Friday, April 16, 2010


It has been 8 days since my surgery. I arrived home a few days ago and have begun the road to recovery. Sort of feels at times like wandering into a mountain day like above, vision murky, pack heavy, and lots of questions. My goal is more or less pictured above - a reunion with the mountains. But these past few days around home I have been reminded of so many other things I can hopefully look forward to doing pain free as well. Mowing the lawn, chopping wood and making a fire, playing with Charlie, going for a walk, or even just making a cup of tea. All without the constant companion of pain and grimace of discomfort that has been with me for over three years now. Tara reckons I look ten years younger without that grimace, and though I am sore and learning to walk again, there is a big difference between pain and soreness. It is almost too good to be true. I am on crutches, and will be for some time, but even in the few days home I can feel myself getting stronger, able to sit in a chair longer, or walk outside and simply breathe the air and dream of other places while increasing my distance and time. Today 10 minutes, but 10 minutes that has been the best part of my day.

Thank you all so much for your comments and thoughts. There was a point the other day I was in a lot of discomfort, and suddenly felt a wave wash through me and I felt no pain at all. Not long after I managed to get up and hobble here to the computer and check out the messages and thoughts and I really felt grateful for the time taken to visit and wish me well. It works. Kia kaha.


Donald said...

Well done Robb. I've been waiting patiently hoping all was going well, as it has for so many others. However we each have a different journey.

Heal fast my friend, but don't try to hurry it! And thanks for writing such an inspiring and positive post - if you write in such an affirming way then I know this will stand you in good stead.



lph said...


A simple quote from Van Morrison should suffice:

"and the healing has begun"

I have been thinking about you and wondering how the surgery went. Sounds like you are on the road to recovery.


Tracey Axnick said...

Robb my friend.... I'm encouraged to know that you are healing and feeling better (enough to blog, and comment, at the very least!)

I will be praying for you, for a quick recovery, with as little discomfort as possible... and that the time you have to recover will yield some unexpected "treasure". I certainly hope so. Sometimes life's greatest gifts come in unexpected (and unintended) places, yes?

Peace & Blessings to you, Tara and the boys...


KB said...

You describe it so well - a recovery from a major surgery is like heading into a murky day in the mountains. You're not sure exactly where the path is or how to find it. Then, even when you're on the path to your destination, sometimes you're not sure if it's the right path.

Keep healing. Try not to sweat the downs or rejoice too much over the ups. That's the main lesson that I've learned from my surgery.

Kia kaha! Those words from you helped me so much as I headed into surgery and then struggled through the early travails of recovery. Before you know it, you'll tentatively be taking those first steps on a mountain path like I'm doing these days.

I'm sending strength your way!

Marja said...

Robb great that the operation is over and eventhough you are going through a hard time you will forget soon when it is all over. Furthermore you will much more appreciate the normal everyday things. I wish you lots of strentht and hope that you will be out and about on the ruahines soon again.
Take care and look good after yourself. Arohanui Marja

Robin Easton said...

Dear Robb, I have thought of you EVERY single day. It is so GOOD to hear this update!!! I am so proud of you. You are focusing on the right things. By that I mean the things that will help you heal, and bring inspiration. You are a tough bugger!! And will eventually be living your dreams and hungers again. I truly believe this.

Your spirit and call of the land will carry you through this. You are SO blessed to have this hunger and connection to your mountains. Often people your age, my age, have no dreams, no goals, no inspiration, little life "well live" and so when they go through something like you have, they have no incentive to become strong again, to live again. You have GREAT incentive and so many people who are pulling for you. I know I am and I know Lynda L. is and so many others who love you.

My sense of you dear Wild Brother is that you are one tough and determine cookie. You had the courage to face the surgery and will have to the courage to go FAR beyond mere healing. You will once again follow your wild heart where it takes you.

I am sending you SO MUCH healing energy, compassion, and gratitude (simply for the that fact that ARE). You are in my thoughts always. Aroha Wild One, Rob.

Pam said...

You my friend, are going to heal well. I just know it.

vegetablej said...


Just a little message
to turn you pink instead of blue
hop, skip, and jumpin's
in the future for you!

Take good care of yourself and don't forget your vitamins.


troutbirder said...

