I am now some five or six weeks post surgery and am feeling better. (I overtook another pedestrian on the hill into town recently. Granted he was around 80 years old and using a Zimmer frame. But it was progress!) I’m finding this stage of my recovery very frustrating. Part of me is saying “Come on. You’ve had six weeks of lounging around being ill. Enough is enough. Get back to work. Do something constructive. Get to the gym. Go for a ride.” And another part warns “This is typical you. It is impossible for you to be less than 100% of anything. Take it easy and you will be back on your bike etc. Rush it and you’ll set things back by who knows how long?” I’m trying to listen to this part of me – externalized in my wife! But my nature is to be restless. I need to feel that I have achieved something each day. Even when I was in hospital, the moment I was told it was ok to do some gentle exercise, I learned how to disconnect my monitors and simply told a passing nurse “I’m going for a walk.” It probably did me no harm but unless somebody had sedated me, I was going out. I had to in order to prove I was still alive -and not merely physically. I remember thinking when I got home that I had spent two weeks behind enemy lines, trying to survive.  Somehow my illness and recovering from it became a battle for my soul. My sense of who I was and how I did things became identified with that ability to go out for a walk on my terms. It became a statement that said “OK. My body has had a huge shock. Fine. Now get on with life.”

Michael Eigen, in his book “The Psychoanalytic Mystic”,  comments “Nothing one goes through in a deep way is wasted.” I hope he’s right. I hope that I can incorporate my experience into my sense of Me-ness in a way that also accords with the WHO definition of Health. Otherwise I shall have wasted something that should be important. My heart damage was a shock. It was / is something that I have gone through deeply. The next stages are going to prove interesting. How I find a meaning / shape /purpose to the experience.

Watch this space…



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