Last week, I underwent a routine surgery. Routine for the doctors that perform it at least. Major surgery for the people undergoing it. I had received advice from several women who had the procedure in the past so I knew about every possible side effect, consequence, and reaction to the surgery; or so I thought. Out of all the tales of pain, complications, and issues; one very important repercussion was left out: boredom!
Admittedly, the first few days of recovery were an opium induced blur of incoherent babble and narcoleptic bouts of sleepiness, but that passed quickly, and I was faced with hours of nothing to do. I think the fact that I was expressly forbidden to do ANYTHING made the convalescing period maddening. My husband was incredibly sweet, I dare say, almost too sweet and over solicitous. The first few days back from the hospital he brought plates full of food at meal time that would have fed a football team. I had absolutely no appetite so as sweet as the heaping plates of food were, I was overwhelmed and just a little nauseated. He is also compulsively exacting with rules, i.e. when the doctor says don’t do anything, you don’t do anything! He even helped me up the staircase the first night back.
He returned to work this week and I was forbidden to do much other than sit on the couch and watch Netflix, not exactly an exciting way to spend the day. By Tuesday, I was more than a little stir crazy and I felt pretty good. I figured no harm could come from a little light housework, I mean, someone had to take care of it. Granted, the doctor had said take it easy, but what does she know. My complete lack of medical training was telling me that I was fine. My hunch was wrong. Tuesday night the pain pills re-entered my life as a searing pain tore through my left side.
Of course one little mishap wasn’t going to deter me from healing as quickly as possible. Wednesday was another day to prove I was fully recovered and that the mandatory 3-week prohibition on driving and 6 week ban on activity was not necessary. I drove to a friend’s house to pick up a few items, took a stab at the pile of laundry that had been mounting for over a week, and cleaned the most overused room in our house, the downstairs bathroom. I figured that as long as I wasn’t using the stronger of the painkillers, driving shouldn’t be an issue. I mean how strenuous is driving?
Apparently, driving entails a lot more energy than I ever imagined. I ended up in a considerable amount of pain last night. It occurred to me after the pain killers kicked that I had overdone it. Maybe the advice of my doctor had merit after all. Perhaps the tedious directions from the person with the M.D. behind her last name had a little worth. And I might have overestimated my ability to heal quickly!
As I pondered my predicament last night, I kept asking myself what was so bad about taking it easy for a little while? How many times have I wanted to just a have some down time to do what I want? The chance to sit and read a book, write my epic novel, and use the restroom without anyone around have been (somewhat) unobtainable goals for me until this point. How odd that the solitude and lack of responsibility I have always craved actually drive me crazy. Why? Maybe because it is a mandatory period of immobility and not something I have any control over. Could it be that I have control issues? According to my family, yes. Yes, I do. I really had no idea. But now that I have had my eyes open to this potential personality flaw, what can I do to fix it? Clearly, I need to get ahead of this and remedy this situation. Kidding, of course.
After the events of the last few days, I have decided to try to embrace this time of inactivity. Healing might take precedence for a time. This season of rest will be over soon enough, why not enjoy this recuperative period and relish the forced relaxation? God tells us that “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Even if that activity is inactivity. This is my time heal so I will.
But if someone doesn’t vacuum the floor soon, control freak mom might have to make a cameo appearance in this situation!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.