So cliche’. I know it’s not just a river in Africa. It’s a coping mechanism. We use it when we aren’t ready to accept truth. We bargain. We blame. We excuse. We wish for something different, something better, until we are ready to accept what is.
I have a partial thickness tear in my rotator cuff that needs surgery…on my dominant arm.
What is…isn’t as bad as it could be. I work around the worst-case scenarios on a daily basis. Thus, I really have no room for complaint. But I’ve never really had surgery and I hate needles and the idea of anesthesia. I can’t stand pain pills. I’ve put up with the pain for almost four years. It’s worn on me.
Some nurse! I wouldn’t give that kind of advice to a patient, or a family member. And really, we don’t do what we need to do until it really impacts our lives. I mean…at least I can still ski. I don’t need arms for that.
I don’t sleep well because I can’t get comfortable. I can’t back my car up the normal way. I can’t reach into the cupboard. I can’t open jars of things. I can’t put my arm over my head without causing a cluster of feelings that mimic WTF? I have to put my coat on in a certain way. I’m cranky at times because I’m tired. I want to fly-fish. I want to go rafting. I want to ride my bike. I want to backpack. Like, for a long time.
I know what needs to be done so I can do those things. But when I think about four weeks in a sling, three months of recovery, losing money while being off work, being bored out of my skull at home, and the pain of healing and enduring the physical therapy…I don’t wanna!
My employer is amazing. My friends and coworkers are another one of my many families. My landlords/neighbors are incredible. The orthopedic surgeons here are world-class. I couldn’t ask for a better situation. And still, I don’t wanna!
I need time to wrap my head around this. I float in and out of denial and truth like the wind blows through the trees, onto the plains and back again. I don’t wanna be maimed. I don’t wanna be off work. I don’t wanna take pain meds. I don’t wanna have a bum shoulder forever.
And then…I think about the courage, strength, and hope that our patients have every single day they wake up. I need to put my big girl boots on and suck it up.
Don’t be such a wimp.