I have decided to take this week, to steal it out of time. I'm going to let this be my week of forgetting about the future, forgetting about the vacations we have planned and the things that I may or may not be able to do. This is my week of giving up hope--hope that I can avoid surgery, or that surgery will fix me, or that anything specific will happen with my back--and just assessing how I feel each moment. This is going to be my week of sitting with myself, putting everything else aside, and trying to make the best decision for my health and my future. I hope that by the end of it, a decision of some sort will begin bubbling to the surface.
Here are some things I plan to do during this week:
- Meditate! This is where my inner wisdom can emerge.
- Go to the accupuncturist. I want to have some sense of whether this might help the spasming muscles in my back. Plus, I somehow feel that it will help to bring me an answer. I'm not sre why.
- Exercise. I'm going to keep up my PT stretches and exercise in whatever way I can, which is probably only walking in the pool right now. But if I have this surgery, I don't want to look back and think that I gave up too soon on helping myself.
- Write. Writing has always helped me clarify my thoughts, so I'm going to try and write here every day, as long as it feels right.
- Read. Books that make me feel calmer or help me see that I am not alone in my struggles.
- Cultivate acceptance. I have to accept that my storyline of a glorious spring recovery is not happening. Things are not going according to plan, and being hell-bent on trying to mold things to my plan could lead to a bad decision.
- Cultivate faith. I'm going to be OK. I'm going to find my way through this very difficult time. I have a lot more life to live, and I am not always going to be defined by my back pain. I have made it through a lot of other struggles that felt insurmountable at the time. This is just another part of the path, and it will pass.
- Try to get on with it. Try to do my work and live my life and go about my normal activities. If I lie on the couch all week avoiding pain, I won't get to know my pain or be able to decide if I can live with it.
This plan feels bearable. I'm not asking myself to hang out indefinitely. I'm just asking for one week and, at the end of it, I can decide to have surgery if that's what I feel like I need to do for my sanity and my health. One week. Here we go.