26 Tishrei, 5775
As promised, Part 2 (I highlighted the part about medicine if you want to focus on it fast):
It is boring to get better. I mean it. Doctors, friends, family and your conscience will tell you (repeatedly) to go at a slow pace, not to overdo things, to take it easy and ... oh, anything you can think of that means dull, uninteresting and crawling up the walls because you have nothing fun or worthwhile to do. And how much fun can it be to count the dust bunnies under your bed or spider webs on the ceiling, or to wait for your next enema or chemo session?
The good news is that the advice is meant to be good for you. Your body is adjusting to a new and stressful reality with its medical challenge or crisis.
Frustration and pain are part of the picture, alright. Waiting for life to get better is maddening. So is waiting for doctors to keep their appointments or for traffic to speed up. Yearning to be able to go outside and to live your life another way is a BIG frustration. Being stuck indoors is not what many songs are made of. You can find some nifty solutions to boredom below. They’re effective. Psychotherapists kid with me about how their patients don’t call so much after they read this section.
Even though your brain thinks as it always has, your body is not being what is used to be. And when a medically challenged person makes too much demand of a weakened body, then the only defense your poor physique has is to arrest you! Yep, your muscles, bones, blood levels, energy waves and everything else will be so desperate for a chance to heal, you task driver you, that the whole system will up and quit so it can TAKE A REST!
Somebody else will have to do the laundry, drive the car pool, meet a deadline or mow the lawn. Your disappointment is the size of
Texas, and we'll deal
with that in a bit. First, let's focus on a recess from your busy schedule.
Take a BIG breath, let it out slowly and repeat that exercise until you feel the muscles in your neck, back, stomach, and legs relax. Do some creative visualization if that helps: imagine that you are in a deck chair on a softly rocking cruise ship, sunning yourself on a lovely beach or surrendering to a cozy hammock with a good book, some great music and the snack of your dreams.
Purposely remember how much money people happily pay to be able to do these things on vacation. Then sneak a grin. Smile because you know you are acting like a vacationing hotshot as you select the CDs, tapes and radio stations you're going to listen to as you ease yourself into a dreamy, healing mood in an easy chair, bed or divan/sofa. Gather some good books or some tapes with readings of good books. Famous actors and other mellifluous readers make them for your pleasure. Comedians make recordings of their funniest material on DVD, CD or tape (tape is becoming antique, but if you can get celluloid recordings and play them, by all means do so!).
Give your maxed out muscles and bones something to laugh about when you play these materials for your inner alternative healer. Think of the real life hero in the biography Tuesdays with Morrie. Morrie loved his new, sedentary life and his admiring visitors so much that people flocked to his side though he could no longer teach sociology or do anything to help himself. He accepted massages, assistance with toileting, a good joke and so much more because he gave himself permission to enjoy his new lifestyle. He loved the love lavished on him even though he preferred to have been up and about. You can make the same choice: choose to accept the state of affairs you're in, study the blessings around you and welcome them to your life. When you mold a flexible reality around you, your mind and body will be able to cope in predictable and surprising ways. The delight of it all will ease whatever boredom remains, if any remains, now that you are socializing, intellectualizing, laughing and breathing more easily than before.
Being sick, making a recovery or coping as best you can is not entirely up to surgery, medicine and doctor appointments. Much of it is up to your attitude. Create a pleasant one by filling the time-slots of your post-diagnosis life with a new form of fulfilling things to do.
This workbook is one of the results of my post-operative recovery period. Trust me, as a reporter, novelist and teacher, I found slow, bed-bound and painful physical recovery to be draining my brain cells very dramatically. My cure for the problem was to dictate notes when I could not see, to type when I could see, and to chuckle whenever someone noticed my typos due to my double vision. The productive distraction lowered my pain levels so much I forgot to take painkillers and did not realize it for a while!
And when those inevitable times come and you absolutely must have a nap or rest quietly as you look around you, think over this adorably comforting thought:
"Think what a better world it would be if we all,
the whole world, had cookies and milk about three
o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our
blankets for a nap."
-Robert Fulghum, American author
Click on the title to buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.
Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.
Feeling better, yet?
Be sure to read this TAYM blogpost, too.
It can protect the health of anyone
taking the drug addressed in the message.