Good news from you Robb. Great! I probably missed this but it sure sounds like my knee replacement surgery. No pain No gain. I waited to long for mine but in the end its was well worth it. No I can fly fishing and hike the trails again.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Yay, Robb! You are rebounding already and I know each day will be better and better, until you are standing on a hill with a song in your heart and the courage and strength to trek once again.

The hills need you, and so do we. Carry on in good spirits. Move slowly through the haze until it clears. And then you will know you have prevailed and life will again pour down on you with all the blessings and inspiration you so passionately receive.

I am so happy to hear your good news!

Greg Brave said...

I didn't visit your site for a long time, and the first thing I see when I finally visit it that you had a surgery! I am sure that you will be just fine, and wishing you a quick recovery.
I am not sure that you know about this, so if you don't it might prove helpful to you.
There is a whole stream in the hiking world called something like "ultralight backpacking". The main idea being - to take as little weight with you as you can, and I am talking guys going on a multi-day long trips (even thousand's kilometers long) and taking about 5-7 kilos on their back.
You can google it, but here are some examples:

Best Wishes,

Anne-Marie said...

Hey Robb! I'm glad to know your healing is progressing well. You sound hopeful and positive. Yay! Continue the good work - I'll be praying for you. Arohanui, Anne-Marie

Ruahines said...

Kia ora to all,
Appreciate the visits more than you know, so thank to all. The human contact via this medium is very heartening and inspiring. I just returned from my daily walk, 25 minutes but managed perhaps another 300 to 400 metres in length, so that fired me up. The biggest temptation is to push it out and that I have to resist. Being a "younger" recipient of the replacement means a shorter rod was inserted into the femur and no cement used to lock it in. Instead it relies on the bone growing tight around the rod, and this takes time, up to 3 months, so the first 6 weeks is really crucial. Just be patient.
Pardon my addressing all your wonderful comments in one go, but sitting here for some time becomes a bit uncomfortable. Kia kaha.

Anonymous said...

Pain free, the idea seems at trail of smoke from a cold morning fire pit. A dream-prayer, for you and me!

Joe McCarthy said...

Robb: the path may be murky, but your vision, mind and spirit seem crystal clear. I'm glad to read of your continued progress in your comment update, and hope you can achieve the appropriate balance between patience and persistence in the healing process.

BTW, the title of your post prompted me to look up convalescence. I was surprised to discover that its Latin root means "to grow strong" ... so, in keeping with your title, may you continue to grow strong!

Pauline said...

I saw Kia Ora in Barry's comments and had to investigate another Kiwi blog. Love your wildernesses and your attitude. I'm sure you and that attitude will be out there again soon. I wish you a speedy recovery.

kylie said...

hi robb,
it has taken me quite a while to get round to responding to your last comment on my blog, sorry about that. i do feel that a thoughtful gift gains value and looking at the way some gifts have taken a long term and valued place in my life inspires me to aim at a more thoughtful approach to my own gift giving.

i'm so glad you are recuperating well. it's probably painfully slow at the moment but you will get there and one day this will all be as a dream


Ruahines said...

Kia ora,
I am now starting to take a few steps without crutches at all, and yesterday did a 45 minute non stop walk. I have an appointment with my surgeon this Thursday (week 3), which is good as I can a better idea of what to do, and when I can add in some weights, and even some exercise bike, but I suspect these first 6 weeks will involve none of that. I am also dropping weight, and this will perhaps be the biggest challenge and change. I was 118 kilos at the time of the surgery, having had my exercise pretty much eliminated from the pain in the new year. I was operating at around 110 kilos over the past few years. I should be at 105 kilos or so. My goal is try to get to 100 or 98 kilos. So I have knocked all processed foods, more or less, on the head - still can't deny the odd piece of chocolate, and also all booze except for an allowed wee dram or two on Saturday evening. I have lost 3 kilos already. The aim is less weight, less stress on the joints, less fear in going down hill, and back in the mountains by 30 July to be there for my 50th birthday. The biggest continued relief is that the intense pain that accompanied me is gone. Onwards and upwards! Kia kaha!

Barbara Martin said...

Take your time while getting yourself back up to speed, Robb. Those mountains will wait patiently for your return.

Glad to hear my Reiki wishes are working so well for you. I'll keep sending them to help you heal well.

Your posts on hiking always cheer me along with the photos of the vast wilderness down your way.

adam said...

