Updated: Nov 1, 2020
This week, I am having surgery to repair my rotator cuff. I like this idea of "repair work" rather than surgery because it reminds me of what I am gaining, not the several months of limitation I will be facing with recovery. For a girl who talks a lot about intuition and trusting, this decision has been super hard for me. My gut reaction the entire time though has been to just do it. Sigh.
I am known to be an over processor. If there is something to think about or consider, I will take every possible angle in doing that. I came in to this quite certain that I do not want to have surgery, I mean, in fairness, does anyone want to have surgery? Maybe some masochistic people somewhere, but not this girl. I was on track to never have surgery again.
So I thought about it, considered options, entertained other opinions, I even consulted my teacher for a reading. I did acupuncture and physical therapy with two different physical therapists. Once I had the MRI results, I consulted my first physical therapist, my yoga teacher who is also a physical therapist, doctors that I know, truthfully I would've asked people in the grocery store but we aren't supposed to chat there so much given the world's present state of affairs. Everyone had a different take, but the one thing that landed for me was that no options other than surgery are able to reattach the tendon to the bone. Would I ever feel solid if that were the case? When I was holding a glass of water and it slipped causing me intense pain, I knew I would never feel safe. Once I had that understanding, I sought validation from the universe. Yes I know, I am exhausting even to me.
So for this, I wanted true, unsolicited, organic signs. And they started pretty soon after I scheduled the procedure. I figured I may as well have it booked in case I got the validation I needed after all.
One of the first things that came to me happened in a most unexpected way. One of the people I had talked about this with was my ex-husband. I can't recall the details but I am sure he heard through my kids that this was happening and he has always been medically minded so he reached out. He told me how several people he worked with had this surgery and felt better in the long run. One guy however, had the tear and decided not to have surgery. He worked around it he said with PT and other exercises.
So, maybe a week later, I was with Dave (BF not ex) at a friend's house after his birthday party. Towards the end of the night, a couple guys that I don't generally encounter too often were talking about golfing the next week. They had asked one other dude but he said he can't lift his arm higher than his shoulder so he isn't golfing any more. Do you want to know who can't golf anymore because he can't lift his arm anymore? Yep, the guy that my ex works with who hasn't had the surgery. Wabam! I sat there and thought, yes, I was meant to hear this. I do not wish to have limits on me. Thank you. Thank you for the validation. And that satisfied me. Well for about 3 days.
I really got tired of seeking signs (again, actively seeking and looking for signs is not a best practice and is a post for another day). So I scheduled a reading with my mediumship teacher. I had not mentioned my shoulder injury to her so when she talked during the reading about freedom, and my need for freedom I didn't really connect it to my shoulder. At the end of the reading, she asked if I had any questions. I said, "I am scheduled to have this shoulder surgery and I am hesitant." She said "Yes, you should have it. As soon as you mentioned it, I felt it was a yes. I think when it happens they will find more going on in there than you thought and you will be glad you did it. Plus, I am seeing the word 'free'. I think that is what this whole freedom thing has been about." And that satisfied me. Well for maybe another week.
Time was ticking. I was getting more and more anxious thinking of all the things I would need to pull this off without being unprepared. The control freak in me strongly dislikes being unprepared. This surgery is in fact about vulnerability. And the control freak in me HATES that.Let's not even talk about the potential for immense pain, sleeping in a recliner and how in the world am I going to put lotion on my right arm? So last week, I was at my limit with anxiety about this and when that happens, I am prone to talking a walk. Any previous signs I had received went out the window. I grabbed the dogs and went for a walk in the neighborhood. Duncan, the older one, is a fickle soul. So as he ages, I have been letting him take the lead with where we go on walks a lot of the time. He took me to what we call "the path." The path is a short cut if you're feeling lazy at dog walking time, but it is also the most organic route. Off the sidewalk and through a field, it borders a little pond that is in the midst of our hood. I know, I know, THE PATH. Stay the path. Blah, blah. That is not where this is going.
The path that day was filled with monarch butterflies. More than I could count in fact, and more than I could get in a picture. They flitted past me and fluttered around my head, it made me giggle. I felt like a three year old. And this wasn't in just one section of the path, it was the entire field. I don't think I have ever encountered such a thing in my decades on this earth. I felt immediately lighter and much happier. I again did not connect this with my surgery but I liked it.
A day later, I felt the same ick and angst towards the end of the work day. My visions of the butterflies seemed long gone and far away. I felt compelled to be still, to meditate and I saw that there was a yoga nidra meditation that evening as part of a yoga class at a local studio. Inside it was an audible YES. Yoga nidra was one of the first deeply woo meditative things I tried when I got on this road to mediumship so I have a soft spot for it in my heart. I walked in to the studio, with my mask of course because we were inside. I recognized the teacher from some local classes but I had not attended a class that she taught before. I know the rules, and it's always better to let a teacher know you are injured, not only so they don't worry about you when you don't participate, but they are more likely to offer modifications if they know you are hurt. So I did just that. "If I don't do all the things you are doing, I have a shoulder injury. It is not that I don't want to participate," I said.
She was very kind and replied that she had had surgery to repair her rotator cuff not that long ago so she understood. I said, "Oh wow, that is what I am doing next week." She told me about her recovery and then asked who my doctor was. Low and behold, we have the same doctor! Coincidence you say? I mean sure, if you believe in that kind of thing. He is part of a group of about 40 doctors. So, sure, MAYBE it is a coincidence. I say NO. She shared a lot of information with me and I felt so much better to see that this lady who was strong and STILL DOING YOGA had the same surgery. And this one stayed with me much longer. Going on a full 5 days so far and I still buy it. Sure, I am not looking forward to this but I am feeling more confident that I will be OK and while I might temporarily lose control, I will not lose yoga which is one of my great loves.
Signs and messages come from people. In my experience, a lot actually. Don't discount something you hear in a conversation that stands out to you. Just the other day I heard some good ones and wrote them down. "Let your vision be known," came from a friends mother in the background of a phone call. "May hope be well with you," in an email from a colleague. I wasn't sure if it was a typo but I liked how it sounded. I believe sometimes signs are subtle and sometimes they are so in your face that even a blind person would see it. For me it depends how much validation I need as to the level of the obviousness (spoiler alert, for me it is a LOT.) Probably never as clear as the sign in the picture though.
Namaste folks! My next post might be a bit pending my ability to type with one hand and the amount of pain meds I am on.