My counselor (therapist) says that everything changes after surgery. At first I didn’t believe him; I mean, I’m me, I still live in the northern part of a major metro area, I still drive the same pickup, and I still co-own the same clinic. I still love organic meats and fruit/veggie smoothies. I still love eclectic music of various kinds. My family and friends were still, well, them.
But in a way, my counselor was right. Things had changed. Let’s chronicle a couple, shall we?
I learned that I like my work, but that it stresses me out. I shit you not–I saw my first patient since before my absence, and wow. Did. I. Feel. Like. An. Airhead. Asking around those who’d had hysterectomies before me, they said, “oh yeah. You’ll be fine around the house but when it comes time to do your regular work, you’ll feel cloudy.” Well, I figured that was code for, “milk it, baby.”
But they weren’t lying! Yessir, I can sure change out a House MD DVD from the box set (Seasons 1 through 5, if you must know) and I can apply Super Antioxidant cream to my incisions but boy howdy, don’t ask me an upper-level question involving patient care where I have to consider biochemistry. Yeah….no. I don’t think on my feet these days. You might say I think on my butt.
I learned that I’m a total and complete glutton for getting my hair combed…with someone else’s fingers. Oh my goodness, can we say sublime? Yes, C, even if you were just doing your thing, it was probably the single bestest therapeutic modality we could utilize. Don’t tell Erchonia, but it even beat out their laser.
It didn’t take long to find myself in the frustrating position of being able to do everything a little bit, but nothing completely.
For example, when changing out the bathroom trash, I could get the new bag open and into the trash can; I could not situate it properly, like getting the edge of the bag around the lip of the can. Nope. Psych!
I was surprised that I could take stairs as easily and quickly as I did. But when they say “no lifting”, they mean it! Anything more than a half-gallon of almond milk was too much for me.
I learned the hard way not to laugh during the first few weeks. As in, the Yellow Puddle Hard Way. That obviously meant a moratorium on belching and watching Family Guy.
My appetite has changed, too. I don’t eat like a horse anymore. I don’t have to; I’m not feeding fibroid parasites anymore.
But I’m not sure that even the above is what my counselor had in mind when he said everything changes. He’s not just talking about my new ironing-board belly, either (although I wish that was the extent of the changes!) I think he’s referring more toward deep stuff like the meaning of life.
I woke up. But there’s always a possibility that one might not. Hell, just read Robin Cook’s “Coma”. While I was surprisingly OK with dying if that’s what came to pass, I was vehemently against the idea of living like a vegetable should something go catastrophically awry. So I voiced my contingency Plan B in no uncertain terms.
Everything else? Is somewhat the same. Work is different. The clinic doesn’t yet feel like half-mine again. I feel funny asking my front desk person to do anything for me, even though we’re the ones that sign the paychecks. Everything ran so smoothly without me.
My marriage? That’s the same, too. We watched TV in the evenings before and we are again. We didn’t have much physical or affectionate contact before, and we don’t now. But I feel differently about it now. I felt somewhat ambivalent about that before, mostly because I had given up on the idea after more than a decade of attempted heart-to-heart talks.
But now I’m not so ambivalent. I’ve now tasted physical touch again, and I realize I crave it, like any other human being. Those two weeks were enough to awaken something. We need to be touched. We’d trade food or other basic needs in order to get touched. So, something will eventually have to give.
My friendships? One is much deeper now, at least from my end. I mean, it was pretty depth-enhanced before, but now I’ve found the abyss, in a very good way. Sort of in an Honorary Family Member sort of way.
For now, I live in my mental anticlimactic cloud, my brain scrounging for whatever dopamine it can find leftover from this month’s psychological party. And I dutifully make regular appearance in my counselor’s office. The Silver Lining Moment is: I’m tiny now 🙂