Been nice to see your comments on Ryan's facebook, Robb.
I printed off the whole of the current crop of 'Ramblings on paper, times two per page, double-sided, so as to get it off of the screen and into my mind better.
I know it's better to go paperless, but grief, how I'm growing tired of the virtual world between my online job and feeling so terribly cut-off from the rest of the world in my own wee, often twee little mind, unpopular opinions and deportment.
Just the way thing are, I have come to accept.
Reading the blog on paper was brilliant. I enjoyed the paper, turning the pages, and wrinkling the whole thing up over the course of the day. I enjoyed your words as always, but they were more real to me in my present mindset black and white and substantial.
Thinking about you in your recovery, with family at your side when they can be, watching the rain fall and mists rise and fall from the windows and while out exercising enables me to focus on something worthwhile and that has a great amount of hope and strength behind it. It is hard knowing things are and have been difficult for you physically and mentally, but I am very hopeful for your future.
As for the forces of imbalanced humanity armed with money and industrial complexes behind them, I don't know. Rambling with my wife on the smallest roads in the county, seeing the farms that remain awaken from the winter's slumber, accompanied by the latest crop of new, largened houses and hobby ranches, I struggled to feel the joy of spring. I don't have the same joy of hope that I feel about you toward the world at large.
Ah, well, such is life. I'll just work toward the end of the school year and see what happens then.
Keep up the outstanding work, Robb!
We're pulling for you.
To the stronger season that awaits both of us...

Wilma Ham said...

Yeah Kia ora Robb, Kiwi air will get you up and running in no time. The mountains are calling and you are hearing them, THAT will heal you. When you have a calling, when you are listening, everything is set in motion to make it happen. You are losing weight, you are feeling healing waves, nature is having its effect. Oh Robb, I am so thrilled you are soon to be reunited with Nature, Nature will also be pleased to be reunited with you.
You go strong, you are strong, hugs Wilma.

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Kia ora Robb

How are you doing now that you have the surgery done? I wish for you a speedy recovery so you can embrace your wild places with your physical presence. I know you will be ready to do just that and shall be waiting to hear from you when you return to Maropea for your July birthday. What a time that will be celebrating your 50th birthday in familiar and loveable places.

I have been looking at all those awesome pictures you have posted on your blogs to stay connected to Ruahine ranges. Doing so always lift my spirits. It is so sad that we can't enjoy the natural beauty of mountain waters as Mother Nature intended for our garden of Eden has been stolen from us. We are given scarred tissues of the earth weeping for us to look at. Not wholesome for the eyes so very depressing. Surgical mining what an awful phrase. Humankind in high places continues to scrape Mother Nature of her vital organs and leave entrails that even vultures wouldn't feast upon. When will they stop feeding the greedy golden calf and making a mockery of "Earth Day"?

Happy healing my friend. Much love to you and your family.

Pam said...

Just checking if it was today, or next Thursday that you are going to see your surgeon. Hope everything goes well.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora,
So good to read from those above. Adam. I am thinking strongly of you and the Coyote. I can't help but feel these steps I take now are somehow for him as well, and therefore you. I appreciate that greatly your holding the words in hand, as opposed to a computer screen. Kia ora my friend. Roam those hills, feel their Glad Tidings! I am learning to take it one day at a time. Kia kaha brother.
Paterika, always glad to find your presence has been here. Maropea is indeed the goal, with Tara no less! I would love for her to experience all of Her delightful charms, even in winter. We have some heated battles on our hands here in "clean and green" Aotearoa Paterika. Wild Places must be defended, their presence needs no defense. I hope you are well my lovely friend, thank you for your beautiful and strong thoughts.
Barbara, please keep sending those thoughts!
Wilma, I still have a way to go, but literally feel myself getting stronger each day. Trying not to get ahead of myself is the big issue right now. Those mountains call strongly.
Pam, thanks for your inquiry. I was wrong, my appointment is next Thursday not this one just past. So you see I do get ahead of myself. I am feeling strong and good though, so that has to be good.
Thanks to all for the visits and thoughts. I firmly feel the energy and aroha. Kia kaha!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Beautiful post, Robb, and your beautiful mountains represent a peace of mind!

Glad to hear you are convalescing well. Will join you in that within a few days.

A prayer for fast healing, dear friend.

Blessings, JJ