Monday, October 10, 2016
Healing and writing
I’ve had pains in both my shoulders for years. I’ve had steroid injections in both and also physiotherapy, but the relief and results were short-lived at best. So after a lot of back and forth, I had surgery at the end of July – arthroscopic subacromial decompression in my left shoulder. Basically, part of my acromial bone was removed as it was impinging on the nerve in the muscle somewhere. Whatever.
My surgeon suggested that I do a YouTube search on the procedure to see what it was all about. Big mistake. The videos I saw made me think of a piece of meat being roughly prodded. But despite what I saw and read, I had an expectation that I would recover fairly quickly. I suspended my gym membership, anticipating that I would be back about 6 weeks after the surgery. It’s been 3 months now and I am only now ready to go back to the gym. I cant even at lift my left arm completely without the aid of my right hand. It is extremely slow process trying to rebuild strength in my left shoulder.
Before and just after the surgery I didn’t think I would need the level of help I’ve needed. I’ve always been independent and somewhat self-sufficient, partly because it’s my nature, but also out of necessity! I actually thought that I would be able to get myself home from the hospital myself. I know. Silly lady. I couldn’t even breathe properly after the surgery and because of the nerve block I was given in my neck; my entire left arm was dead for 24 hours after the surgery. It was extremely humbling getting someone else to help me with my bra! In fact, the first time I tried to do that myself, I was sweating!
This makes me think about my writing journey. When I first started it didn’t even cross my mind that I needed to do more than just write. I got so consumed with writing, getting to know and enjoy my characters and all the creative fun stuff. I couldn’t wait to finish work and start writing. I completed my first draft before I even let my friends read it. When I attended my first writer’s conference it was a bit of a shell shock, but in addition to all the lessons on the technical side of creative writing; lessons about marketing, etc., I have learnt about the need to ask for, and accept help from others.
There have been times when I felt I was making great progress, and could clearly see that my writing had improved, but then there have been times of rejection that have caused me to question my desire to be an author. But then, like most things in life, there have been periods of bounce back.
About 2 or 3 weeks ago I ‘forgot’ that I am still healing and don’t yet have full mobility in my left arm, so attempted to apply lotion to my back and in the process twisted my shoulder. I’m sure you can imagine the agony. But I didn’t get the sympathy I expected from my physiotherapist; in fact, she pushed me even harder! I thought my arm would fall off!
On this writing journey, I have had ups and downs. Same with my healing process.
I have a confession to make. Most of the time when I write a post on this blog, I deliberately do not check for, or read the comments because I do feel intimidated, but reading this post and thinking about accepting help made me what to take the plunge, so to speak and I am so so gratified by the comments made about the post I wrote on November 18th about traditional versus self-publishing. And I want to say thank you to this group. I do look up to most of you and I thank you for all the many ways in which you have helped me.
When I’ve taken the time to listen to advice, and take it, I have made progress, and when I haven’t, things have slowed down. That doesn’t mean that I take every bit of advice I’m given. One does have to be discriminating and know one’s own mind (and body).
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Software Training Manager, accepting help as she hones her craft.