On Forceful Quiet

July 16, 2014


quiet window
I have been under House Arrest for almost two weeks now. I am under strict instructions to do basically nothing. No lifting, no bending, no twisting. Rest. Nap. Take medicine as needed, preferably on time. Walk around a few times a day, but if you get tired, or struggle in any way, stop.

This was surprisingly difficult at first. My aftermath hasn’t been that at all. Very NOT aftermath. I had expected some level of catastrophic pain or physical difficulty. What I found was a pain level of “annoying” and the biggest complaint was the swelling and location of my abdominal incision. My back might look a bit like a war zone with multiple incision sites, but they are minor. The only thing irritating there is the steri-strips starting to come off slooooowly.

But, that said, it’s SUPER easy to rest and nap with 15mg of Vicodin plus a muscle relaxer in you. I was the valedictorian of naps.

I’ve since weaned myself off a good portion of the pain medicine, and it was the coming out of the fog that has been such an interesting lesson.

Turns out I can be quiet. I can rest. I can shut my brain off and let go of all the “should be doings” and “need to be doings” and not feel guilty about taking time to do what I need to do. Of course, I can do these things because I have an amazing family and friend support system who is helping me do that, but I have to allow that to happen.

And I did. I am. That is a milestone.

I like the quiet. I like the lack of chaos. It’s what I will cultivate going forward. I’ve discovered a few other things as well. The biggest one, not surprisingly, is that my kids like it, too. Leah is helping more in the kitchen, and not really complaining about it. Benjamin is helping more also – and happy to do it. Because of how the past two weeks ended up schedule-wise, I got to spend a lot of time with them in the hospital and at home. Leah likes to check on the plants outside with me – and water when needed. Benjamin likes having more reading time at night. There have been ENDLESS Legos put together. There are more hugs and kisses and thank yous and “you’re awesomes” and snuggles in THEIR beds and LOTS more talking about their day and it feels nice.

There are these birds that love the patio my bedroom and living room look out on. Every day I watch different sets of them fly up and down from the gutter, where a nest has been built, to the stone. They hop around, sit on the patio furniture in dire need of some spray paint, and try desperately to figure out how to get in the french doors. It’s charming. Another set of blue jays lives in my backyard bushes and spends a good deal of time investigating the grass, the new flowers, and the 50+ year old tree my dad planted. The back yard is starting to take shape and all this nature that is coming to discover our work is soothing in a way. I’m even making sure the bird bath is properly outfitted. It’s summer here in Houston and I want to be a good host to the bird friends.

I have a list of things I need and want to do, but I’m working on not rushing to do all of them immediately. I have one shot to heal, and heal correctly, and I’m taking it. But, as things progress, I’m starting to prioritize the list. There are big things and little things and things that can be done on the Internet. There are short term things and long term things and easy things and hard things, but, right now, the first thing is to get back into the kitchen.

And that will be enough.

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One Response to “On Forceful Quiet”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    So when are you pivoting Outside Voice to become a personal blog again ? 🙂