First, Thank you again, all of you, for your thoughts, prayers, cards, wishes, and just the fact that you cared. Thank-you!
This last week was a roller coaster of ups and downs. I spiked a fever on Monday - the same day I decided to cut my meds in half- and ween myself down to just a Tylenol every eight hours. 12 Hours later and I was in so much pain with flu like symptoms magnified to the Nth degree ; that I actually cried.
It is amazing how much relief you can get from a good cry. More on that later.
Okay, we go see the Surgeon first thing in the morning on Thursday (after three days of fever and chills- and me making promises to every Deity known to man) to find out what is going on.
It turns out I have a fairly serious infection called Cellulitis. It is like you have a petrie dish living inside your body where it is the perfect place for any horrible pathogen to grow in. It happens from the blood pooling in some area, and that blood “dies” and acts like fertilizer for any bug that wants to grow there.
The good news is twofold: One) It wasn’t in the surgical incision itself. Two: they know how to treat it AND we caught it early.
My fever had just broken the night before around 10 PM, and then just sweats until we saw the Surgeon. I was feeling tired - but pretty good all around.
And today, my daughter is coming over at lunch time, and I am going for my first walk outdoors since the Surgery. Just around the block- if we make it. LOL
So that is the update.
Now, onto the Mental Affects since the Surgery.
The mind is a wonderful thing. It is so powerful (to paraphrase Milton’s Paradise Lost) that it can, and of itself; make a heaven out of hell, or a hell out of heaven.
My mind has done both. LOL
The first thing that you notice when you wake up from Surgery is the absence of pain. Oh sure, you do have the surgical pain to deal with, but the bone on bone, personality crushing, dream stealing constant pain of bone on bone arthritis -gone.
In my case it showed itself as almost a euphoria. Lifting the pain, lifted my spirits, my mood, my mindset. Nothing bothers me now. What will be will be. I never lost my “euphoria” even in the midst of that fever filled week that was the true low point since surgery. I let go of everything but healing.
The sense of detachment seems to be attached to the Euphoria. For I am slightly detached from “Reality”. Or more accurately- detached from the current polemics and hysterics surrounding all National and Regional News.
No thoughts or opinions about things I know little or nothing about. No testy diatribes by one Party or the other - penetrate my little bubble of personal reality. I haven’t had a single political, tragic, or vindictive thought in my head for going on two weeks. The world didn’t stop when I stopped going for a ride with it.
It is a Mental State somewhere between “Let go and Let God” and “Far out!” (Can you tell I am a child of the sixties?) I don’t care if some famous person tweets something ugly, or if talking heads want to keep you emotionally riled up and mentally off balance. I have let go of the burdens of the World to make my small parcel a garden.
The monkey’s that inhabited my back for so long, have been shaken off to go back into the trees or find a more welcoming back to roost on. I gave them each a banana and told them to go find a new home.
Opinions voiced by people no longer anger me, challenge me, or invite me to escalate the conversation. Somehow, my new Mental Powers cut through what they are saying to see the Truth: they just want to be heard. To have someone listen to them. I have that in my mind now when I talk with a News Junkie- that the reason they are so passionate, even angry- is simply because they care.
So I smile and nod.
I can also walk away from a subject without getting sucked in. I will either change the subject, or quietly drop it. If you go on too long, I simply say that isn’t something I choose to focus on today. And I walk away.
Not with any malice, or relief, but simply letting the monkeys stay where they belong. I am not going to be angry at anyone - and make myself angry as an aside- just because my views and yours do not match. I am not wrong. You are not wrong. I can choose my thoughts, I can’t change your mind. So I don’t try to do the latter, and former…well, I choose wisely.
I appreciate the littlest of things. Sitting on a chair- for example. Getting a card from someone wishing me well, good health, and a speedy recovery. I would have to say that I brush up against humility now several times a day. I have been humbled, and it is humbling.
Then the Twins showed up in force: Gratitude and Gratefulness. Until the mid sixties, you couldn’t get a new hip. People just had to live with that crushing chronic pain until they died. But Medical Geniuses and dedicated Health Care folks found a solution. Now, well, total hip replacement is almost routine. People who cared long ago made it safe for me to escape pain and crippling immobility. People who care now, made it so I could walk up stairs the same day I came home.
I am grateful to them all. Gratitude oozes out of me in a steady flow of thank you’s, you are so kind, and without your help I couldn’t have had as good a day as I am. I am alive. I am Healing. I am loved. What more could you ask for…or want?
Another Mental Affect is the effect of almost lucid dreams that mimic reality to the most minor detail. I actually feel as if I am having a conversation with someone- I wait for their questions and make my answer, or I just listen to what they have to say. Then I wake up.
For a brief moment I am caught in this place where I am watching myself enjoying a flowing conversation about the possibility of “quark Molecules”- and I become aware that I was dreaming. Vivid. Strange. Delicious.
I am not up on current events- my mind has developed a shield around it. Like snacks at home. If you have junk food around your house, you eat it. If there isn’t any…well, you choose the apple. LOL
So junk mind food is out of the house. My tastes for Music without lyrics is growing - as words cause me to think more than feel. So I put on “feel good music” : piano, cello, Saxophone, and Classical pieces. My mind floats with the gentle sway of the humor and pathos in the music itself, without cluttering it up with personal sadness, loss, or remorse.
So I listen to people and music differently.
I have become kinder too. My harsh judgments of you, your opinions, and your choices- are gone. I wish and truly want you to have a great day. And it shows.
I believe I may also be experiencing contentment. I have no need to improve (or disprove) anyone’s opinion of me. Who I am- is not who you think I am. I am me. You can accept me- or not. But you can’t alter me anymore- because I have accepted me: the good, the bad, the ugly. I am me. Just me. It is lovely.
So there you go. Strange Mental States that have slowly surfaced since the Surgery. Some caused by the release from Pain. Some from the pain medicines themselves. Some from just learning that I should be grateful more often.