Just 6 Weeks Less-Abled : S + 2 | Thoughts - powerful agents for change
Updated: Jan 29
I posted this on one of my social media feeds last night about 5 minutes after I had finally gone to bed. I can confirm:
1. I did have a conversation
2. Expletives were most definitely involved.
They, being the scalpel man and the gasman, told me that it would be sore when the ankle block wore off. They told me that would happen somewhere between 24 & 48 hours after surgery. Not that I'm counting or anything but it was 22 hours. They fibbed.
Pain is an interesting thing, I find. It is all at once a response, a reaction and an emotion. And, although we can remember it happening, we cannot recreate it in our memory and feel it again. Thank goodness.
So here's the thing...I know what I am feeling in my foot, specifically my left toe and the ball of my foot, cannot be as bad as that I have been experienced several times when in the early days of recovery after having my abdomen sliced open from side to side or pubis to sternum. At least I am pretty sure it can't be. That said, I am pretty well-informed when it comes to recovery from abdominal surgery however I'm a virgin when it comes to broken bones. Hairline fractures in a couple of ribs and a finger but nothing anywhere near as brutal compared to what has been done to the first MTP bones in my foot.
I am good with pain. I know I am as I do not see it as my enemy. I engage with it as my body's way of telling me that it is not shirking, that it is getting on with the business of repairing. I can grit my teeth, not curse, say 'thank you' and carry on. Usually.
Last night, in the run up to the witching hour, I was not a happy bunny. I let my positive headspace go. No, not true. I allowed it to be chased away by my ranting at the screeching pain in my left foot. Not hot, burny, bad pain that is an indication of infection. No. Just a screaming pain every time I moved my foot a millimetre, and even when I didn't. I made the fatal mistake of letting myself get cross. Bad. Not good. It means the pain is winning.
Whilst all this nonsense was going on I had an unexpected and most welcome call with a friend I have known since childhood. It was a most enjoyable distraction however I do think I swore when asked how I was. We nattered about this and that, laughed a fair bit, talked a smattering of politics and a bit more about podcasts. We gave thanks for the sleep timer on the audio book app we both use and generally put the world to rights. I didn't realise that the carriages had turned into pumpkins whilst we were chatting.
I don't like my painkillers. I don't like any drugs. I especially don't like codeine. More specifically my gut hates the stuff. However ... needs must. I had half a banana, took my tablets, cleaned my teeth and hobbled with Fred & Ginger to the bedroom. By the time I was supine, under the duvet with my left leg on pillows I was in heated conversation with my foot. I swore. I was not polite. This is not the right way to deal with things but what the hell. It made bugger all difference to the pain. It made me feel much better.
I slept. I awoke. In the deep dark hours. Squealing. Loudly. Jolted into stark awareness. That's never happened before. I must have rolled over as I was lying on my side. Owtchy. More than owtchy. Plain bloody horrible. I tapped my phone. 04:20.
I must have fallen straight back to sleep. As I am writing this I actually wonder if I even woke up. But I must have done as the same thing happened at 05:25. I woke up moaning loudly. I've tried to spell the moans but I can't. Bloody sore. I rolled back onto my back. More expletives.
And then it was 07:25. I laid here awhile (I am in bed as I write) thinking about pain. Thinking about it as I felt it. But this time I was calm, as I am now. Was, is the pain any different? No, I do not think so. My body is responding to the healing in exactly the same way as it was in the night. What is different is the way I am reacting to it. I am not swearing and cursing like I was. I am acknowledging it ... there is not way I could not as it is far too intrusive. However I am engaging with it rather than fighting it and I am saying out loud,
"Hello body. Thank you. I appreciate you getting on with the business of healing my raw bones together. Thank you."
I have committed that today I am going to find medical articles that will explain to the me the bone healing process. About what my body is doing in response to what was done in surgery. This works for me. Understanding what is happening takes away any vestige of mystery. It helps me strategise my response and reaction. It takes away any fear.
In the time it has taken me to write this I have begun to smile. As I look out the window I see blue sky and when I made a cuppa just now there were lots of birdies on the feeder. The leaves are turning ever-more autumnal and in this moment all is right with my world.
That is what changing my matrix, shifting the way I relate to something, does for me. My foot is as sore as it was 30 minutes ago, as it was in the night however I feel happy.
Powerful things are thoughts, aren't they.