okay after his operation!

That is one hell of a hat.

22 02 2012

Thank you! He’s pretty cranky, but that’s just his usual demeanor.
And he needs the hat to go with his handle-bar mustache. 🙂

21 02 2012

You two do look a like! Glad everything turned out well also

22 02 2012

Thank you, to both. 🙂

Give it to me straight -

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