Two weeks from today


I am grateful for the kind words that my last post elicited. Your advice was valuable in that it told me of your caring, and because it confirmed that the advice I had given to myself was the best advice available. Sad to say, advice is not necessarily easier to accept because it is good.

Even so, my last entry—and your responses—calmed me remarkably, and allowed me room to think of things other than my fears, things like other people, for example. Self-absorption is like a whirlpool in that the lower I descend, the faster and tighter the maelstrom, and it is good to be out of the middle of that maelstrom, at least for now.

The thing that scares me most about this surgery is that, like all surgeries, it is a violent act. In this case, it is so violent that it will take months to recover from the wound. I recoil in fear. I think that, surely, there is a better way, a way that is gentle and encourages healing rather than treating my shoulders as if they were enemies to be conquered and enslaved. It was with this hope that I cancelled the surgery last September, but I have found no other way. I wasted a little money on herbs, a bit more on massage, a lot more on acupuncture, and a whole lot more on physical therapy. The bitter truth is that some problems don’t respond to gentle methods.

I take my shoulder to the surgeon with the same mind that I take my dog to the vet. I know that the vet might hurt my dog in the short term in order to help it in the long run, but my dog cannot understand this. All my dog knows is that it was afraid and hurting, and that the man I have taken it to is hurting it more. Nothing I can say will make that okay. Like my dog, when my shoulder hurts, it screams, and I cannot reason with it. I want it to know that I am sorry; I want it to know that I am doing my best to help and that I would never hurt it without reason, but words cannot reach it. There is my rational mind, and there is my animal body, and they sometimes seem very far apart.

19 comments:

Gaston Studio said...

Snow, I just found your blog and scanned through a lot of your older postings, of which there is great variety. However, it is your latest post that really got my attention as I suffer greatly from a very bad back and have had knee and shoulder problems for the past year or so. I commisserate with you so much as I know how horrible it feels to not be able to do the everyday things that one depends on to define themselves. I'll be following you and I hope that you'll trust your gut on making the right decision. Living in pain is so debilatating. Take care.

Audrey said...

I am happy to see that you are acknowledging the surgery is the best route. I have had no option but to put a lot of trust in the medical community - my experience has been that they have my best interests at heart and would never advise something unnecessary. What is the old saying...short term pain for long term gain! Hang in there Snowbrush.

goodbadandugly2 said...

snow: Thanks for visiting me! Your dog is cute. Everything will be ok! Hang in there!

Natalie said...

Approaching childbirth was the same for me.
I was scared witless and rightly so, my coxxcyx was fractured and then my pelvis.
There are times my friend, when you just have to be brave, and trust in your ability to handle the situation.
We will support you as much as possible, but you have to do the hard yards for yourself. You can do this, it will be worth it.x

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. Living with pain is awful. Thank you for stopping by my site. I hope you'll visit again.

Lisa said...

yes, i relate to that fear and even more so when dogs are used in the example- my poor old lab Ruby- taking her to the vet for even acheck up is huge becasue of her anticipated pain.
Stay strong new friend.
Lisa x

Matawheeze said...

This would be a good time for some meditation and connecting with your body. Yeah, I know, very "new age" but it does help. Find a mental image or even something tangible (stuffed toys are good if you aren't too macho for it) to represent the physical self and just share fears and reassurance. If you have folks close by for a healing circle get 'em together on your side. And I'm sure your readers will be thinking healing your direction. I know I will.

Matawheeze said...

Just noticed your surgery is scheduled for my birthday. I'll be out watching gray whales for the Whale Spoken program. And thinking about you.

Strayer said...

Snowbrush, if you have surgery and need any help afterwards between you and your wife, and it's something I can do, just let me know. I don't live that far away. I think I found somebody with a Costco card in Albany who might go with me there, to get some cat food. Remember ice! Works good to kill pain and decrease inflammation.

All Consuming said...

