Energy Depletion

At this point, I’m doing pretty much everything. I don’t think I’ll be mowing the lawn, and the dogs are staying where they are, but otherwise, it’s going well. Yesterday an occupational therapist came by to help me work out a way to get into the tub/shower. It turned out easy. She figured out a safe method in about two seconds and that was that.

I get tired easily — but I think that’s to be expected. Still, last night I slept longer without opiates than I have since the surgery. That’s good news, too.

I’ve also learned that right now, anyway, I can’t handle negativity at all. And my idea of what constitutes negativity has shifted a bit as well. At this moment, “positive” people include those who ask me if they can help me or understand that I might have limitations, and who understand I don’t have my usual stamina. It seems egocentric, but I think, in a way, we want friends who — in times of struggle — are as attentive to us as we’re willing to be to them. It’s natural that right now I’m kind of self-absorbed since my main job is staying upright and helping my hip heal.

That made me think about conversations in general. Positive people are optimistic about the future, involved in the present, and able to forgive the past for letting them down. When I think about this whole hip surgery odyssey that’s the whole point. To do it at all, I had to become optimistic about the future (with a good hip), involved in the present moment so I could do/can do what I have to do, and I have had to forgive the past for “giving” me arthritis in the first place.

I remember once when my second marriage had fallen apart, and various other crises were swirling around my life, I was standing at my garage door trying to open it. I couldn’t. The garage was so jammed with stuff my second husband had acquired that the door would stick at a certain point and not open all the way. I stood there and looked at the door and thought, “There’s a reason our eyes are in front because that’s where we live. We live in the future. We go forward.”

It was kind of a profound thought to be inspired by a garage door, but some of those satoris happen just that randomly. So negativity has also come to mean — for me, right now — conversations that are not forward looking and people who dwell on things in the past they cannot change. It’s an interesting evolution.

24 thoughts on “Energy Depletion

  1. I’ve always felt life is best lived looking forward and learning from the past. I’m a lot happier when I don’t hold onto the negativity. Nice post. Glad you are doing well!

  2. Sounds like you are moving along well in this recovery/healing process. Learn from the past and let it go. There’s a fine balance with that, often challenging for my highly traumatized clients. And its essential if we are to be unstuck in our lives.

    I was worried when I saw the garage door pic–oh my. And then I read your post and assume it was there to illustrate, and is not your current garage door–tough to fix for anyone, and in Month 1 post op, no thank you.

    Sleep and a good shower–enjoy!

    • No this isn’t my current garage door — and that one was double + — a real pain. And my current garage door was new last summer and I’m still in love with it. 🙂

      My mantra is, “Rest, try things, do what makes you happy.”

      • perfect! A good garage door in good working order is a wonderful thing. When I bought my house, my dad gave me a garage door opener for christmas (just after my closing) A much used and appreciated gift (2 replacements later, but its been 30 years)

  3. That IS an interesting evolution — and a huge step forward for you! It is my philosophy that we should learn from the past in order to move forward, but that residing in the past gets us nowhere. I love the story about the OT figuring out how to get into your shower — she’s also learned from the past in order to move others forward! You’re doing well, and the dogs will come home in due time, when you are ready for them.

    • Yep. I will be VERY glad to see the dogs when I can safely go get them and bring them home.

      Yeah — the thing about the past is that there is — for everyone — stuff we wish we’d done differently, but we can’t know if it would have changed anything or not AND anyway, what’s past has passed. Constantly rehashing hypothetical alternative past realities is useless. There’s a lot to the Sartre quotation, “Be here now!”

      • People usually tend to make the best decision with the information at hand — as we move forward and gain more information, it’s easy to believe that maybe it wasn’t the best decision, when, in reality, it was the best decision with the information at hand at the time. “Be here now!” is a great quote!

        • I agree! I have some regrets, but I respect the person I was enough to believe in her (my) past choices, and when I look around at my “now” I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

  4. This was a good read, Martha. I was a bit concerned when I saw the photo, but now I get it. I was in a bad way when I was going through all my surgeries, a couple years ago. But now….now I don’t even think about them. Don’t want to think about them. I am off chemo and moving forward. That’s exactly why our eyes are in front. How profound, indeed. I like the way you think.

    • Thank you, Lois. I think being in a bad way when bad stuff is happening is actually sane. I think we need to say, “Uh-oh this is bad and I feel bad about it.” I’m glad I went through that stage with this surgery (and the last) it was part of understanding what I was doing and it helped me prepare for this part which is no picnic (as you know… 😦 ) I’m grateful for all the wise “ears” who were “listening” and coaching me through that moment. ❤

  5. I’m looking forward to the return of your dogs! That will be one big huge slobbering celebration for one an all. Glad you managed to work out getting into the tub. I thought I might help, but I kind of live a bit far away and these things are hard to explain in a comment.

    Being more tired than usual is normal and being able to sleep later without more drugs is GREAT. I know it seems slow, but it really, from this end of the continent, it seems to me you are speeding along and doing great!

    • Thank you! I set myself a little task every day and usually I manage it. Today it is watering the front lawn 😀

      I am looking forward to holding my giant white dog on my lap and giving my Dusty boy his morning coffee ☕️

  6. Your attitude is wonderful! I love your garage door metaphor. (I found myself correcting my grammar on this post since you were a college professor.) Did you earn a PHD?

    • I pondered going for a PhD but decided I had better things to do that study literary criticism and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege. I’m probably an intellectual, but not an academic. Also, I don’t check people’s grammar and stuff. I make those kinds of mistakes too consistently to judge anyone (and, I retired!)

  7. I find when I’m out with my friends and we are discussing our various trials and tribulations, it normally leads to a great deal of shared humour and hilarity. It helps if you can see the funny side. You have to admit that garage door is pretty funny. 🙂

  8. I’ve been traveling for family graduations and out of touch, so I liked catching up with you, your recovery, and your current feelings about your hip surgery. Sounds like you’re in a good place. Thank God for physical/occupational therapists. I’m going to start seeing a physical therapist next week for this nagging, bothersome hiking injury that doesn’t have the manners to disappear. I, too, in recent years, have learned to dismiss negativity, my own and that of others—most of the time.

Comments are closed.