Start Your Engines

It’s a funny thing, recovering from surgery. Sometimes you go into it with no expectations, and you have a very difficult time afterward. Sometimes you go into it dreading the aftermath and are pleasantly surprised.

This time around, I was the latter. The morning of the operation (if you missed the details, read more here), right after the anesthesiologist gave me his pep talk, I told my husband that we still had time to disconnect my IV and leave. That earned me a stern eyebrow raise. R knew my continued health required that I master my fear, even if I couldn’t bring myself to. The surgeon came in right after that, and asked how I was.

“I’m nervous,” I told him.

He quirked a tiny smile. “I’m not.”

Then he leaves. I kid you not–just walks out without saying anything else. My surgeon is a teddy bear of a man, a guy of few words, and someone absolutely sure of his craft.  A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist is back with a “margarita” and I remember saying something to my husband–then NOTHING else for about 3 hours. Total blank. I woke up briefly in recovery to get a high five from the pulomonologist, then back to sleep until I woke up in the ICU an hour later.

Now, you’re probably thinking, the fun begins. And yeah, it did. I won’t lie–the first few days were painful. But, being a writer with a good imagination, I found I’d built it up so much in my head that it was actually quite bearable compared to what I expected. BONUS. It helped that the surgery had not only been routine–it had rocked. They finished an hour faster than expected, and got the entire lesion on the first go. Boom.

So here I am, in the ICU. Scary, right? Nope. The drugs were good and the nurses were nice…and they had me out of bed that afternoon. Not kidding–I was up WALKING AROUND four hours after surgery. The next morning, the physical therapist shows up and we take a stroll up and down the hall. Sure I was noodle-legged after, but what an accomplishment. I’m telling you, modern surgery is amazing.

The first few days after I got home, I was pretty much a slug. I read, listened to eBooks, and watched TV (a little–my mind tended to wander). Now, only three weeks post-surgery, I’m back at my laptop, typing away. I’m still experiencing some pain and numbness (and  fatigue is still a problem–I have to take a lot of little rest breaks), so I’m not up for a full day of work yet, but I’m much farther along than I thought I’d be. I’m even able to walk about half a mile (slower than usual, sure) and hoping to get up to a mile next week.

Even better? The surgery seems to have fixed the issues I was having. So not only did it go well, it fixed what it needed to fix.

So why tell you all this? And what does it have to do with writing or books? Well, there are two reasons:

1) I learned a lesson about ignoring medical issues over the last year. Don’t be like me. If something unusual and worrisome is going on, go get it looked at. Just do.

2) I’m starting to write again. It’s hard; my brain isn’t functioning at 100% yet. BUT, I’m scratching out words every day. It might only be a page’s worth, but there are words.  Was I scared to sink back in? Yes–the fear is always there when you restart after a break. But I did it anyway.

What’s my point? If you’re thinking about writing but don’t think you can–stop worrying and do it. You owe it to yourself and your muse to plunk those words down. If I can get back into the groove after this detour, so can you. Be like my surgeon and say, “I’m not nervous. I got this,” and get going. It’s just you and your words until you’re ready to let them outside, so no fear, okay?

It’s time to start your engines and hit the track.

Leave a Reply