Monday 23 July 2012

Optimistically Plodding Forwards

Well, it has been three weeks since my surgery and things are healing slowly. I've been back to the surgeon and had the stitches removed, but I'm still using one hand to type and do things. Everything is such a plod when you're using your weaker hand only. Eating? I've stabbed myself with a fork twice. And as for brushing your teeth with the wrong hand... let's just say that some days I feel a lot like this!

 Surgery was ok, better than I expected. I don't like being awake, but I had a lovely chatty anaesthetist who kept me talking (and relaxed) all through the surgery. Being awake meant that the surgeon was able to tell me straight away that that my nerves were grey, which isn't a good thing.He'd warned me this was possible, so it wasn't a big shock, but it did make me a little sad.

When I saw the surgeon the day before surgery we discussed my case history and the possible outcomes, so that I could make the best decision for me. My test results from last year are a mix - bits suggest carpel tunnel, but some were more like peripheral nerve damage. The surgeon warned me that there was a 50/50 chance of surgery helping me, but as hubby and my mom said - those are pretty good odds.  Pretty much
 win-win situation - either I'd get it fixed (and need surgery for my other hand) or I'd find out I wouldn't need surgery for the other hand. ;-)

So I had surgery and discovered that I do show signs of nerve damage after all. I did wonder if that was going to be the result as I am having problems with my feet as well as both hands... which is what the word "peripheral" is all about. I'm not sorry I opted for surgery; I had to give it a try. 

I saw the doctor for a check up this Friday. He thinks that I'll need to stay on the pain-numbing medication for life. Peripheral nerve damage causes pain as well as tingling-numbness. At first that upset me, but then I figured I needed to be more optimistic. So I have a health issue - it's not life-threatening and I can still use my hand. Tablets for life? So many people need to take medication daily to live, like diabetics. I joked to hubby that I was feeling trapped at the thought I need to take tablets every day, but I don't feel trapped at the thought that I need water every day to stay alive.  I'd changed feeling bad to laughing and feeling good - all with positive thought!

But when I got home my mom said something that made me wonder about my 'positive thought' ... was I as positive as I thought? She said that I should be more positive about not needing so many tablets (I'm on the maximum dose), because there was no proof I needed such a strong dose. She pointed out how my test results were mixed and inconsistent. She reminded me about how the doctors had told dad he'd be dead within weeks and he not only survived... he recovered! 

Was I really being optimistic after all? What is optimism anyway? The dictionary says:

a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome.

The old joke goes that the optimist sees the glass half full and the pessimist sees the glass half empty... but is that really what true optimism is about? Is being happy that the glass is only half full "expecting the most favourable outcome"?

 Maybe the true optimist is the one who is happy that the glass is half empty...
I think a real optimist would be thrilled that the glass is half empty because that means:
there's still room in the glass for luck/God/Life to add more good things and exciting surprises,
and/or there's still room in the glass for them to create and add good things themselves.

My glass is half empty. :-) I have test results that make no sense, surgery that it still healing and a family history of surprising doctors. That's a lot of empty space yet to be filled! Maybe I'll fill it with surprising doctors and recovering completely... or maybe my ill-ness will bring unexpected joys and blessings my way. Whatever the case... I'm going to be happy about my glass still waiting to be filled from now on. No more being happy with 'half full' thoughts for me - I want to always have room for more! ;-)


  1. LOVE the conclusion of this post, M!!!!

    Here's to always having room for more! :-D More adventure, more exciting surprises indeed...and more peace, too, for whatever happens! :-D

  2. Glad you're recovering, my stitches come out this friday and I too am still typing single handed.

  3. To room for more and continued Blessed Healing my friend!

  4. I am glad you are coping, healing and learning from your experiences.



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