A friend of mine once used this metaphor to describe how she saw my approach to life: “You put me in mind of a young child running and running to get her kite up in the air instead of waiting for the wind.” To begin with, that was how I approached my healing process. When I first came home from the hospital I was determined to get mobile and active as soon as I could. I rushed myself by doing too much. This resulted in a big setback that took me some days from which to recover. Now that I am feeling better and having less pain, I am very careful to monitor my efforts and to pay attention to the amount I attempt to accomplish. I’m getting used to waiting for the wind.
As I grow more accustomed to my change of pace, I have found that focusing on the positive results from this experience is helping me to be more patient with myself. An unanticipated one has come as a consequence of my enforced leisure I have had to spend many hours sitting on the recliner couch with my legs raised as the therapists wish me to do. Because of this, Stephen and I have been watching some of the wonderful films he has discovered and purchased for us.
The BBC has a beautiful series, The Life of Birds, narrated by David Attenborough, with extraordinary images and explanations of these fascinating creatures. The photography, as well as the subjects is a delight to watch and I am grateful for this opportunity. My normal behavior previous to my operation would be to stay busy during the day doing things around the house. Then in the evenings I would find the time to work on my email correspondence, edit poetry or other writing, do research, or even play a game or two on my computer. Now instead I have to limit my computer time and spend my hours semi- prone on the recliner couch.
The nature of my hip operation and the healing process it requires dictates that I spend limited time sitting at my desktop computer. I try only to do what is necessary or helps me keep in touch with friends. While I like to read, my eyes can easily tire from too much time spent with a book. Watching the TV screen is a wonderful option. Now, the evening time I used to spend on the computer because I was busy during the day is being spent watching humorous films that provoke laughter–a wonderful adjunct to healing.
In my life at this time, working on my healing must be my main focus. I feel impelled to do what I can to help the process along. Doing less, while being faithful to the physical therapists’ exercises and their prescription to get off the couch, walk around and be on my feet for some time each hour is vital. The opportunity to watch some of our wonderful hoard of DVDs comes welcome and I realize now even unexpectedly as a blessing in disguise. I also marvel at how contradictory it is to be achieving more by doing less.