I deal with a handful of 'invisible' medical conditions. I don't think anyone understands exactly how exhausting that is. The fact that I can maintain my performance at my job often is a success in itself; many days just making it to work, through work, and home again is an outstanding accomplishment. And I know I should be thankful for the fact that I get to do that. Go to work. And believe me, I am. As I know there are many out there, battling with a handful of medical conditions of their, invisible or otherwise, and are unable to work. It really is a matter of being grateful for what you have.
One of the conditions I am faced with daily is Endometriosis. The main symptoms are pain in the pelvis area (abdomen and even the lower back region) and extreme fatigue. While it isn't curable, there are procedures to reduce, at least temporarily, the pain experienced. Last week, I had an operation to remove a cyst from one ovary, and remove endometriosis from the other ovary - as well as my pelvic area. In the pre-procedure appointment, my specialist estimated I would need 1-2 weeks for recovery time. At first, I figured he was over-estimating that time, just to be on the safe side. Now that I am just at the one week marker, I realize he was right on target. For me, I can honestly say I underestimated the impact of the procedure. I have had a laparoscopy once before, for endometriosis. The last time the growth of endometriosis was only on the wall of my pelvis. Perhaps because this procedure involved both of my ovaries...maybe this is why the pain and discomfort persists? I can only speculate. I personally expected to be back at work today! That didn't happen. With how physically exhausted I still am, and the pain in my abdomen - albeit better, I am doubtful that tomorrow will be the day either.
It's just hard for me to just relax. I am learning this with each passing day. It's one thing to come home after work and unwind after ones' day, but it seems to be another thing all together to honestly rest and recover, and truly relax. I feel like I should be getting chores done, accomplishing something - anything. Since, small efforts seem like monumental physical exertions, I may need to accept the fact that things can wait. There will be another day to catch up on chores. For today, right now, I just need to stop worrying about all I am not doing when I am simply lying around. And just be.
I thought a positive in all of this, along with a successful procedure which hopefully will give me another year with minimized pain caused by endometriosis, would be that I would have time to write. Write and read, that was the plan. It was frustrating to realize I had no focus for either. I would crack open a book and the words would blur before my eyes. Just as it would when I opened a word document to work on my book. A friend made a very wise, apparently true statement the other day: That nothing special would be created during a time if I have to force the effort. This blog entry, and a few practice Haikus sums up my writing success during the past week. Hopefully as each day passes toward me being back to normal, these examples will grow in number. Until then, I will simply have to accept that...it is what it is.
The bewildering thing is, even though I have a valid reason for it, I actually feel guilty about each day I miss at work (and each day I am not producing with my story). I feel the need to hop to it, get on with my recovery and get back to work. Not that there is any way to rush the body as it heals.
I guess the lesson of the day, or more appropriately the week, is acceptance. If it's something I cannot change, ie the time it takes for my body to recovery from this particular operation, to learn to accept that and relax and everything will work out in due time. Life has a way of reminding us of this, doesn't it?