I've had a few operations; one left me stuck in hospital in constant shocking pain for over six weeks. The very idea of another op made me want to close the book on life. I had no choice though, and dealt with it by the solid belief that no matter how much it hurts, the pain ends, because eventually it did, (well that pain did even if another took its place eventually), and so I don't dwell on any procedure I have to have at all now. I literally turn off from it with whatever will distract me enough, the web most certainly provides a fair amount of that, my friends do, music, reading avidly, drinking wildly and dancing round like a lunatic, whatever works, and then wait till the moment I actually have to deal with the reality of the situation. Usually by then I’m actually in the hospital and they drag me out of the book I’m engrossed in, and that’s when I deal with it. I have learnt that preparing myself for such things just makes me afraid and very miserable, thinking way ahead about every outcome and focusing on how bad the pain might be. I actually deal rather well with unpleasant things like that when I’m not wound up in some hyper state about it all and it’s all about the here and now. I’m glad you’re getting some comfort from us, all support systems can be uplifting and it’s good to have an extra one through the people we meet on here. I know you happily return the support when needed. Take care xx

JOE TODD said...

HOPE ALL GOES WELL KEEP US UPDATED.. JOE TODD

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

You know Snowbrush, I lived with the broken bone in my foot for weeks before I knew about it. That is not to say it didn't hurt, it did, and I just thought my arthritis was getting worse. I need surgery on my foot anyway and that's how the break was eventually detected. Once it was detected, I could sense the extra pain even more. My brain must have somehow dumbed down the pain to some extent as it sometimes does when living with a chronic condition (as you will know). All I'm saying is you can cope with this, your mind, soul and body will adapt to cope with this pain if you let it. I don't know if this makes any sense at all, or is appropriate or relevant - maybe not. All I mean to say is, have faith in yourself. Being tense makes pain worse, so if you can try to relax (meditation, whatever works) it will help. I wish you well. Keep us posted, we are thinking of you.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Hi Snowbrush. Thank you for visting my blog.

I'm sorry about all the fear and pain you're experiencing. I have no idea what it would be like to be in your situation. But I do know that whatever the pain, emotional or physical, it always hels me to think about the good things. Sounds trite, raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, etc. What you focus on expands. So focusing on the good usually helps me with my anxiety.

I wish you good health and a fast recovery.

Barry said...

I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but surgery does seem a primitive solution to healing.

However, its the best we have to offer at the moment. And if nothing else has worked, that only leaves one option.

My best wishes go with you.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

All the best with the surgery! Yes, sometimes there are no other ways...

Thanks for passing by!

Cheers,

Rosa

Michelle said...

I'm having surgery tomorrow and trying to focus on the results rather than the procedure :)

Thanks for commenting on my blog....and yes, I am an artist and that is the only reason paint is exciting!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Snowbrush, I am just recovering from back surgery, and I was in such fear about what might happen, but then did not transpire...

I was a madwoman! I am thinking of you and wishing you swift healing from your scars and understandable fears, my friend.

We have all pursued paths that have not always led us to healing, non?! Sometimes, surgery is the only alternative...

I wish you love and light and healing, and thank you so for finding me!

Bill said...

I hope everything goes well. I'm sure it will. It's better not to rush into surgery anyway, if there are potential alternatives. They diagnosed me with my back problem when I was only 19 and the first surgeon I spoke to wanted to go ahead and put me under the knife. The second guy said to exhaust all other alternatives and I am glad I listened to him. Just thinking of it fills me with anxiety. Anyway, good luck with everything and hopefully it won't keep you off the computer for long.

Renee said...

When are you having your surgery?

People don't realize how sore we can be when our shoulders are aching.

To move on my bed I can't use my shoulders because they kill me so I flop around like a walrus to get in a comfortable position. I am 217 pounds so I seriously flop.

But I feel for you and my pain is no where near anything you have to suffer with.

Hopefully the surgery will help you to be free of pain or at the very minimum comfortable.

Love Renee xoxo