NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: I'm a professional stage manager -- primarily working with two regional theater companies. I have a very painful knee injury from a technical rehearsal last year. My doctor and PT are recommending surgery -- basically keeping me housebound and out of commission for at least three months. Which is awful because I hate being dependent on others. I'm scared of the surgery, taking the time off from work, and frankly the post-surgical results as well. How can I get over this?
A: Given some of the unknown risks and recovery time to any surgery, it's no surprise that you feel afraid to take time off work. However, as a stage manager you're a protected union member. I assume this includes some form of workers' compensation and insurance, offsetting a portion of your medical expenses.
How long do you want to live with the discomfort, when two medical professionals whom you've chosen to see have advised you to undergo surgery?
How much pain are you in? How often do you need to rest, ice, wrap, elevate or heat your knee?
Have the support of friends and family around. I'd advise you to work up the courage to reach out before the surgery. Don't be ashamed to ask for a little help! Going into surgery alone can be a daunting experience. Simply knowing the comfort others can offer helps to ease one's trepidations.
Now, let's get ahead of these postsurgery fears.
Granted you might be somewhat housebound for a while. So invite your loved ones to visit. Perhaps they can bring you groceries, pick up your medication and keep you company.
Remember that taking time off to heal an injury doesn't put you out of the game forever. Your associates are not likely to forget all of the good work and dedication you've shown over the years.
It isn't as if they're going to sit around and judge you for taking care of yourself. In the long run, delaying recommended surgery when a serious injury is only one-year-old isn't helpful. More time spent straining your hurt knee will only create further wear and tear.
Although you're frightened, getting treatment now is more advantageous.
Please seek out another doctor for a second opinion, if that makes you more comfortable. In addition, talking to others who've undergone the same surgery will prove helpful.
Good luck and keep me updated.
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Have a profitable and peaceful week,