“And” Days

4 min readDec 9, 2021

Accepting Your Limits

NOTE: Okay, so most of the people who know me personally are giggling at that tagline about accepting your limits. It isn’t something that I’m known for. In fact, I generally am always railing against my boundaries and pushing as hard as I can. But I have learned at least a little during this recovery. Other people further along this path can laugh at my baby steps as well. But baby steps are important. So here are mine.

I had full knee replacement surgery done about seven weeks ago, now. The recovery has been a process, more so than I originally appreciated.

Due to my hormonal journey, I’ve always thought of myself as someone with chronic illness. I’ve always felt justified in that because I never had good weeks, that is, fourteen good days in a row. I was lucky to get ten, maybe twelve days. But never two whole weeks of being able to do what I wanted during a day. My health was always placing limitations on my ability to work and focus.

The good news is that this past summer, even with all the insanity of everything I was doing, I was getting better. I was finally able to have good weeks. Maybe not a full good month, but edging toward that territory.

Then I had surgery. And I’m right back into that assessment that you go through every morning if you have some sort of illness: waking up and judging what you can do that day. Fortunately, I have a lot of practice (too much, I might add) in flipping that switch from complaining about what I can’t do and focusing instead on what I can get to that day.

As I’ve recovered from surgery, I’ve gotten better at accepting the bad days. I do understand why that is: I know that it’s just a bad day. There will be better days coming. With the chronic illness, you can never count on your health, if there are indeed better days coming, if they’ll ever arrive.

At first, I was devastated by what I felt was all the backsliding I was doing. I didn’t realize that my day-to-day progress was not going to be linear. (Yet another thing that I wish I’d learned about earlier.) I was making progress week-over-week, and that was what was important.

I’ve finally turned a corner, though, and am feeling better about the bad days.


Leah Cutter sold her first short story back in 1997, and continues to write and sell both her fiction and non-fiction. She supports herself with her writing.