This picture perfectly sums up my recovery thus far from my shoulder biopsy. Given it's my 10th shoulder surgery, you'd think I would know better. It seems I don't. I'm struggling a week post-op thinking I should be doing and feeling better than I am. And through a very frustrating past couple of days, I've realized that it's my expectations that are the problem, not necessarily my recovery.
I feel there are things that I gloss over because I've been through so many surgeries. If this had been my first surgery, I would have had lists and lists of questions and would have been very academically prepared with information. Since this is the 4th time I've had this specific procedure, I walked in with experience, but very little academic information.
I somehow didn't remember that I had to have my football-player type shoulder pad bandage on for 5 days before I could remove it and have a shower. I never really asked how long I should be off work. I know it varies by person and their job and their pain level. Somehow I expected that I would be ok to work on Tuesday, a mere 6 days post-op. Reflecting back, I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking. I didn't go to work yesterday, I worked from home. It went ok. And then I took my ok-feeling arm for a spin and cooked dinner and did a load of laundry. That did not go ok, so I rested.
Today, I went to work and was in a reasonably distracting amount of pain at 7:30 am sitting at my desk realizing that it was a pretty big mistake to be there. I stayed for a meeting and left, working from home this afternoon. I consider myself a fairly smart person, but I seem to be making some pretty dumb assumptions and decisions about my recovery.
I think this morning was a pretty clear wake up call for me. There was no reason for me to be in that much pain, sitting at my desk and trying to work. It was completely avoidable and unnecessary. The only person who expected me to be there was me. Had I only listened to my body and not felt like I could/should breeze through my recovery, I may have actually prevented myself some pain and frustration.
All of this is taking a bigger mental toll than it otherwise needs to. I'm upset. Frustrated. Short-tempered. Tired. Discouraged. Sad. Oh, and in pain, of course.
This song might be a bit dramatic as a reaction to today's insights, but it's one of my brother's favourites as far as I know, and it's aptly titled "Hurt". This version is by Johnny Cash and it's a cover of Nine Inch Nail's song. It's about living with the choices we've made, regretting some that we didn't. Today didn't represent some of my best choices, but I get another chance tomorrow.