This is likely the first lucid thought I’ve had since having knee surgery this past Friday. The first night after my procedure was spent writhing in pain while my husband went to the pharmacy for my medication (the hospital sent me home without my script or post-op wound education, but we won’t dig into that here [eye roll]).

Over the next twenty-four hours, I barely made it the prescribed four hours between doses between medication. I should have known nothing would go as planned because, let’s be honest, it’s me.

My leg was quickly consumed in an angry rash with chemical-type burns that had (still has) my skin peeling like the Epcot death march in the middle of July. On top of that, my leg resembles a pig on a spit, red, inflamed… You get the picture. It also has a lovely drain that. My nine-month-old and new puppy have both tried to yank out.

Naturally, I called in reinforcements.

I’m fortunate to have nurses in the family that have taken care of cleaning and changing bandages on my incision site, which is no joke twelve inches long, not exaggerating. I’ve done everything the discharge paperwork told me to do (which was very little). Still, my leg continued(s) to swell. In the a.m. I’ll probably be making the hour long drive to my doctor for an assessment of this mess below my knee.

So why am I telling you this? Why am I whining into the void on the internet?

Because if I had just made the damn appointment to get my leg looked at four years ago when a tiny mass started to grow on an old surgery site, I wouldn’t be stuck in bed with my leg elevated three feet in the air listening to blood drip into the drainage bulb tucked into my oh-so-attractive ace bandage.

MOMS! Please listen to me! Do not put your kids and the nagging guilty thoughts you have about leaving them with a sitter above your own health. My husband tried to get me to make the appointment countless times and I would always push it aside and say, “When she’s a little older. I can’t have surgery now.” Then, I got pregnant again, and again.

Four years passed and I let a tumor the size of a softball grow on my leg while I skipped around pretending it didn’t exist, all because I felt I didn’t have the time. I should have MADE the time. Just like I should have MADE the time for a haircut, for an hour to myself, to buy myself new clothes.

If this had been cancer, which they screened for, what would have happened then? Would I even be able to see them with all the COVID restrictions? Would I have left them motherless?

TAKE. CARE. OF. YOURSELVES. You owe your kids that much.

That’s the only takeaway that matters. Oh, and get you a husband that cleans the entire house and dedicates a full twenty-four hours to catching the house up on laundry. I hit the lottery on that one.

And since my eyes are growing heavy from my nighttime meds, I’m signing off. Go forth, get your yearly checkup, go the dentist, and for God’s sake don’t minimize health problems because you’re too anxious to leave your kids for an afternoon.