It’s not time to worry yet-
Dear Readers, since Summer has surrendered to the beauty of the Fall, I have been obsessing over my left knee as the days grow shorter and the nights increasingly grow colder. I feel nothing different in it. It doesn’t hurt as much as before, just some clicking and popping – the occasional swelling reminding me to slow down and rest. And yet, in the past, I have had severe, tear inducing pain underneath where my left index finger rests this morning. A few months ago (July maybe …) after doing too much physically during class, cycling with no intention or purpose: In essence ignoring my body, I had the same feelings, in the same spot of my surgery. I obsessively spent countless hours rubbing and massaging around the medial side of my left patella, the femoral notch, the spot on your lovers knee that you place your hand while driving one Fall morning to pick apples … I did this to the point of bruising the still tender soft tissue where my surgeon ripped my knee apart.
Last evening while reading Siddhartha, cuddled up with my Son lying on the floor, nothing is going on. no pain, Yet in my mind I feel like I feel something, in the sense of sensing something is wrong. I feel like I sense something there, like an old friend paying a visit after a long journey …
Which reminds me of something. It’s about “some” dude who visited a friend recently, “Right here.”
I He said, jabbing, poking at the exact spot. The doctor friend replied, looking directly in my unwavering eyes, “have you been doing this a lot?” “What do you mean by this?” I replied, jabbing and prodding at the incision points insistently.
“Yes. Said the doctor. “Yes,” she said.
My friend looked me in my eyes once again, her hand placed on my knee with care and softly spoke … “Stop doing that – Dude.”
Pain will come with time, but time will heal the pain-
Let the above quote settle in your heart for a moment …
Life can be full of emotional “roles” we take on. I am tired of trying to act out what others have created – written for me, and I want to define myself for who I really am, not what’s expected.
Of the 500+ blog posts I have written, this one has been by far the most challenging. Why? Because it is more Uncle Ben Kenobi then Luke Skywalker and while I like to think I can save the day, every day, for everyone, like an intergalactic heroine; I realize I must now save myself. I am not a fictional character but a simple dude figuring things out and sharing observations along the way. A simple dude who is learning that being healthy and pain-free is not a luxury to take lightly, it is part of my journey.
I’ve arrived to the conclusion that I need more than awareness, I need acceptance in my life. I am fully aware that I live with unwavering pain everyday, simply waking up in the morning (hell, I never fall sleep) is enough of a reminder.
I fully realize now (in this uncomfortable writing position) that awareness is the crisp sheet of Star Wars wrapping paper my lovely wife and I firmly wrap around our son’s birthday presents, with the gift(s) neatly stowed inside, and acceptance is the shredded aftermath of his fury: ribbons, bows, poorly taped boxes, and batteries I forgot to pick up the night before (because focusing on suppressing pain is all-consuming) … it is effort, function, and truth beyond projected images. They are both beautiful and play important roles in our life.
Awareness: I have always wanted to get better after each injury, heal faster, be healthier, listen to everyone’s problems, and take away everyone’s pain away without ever taking time to acknowledge my own. I’m terrified of pain … I want to be the poetic ideal that everyone believes I am. A friend, a father and husband with time and heart for all who come in need of a hug or a willing ear, to process a conversation or opinion without judgement. I want to meditate peacefully, perform yoga pain-free, be a better lover, and be honest and open to all I meet. Is that too much to be all of the time?
The answer of course is a resounding YES! Because after years of simply being aware of the pain, I am now laid barre writing to you, fully accepting where I am at in life.
Acceptance: I have always thought that simply not being in the grasp of the worst of my pain was in fact happiness. Everything these past few years has been a matter of comparison for me, I am a walking barometer of pain. I want to know what happiness truly feels like. Happiness is not skipping mega doses of pain medication(s) one morning in order to know I am alive today in comparison to yesterday when I was under the influence of too much Motrin. My days are filled sharing with others in hopes that they will come to know happiness. That they can work towards being better, that you are allowed to eat red velvet birthday cake, drink too much wine and be merry. You don’t have to suppress the joys of life to achieve some self-serving, vanity filled fitness goal! What others expect you to be …
What follows is a note to myself:
I must take care of myself, not just so I can fulfill my obligations in life but to take care of those who love me.