Something different happened yesterday. When my new Rolfing practitioner put the words “hip replacement” and “you should consider one” in the same sentence, my knee-jerk rejection didn’t show itself. Instead, I listened with curiosity and open-mindedness, rather than immediately shutting down.
My 4 AM wakeup call this morning, however, told a different story. Those predawn fears aren’t easily chased when it’s likely that the subconscious mind is giving you a big fat hint.
Major elective surgery isn’t in my view screen, for a number of reasons, all of which stem from fear. Justified, unjustified, doesn’t matter. While fear has a bad rap, I believe it also has a useful purpose.
In my middle-of-the-night worry fest, I turned the issue over in my mind. If I elected to undergo surgery that would prevent me from functioning in the near-term, there would be no one to take care of me. The Rolfer pointed out that I could hire a caregiver; certain complications make that an iffy proposition. The caregiver would have to take care everything for me, my elderly family member, and our two cats.
It would be nice to think a dear friend would offer to be live-in help (for a few weeks!), but that’s a lot to ask of anyone. Our closest friends live hundreds of miles away, and have responsibilities of their own.
I could spend the day rationalizing my choices, but I suspect rationality has nothing to do with my real reasons.
As the day crept along yesterday, I gradually acknowledged what I have always known. I could have put an end to this pain at any point. Instead of deep tissue massage, energy healing, and a plethora of other approaches, I could’ve made the predominant choice of others in my situation, and entrusted myself to the surgeon’s knife.
I even allowed my mind to wander through a pleasant imagining of a life without pain. I could get a referral from my orthopedist and be scheduled for surgery within weeks. In three months, four at the most, I could be exclaiming what I’ve heard from many others who had successful joint replacement. “The pain is gone! I’ve got my life back.”
I found this train of thought surprisingly comforting. Instead of berating myself for not making my life better years ago, I felt something akin to security. Now that I’m not outright rejecting the possibility, if all else fails (more Rolfing, trans-scaler healing, the appearance of med beds “soon”), I could still choose surgery.
I’ve got my life back. What an interesting phrase. Underlying my daydreaming yesterday, I pondered, do I even want my life back? Do I want to live as I was living almost a decade ago?
I want a life without pain and related limitations, no question. But do I want my “old life” back at the price of derailing the unquestioned spiritual progress I’ve made over the last eight years? It’s not exaggerating to say that I wouldn’t be posting this here, now, if the pain hadn’t sent me on a quest for nonsurgical cures that launched an intricate esoteric exploration of healing, wellness, and the life of the spirit, starting with Reiki in 2017 and continuing to this day.
It’s all well and good to put a spiritual face upon the “reason” for pain. But I wonder if enlightenment would slow down—or detour onto a route that my soul wants less than the one I’m on now—if I embraced a near-certain pain cure via hip replacement.
Four words: I. Just. Don’t. Know.
I told my excellent new Rolfer that I would speak with the client she told me about, a woman in her mid-60s with a very similar story of pain. After rejecting the notion of surgery, eventually she embraced it, had a total hip replacement, and “got her life back.”
Could this woman—who I just happen to know, due to Santa Barbara’s quirky Small Town Syndrome—be a key to changing my mind? Could talking with her be the first step on a glowing new pathway (a pathway I could walk without limping or pain in just a few short months!)?
I’ll repeat those same four words. I just don’t know. As I told my Rolfer, this is something that would require the full force of my intuitive investigating, plus consultation with my trans-scaler healer in January, before taking any further steps.
Is that the fear talking? Am I finding excuses to continue suffering?
As they say, that, my friends, is a story for another day.