Breaking My Wrist or How Long Does Healing Take?
It’s been quite a year… In April as I was walking my dog, I fell and landed on my right wrist, smashing it into many pieces. I will write more about that experience at some point, but today, I want to talk about how long it takes to heal…
Obviously, as an energy worker and body worker I was out of work! How long to take off? Until my hand was totally back to normal? That seemed absurd, the first month I felt like my whole right arm was off-line. It not only couldn’t do anything, it didn’t even want to try. I remember the day, about 5 weeks in, that – without thinking about it – I reached for a glass and picked it up with my right hand. I stared in amazement. My right hand had just spontaneously picked something up! It felt like that whole part of my body woke up that day and I found myself flipping light switches, reaching for the toothbrush, picking up a fork with my right hand again. So as soon as I felt that I could minimally function with both hands I thought that was enough healing time. I was ready to go back to work.
I decided to go back to work after six weeks not because I was actually physically ready for it, but because intellectually that seemed like long enough. So over the next few months I did what I could with my right hand and compensated by doing much more with my left. I was strong, tough, and enough was enough… I wanted to get back to my normal life, I felt like I should be able to work and so I did.
When I gradually began developing tendonitis and carpal tunnel problems in my left hand and arm from all the overuse I was dismayed. I tried to compensate, juggling back and forth between the two. I will never forget the night I came back from a conference and walked through the airport parking lot pulling my suitcase and having to stop every minute to switch hands, when each side became too painful. What was I thinking? When was I going to accept my limitations and let my body take the time it needed to heal?
This November I had a second surgery to remove the plate and screws that had put my wrist back together. Somehow, I came up with the idea that I could take just two weeks off after the surgery and go back to work. By the second week, when I was just getting the stitches out and the cast off I realized how ridiculous that notion was!
And as I finally stopped listening to my head and started listening to my body I really, profoundly got the truth that I have told so many clients over the years. And at a very deep level I accepted that my healing will take as long as it takes. And that I had to give that to myself. As I have said so many times, “every problem has a gift for you in it’s hands...” No arbitrary back to work dates, no theoretical recovery period. I finally had to stop pushing myself and rushing the process. My job was just to stop and rest, and let my body heal from the repeated and ongoing traumas of the injuries and surgeries. Heal from all the stresses and changes of my life over the last few years. Heal from whatever it needed to heal from…
The healing will take as long as it takes. My apologies to my clients who I’m not able to care for now. And my apologies to my body that I was not able to fully listen until now. So when will I go back to work? That is up to my hands. One day they will let me know that they are ready to shift from their own internal healing process to assisting other people in their healing process. One day soon, they will reach for that proverbial glass and I will know…
Yours in Peace and Healing,