Healing can often require a degree of selfishness, or so it seems to me based on my experiences over the past four months. I have had to come to terms with the limitations placed upon me by my injury and ensuing pain and recovery process. Some days I think I am doing very well. My attitude is upbeat and positive. I’m dealing well with the slowness of my progress and the weeks of boredom as I’ve been off work. Most of the time I am doing pretty good, but there are still so many days where I am not doing nearly as well as I think I am.
This week has been a mostly low series of days with no real rhyme or reason, except that I am bored, frustrated, impatient, and a little afraid.
I had another appointment with my doctor yesterday, which was fine but still frustrating. My medical leave is supposed to end on Monday, so I had to get my doctor to sign off on an updated abilities form for my return to work. Every visit with him feels like a waste of my time and taxpayers money. He doesn’t put any effort or care into “treating” me, but wants me to see him again in two weeks. At this point, I’m not so inclined to book another follow-up appointment. What for? So he can tell me again that healing will take time? It’s not like he actually examines me or tests my progress or capabilities. No, unless there is an absolute need, I won’t be seeing my doctor in two weeks.
I know that healing will take time. I have read and heard this same thing over and over and over again since herniating my disc. I get it. I even accept it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel impatient now and then. Great strides have been made in my progress since the injury; however, it seems as if I’ve settled into a stagnant stage. From my perspective, there hasn’t been much, if any, change in the past month or so. Still the same numbness in the left leg/foot. Still the same currents and crawlies in both legs when I lay down. Still the same achiness in the back. Still not sleeping well. Still exhausted doing nothing at all. Last month, my physiotherapist had said that there was improvement from his perspective, even if I didn’t see it. That’s reassuring on many levels, but it doesn’t make my body hurt any less. Sometimes I just want to know how long!
With my updated abilities form now submitted in the hopes of being cleared to return to work soon, I am both excited and afraid. I haven’t worked since December 1, 2017, so I am desperate to get back to it. While I won’t verbalize it to most, the prospect of going back to work is also scary on two fronts. One being the nature of missing out on 3.5 months of changes and updates and interacting with regular customers. I know I’ll get back in the swing of things quickly, but the scope of my need to catch-up is also overwhelming. Secondly, I cannot help but wonder if I am physically ready. Talking with my husband this morning about my doctor’s comments and frustrating lack of care in filling out my abilities form, my husband asked with concern if I was certain that I should go back to work yet. To be honest, I don’t know how to answer that question. I just don’t know! I want to get back to work. I probably need to get back to work. But I also fear that I am going to hurt at work for a long time still. How can I not when I still hurt in general?
So, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and it has been oppressively heavy. Self-care has been hard, which is often the case when I run into a low mood phase. I go through the motions with as little effort as possible until I get so disgusted with myself that I can scrape up enough motivation to do something about it. Today was that day. Early this afternoon, I forced myself to take a real bath and not just the ‘quick as I can’ type. I added lavender oil to the water and filled the tub deeper than usual. I treated myself to a face mask. Dry brushed my skin. I even endured the torture of shaving my legs…something I’ve only done 3 times now since herniating the disc. After the bath, I rubbed extra emollient skin cream into my heels, which have been suffering from neglect due to the torture of bending that far. Coconut body butter was rubbed into the rest of my dry skin. It’s amazing how something so simple as a bath and shaving legs can make me feel so much better! It’s too bad that both actions are too painful to perform more frequently.