Recovery is just a son of a bitch. 6 weeks they say… 6 weeks and you’ll be back to your routine… 6 weeks and you can “get back in shape”… 6 weeks and perhaps the pain will subside…. 6 weeks and then… What? Some kind of absolution from the horror that is brain surgery? 6 weeks to normalcy? 6 weeks to comfort? 6 weeks to fun? Hmmm. 6 weeks has now become an entirely arbitrary amount of time to me.
What they don’t tell you is that 6 turns to 7 turns to 8 turns to 9. And the reprieve from the pain? It doesn’t come. The pain lingers, hiding, subtly masked behind a joke or smile. Not a very good hider it can be coaxed out with a laugh, a sneeze or a cough. I know, right?! Those basic bodily functions can be a real son of a bitch, especially when in recovery. Yea, a son of a son of a bitch.
Being that I don’t want to shock my newly cemented head anymore than dental work 3 weeks after surgery or starting back at phd school, I opted not to go back to CrossFit as it is a surprisingly bouncy activity, one not superbly suited to recovery (that SOB). So I spent $74.90 on a workout DVD and spend each afternoon Brazil butt lifting as it were. The workouts are surprisingly hard, my weights are surprisingly light and my balance is (not so surprisingly being that I had a vestibular tumor) awful. The workouts tax my body and at points I am barely flailing or I’m clutching my knees with my palms catching my breath as the tan toned bodies in the video continue forward. Ugh. My coordination leaves a lot wanting. Yearning to be as sexy and beautiful as the women shown, I purse my lips, oblivious to the asymmetry that is magnified by such facial gestures. I awkwardly will my body right and left thinking one day these jerky movements will convert themselves to graceful dance moves. That’s right, I’ll be someone with moves… Welp, it hasn’t happened yet. My body seemingly only moves to the right. I’m not an ambiturner! So each night I grin and bear it. I smile when the instructor tells me to and sometimes I even have fun. But in the back of mind is a constant justification. This would be easier if I wasn’t recovering. It’s my eternal excuse to myself and yet it is that which I am least forgiving of in my own life. So I practice patience, compassion, and I try, though I see nothing but it’s imperfections, to honor my body.
This process of recovery, AKA hanging with worlds biggest SOB, has had it’s redeeming moments however. Through fear and the sudden nature of needing another surgery, my life’s greatest miracle has revealed itself. And I’m not one to believe in such things, but the greatest love I’ve known revealed itself to me in new and powerful ways. Love proved the answer to my questions of where life will take me and I find myself engaged to a man who has stood proudly by my side. In an unending love that is surely unbreakable by now, I find myself motivated to lift this butt to a level no one has seen! But it’s about more than that. The physical is simply a manifestation of where I’ve been and where I’ll end up. This vessel will eventually lose it’s form regardless of the DVDs I watch and do, my hair will grow over my scar and the reminder of my every day struggle will be a covered over memory. But I’ll continue to fight for my body to honor my mind. I’ll recognize the immense luck I’ve had to have has survived and I’ll slap that recovery SOB square in the face. We overcome only what challenges we are ready to face. This physical challenge will open way to much more Important answers as to who we are and how we should be. At the end of the day, we are fighters, we have to be. And we finally see that if we love hard, work hard and fight hard, life will grant us (and we’ll take it!) a win.
My state is mostly underwater this weekend and many are struggling on this night in Colorado to most literally keep their heads above water, so we all have that which we must fight to get past. Life is recovering from one moment as we prepare for the often hidden beauty of the next.
I’m off to go recover. Wish me luck.
Oh and screw 6 weeks. Life is a process, a journey to enjoy and 6 weeks can’t contain all the lessons, love, and joy needed to recover.
Peace and love,
I’m a brain tumor survivor as well – almost two years. Great post. Keep moving forward.
Thanks for the message! I appreciate it! Hope you’ve done well in your recovery 🙂
Here’s my blog, if you’d like to visit. 🙂