Rest, Recover, Heal

I am, at times, a bit thick. Yesterday a friend said to me, “[M]ost people go decades between two surgeries, and since 5 weeks ago …2.”

Well, that really slapped me upside the head. I wanted my second surgery so that my mom would still be here to help while I was recovering, but I never really considered the impact it would have on my body. I’d had 3 surgeries before and felt like I’d bounced back just fine.

However, I never really considered what my body was doing on the inside. There were times I could tell I was pushing myself too hard – I’d start sweating profusely while walking, I was tired. But most of the time I just got up an went. About three weeks after my spinal fusion I was back at work. I couldn’t stay all day, but I was there at least 4 hours or so.

That. Is. Insane.

There were complications after the surgery – nerve damage – and more damage during PT. So, I went on a cruise to relax.

Not quite 1.5 years after the spinal fusion, I had a tendon transfer to fix the foot drop. The day after I got the cast off, I was trying to move too quickly and strained the Achilles tendon.

And now, in the span of 5 weeks I’ve had two major surgeries.

I need to rest. I need to let my body recover. I need to let my body heal.

I don’t think I ever thought I was Superwoman, after all, I needed the surgeries. But, I never saw the surgeries as anything major. It was happening to me and it couldn’t be that big a deal. I now see just how wrong that was.

A lot of my frustration and anxiety about where I am in my life stems from the fact that I feel like my body has betrayed me. Because it’s messed up, I can’t do the things I’m supposed to be doing.

In reality, my body’s problems aren’t its fault. I got hurt, needed help, got it. But then, I betrayed my body. I didn’t let it recover or heal. So the fact that I am where I am now is because I didn’t take care of myself. That has to change.

My new mantra is Rest, Recover, Heal. This isn’t something that has a timeline for me. My body will tell me when I’m better. I know there will be some signs, like knowing when I need to poop, not having constant pain, and feeling rested when I wake up. I have no idea how long this will take. What I do know is that if I don’t take this time now, much of the rest of my life is going to be the same as it’s been. That’s unacceptable to me and I can do something about it.

So, say it with me – Rest, Recover, Heal.