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.