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Understanding from Family, Friends, Coworkers Understanding from Family, Friends, Coworkers

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Unread 11-10-2010, 11:41 AM
Understanding from Family, Friends, Coworkers

Well, at first it was great- everyone understood that surgery was a big deal. My family has been fantastic, especially my sister (who went through it just a few months before I did) and my son, who has been picking up where I can't yet. He may not change the catbox as often as I'd like (ha), but he has actually been a Godsend in all this. And my sister has been a far better sister to me than I was to her at the time.

Friends and coworkers- they see that I feel better (I am not back at work yet, doc said 6 weeks but is letting me go back after 4) but don't understand that while I do feel better for the most part, I am not entirely healed.
Ironically, sister and I share a lot of friends and worked for the same company when she went through this, and she was out the full 6 weeks, so they should be aware already- even if they don't get it.

I'm being asked why I can't come back to work if I can go out to the farm (where I board my horse). Two days after I got out of the hospital and wasn't even getting out of bed, I was being asked to do some work from home- which financially would have been fantastic, but physically, I wasn't up to it.

I have been lifting more than I should, the last few days, but after reading some of the whys NOT to here, I am backing off and hoping I haven't caused myself any real damage. I figured I have always been physically strong (not always fit), and if I felt better, it would be okay.

I've explained that when I go to the farm, I am sitting around doing nothing and am only out there for a little while, not all day and not up and down stairs. I turn my horse out, brush him, and that's about it, other than walking to and from his paddock.

I feel I have to defend myself in order to be allowed to heal, and I'm finding that I resent it, because some of the very people who don't "get it" are folks I have offered unlimited understanding when they're in some sort of hardship. I know that life isn't always fair, right, or decent, but how have you coped with this, if you've had to...when it's people you care about and can't just walk away from?

What has your experience been?
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Unread 11-10-2010, 02:15 PM
Re: Understanding from Family, Friends, Coworkers

I had my surgery on Oct. 18 and will be out from work for the full six weeks. I sometimes struggle with this fact, especially in the past week when I feel somewhat human again and have been taking mini field-trips. (Once to the movie, twice out to lunch, one trip to grogery to buy some apple juice) I feel like I am playing hookie from work or I feel that others may question why I can go to the movies but not come back to work. I guess its just a matter of knowing the truth about this recovery and that I shouldn't have to justify to others. Part of regaining your strength after this surgery are these mini outings. How else are you supposed to get stronger and build your endurance without them?
My surgeon told me not to be deceived by the external skin incision. Insisde he told me I am cut from belly button to pubic bone and from hip to hip. The bottom line is, the people who are skeptical and not understanding don't have to live in your skin. You know what is right. Give yourself the gift of healing properly.
Personally, I am making it my mission to reach out to anyone that I know who may face this surgery in the future. I know just how to help and support them and I hope others will pay it forward as well.
Unread 11-10-2010, 02:21 PM
Re: Understanding from Family, Friends, Coworkers

2forpod, thank you!
You hit on what I've been feeling...like I'm playing hooky! I've worked since I was 16 and never been "off" for any extended period of time. I feel like a cheat, accepting assistance from others, because I'm generally the nurturing one.

I know that isn't realistic, that others need to feel helpful too, and I'm NOT playing hooky or cheating, but that's not easy to reconcile, especially when there are those who hint that it IS the case.

And no, they don't have to live in my skin, and thinking on it, the naysayers would be exactly the same ones who would expect others to understand and assist.

I'm not going to ruin myself to please others.

ETA, if I can help anyone else by sharing my experience, I am going to do just that.

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