As it is Mindfulness Month (says we), I wanted to tell you all about how mindfulness has been sort of forced on me for the past couple of weeks.
On April 25, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right (dominant) hand. Everyone told me how it was no biggie and that I’d be back to normal in a couple of days. However, every BODY is different. My expectation of a quick recovery went out the window when I realized that I was still pretty useless a week later.
Having your dominant hand wrapped up and iced down slows you down a bit. I had to be deliberate with everything I did so I wouldn’t pull my stitches or bang the incision on anything. I got pretty adept at doing things one-handed, but never got to the point where I could be on “auto pilot.”
I realized that there was a whole world I was missing when I was “normal.” It’s a world of noticing the sun shining through the clouds, noticing that the flowers have opened and appreciating that my hand would get back to being healthy, when so many people are permanently disabled. It is a world of asking for help or accepting it when it is offered. Where people really do open doors for me and acquaintances offer to give me a ride to vote in our local election (one of the candidates that I had met, who knew I was voting for his opponent, offered to come get me and take me to the polling place!). In this world, people are good, gratitude abounds and there is beauty everywhere. And it was here all along!
I had my stitches taken out today and so I am back to being very tender-handed, though I am typing this using both hands. I don’t know how quickly I’ll be able to go back to “normal” functioning, but have decided to redefine normal to keep one foot in this secret world I’ve discovered.
Has illness, injury or surgery slowed you down in the past? If so, did you find your own world of wonder? Did you feel frustrated because you were limited? How can you use mindfulness if illness or injury should strike?