june muse: 2 months post-surgery muse

welcome to june!

i wanted to take a moment to honor the 2 month anniversary since my shoulder surgery. it’s been an interesting ride since penning my initial challenges post-surgery muse in april. i have about 50% range of movement, am in ongoing discomfort, have a tightened capsule around the joint (whatEVER that means), lack the ability to move my right arm on its own fully, and continue with physical therapy 2+ hours per week.

alas, torn rotator cuffs and bone spurs aren’t too fun and my surgeon reminds me that age is the culprit – just in time for my upcoming 37th birthday!

during my healing journey i made a visit to oklahoma to see my darling family and included photos above from the experience. driving a tractor, picnicking in the wildlife refuge full of bison and longhorn, playing cards with my soon-to-be 98-year-old gramma (can you stand her hat?), and crafting with mum was a treat especially after having a sedentary start to spring.

i’ve decided to take the summer off from teaching (first time since 1999) as i’ll have orthoscopic thumb surgery on july 23 and be in a cast for 6 weeks plus have oodles of travel – LA, portland, kripalu, denver, texas. thank goodness for meditation and yin yoga! my saving grace as of late.

once september rolls around i should be injury-free and ready to rock my regular, beloved, and oh-so-needed vinyasa practice. these past 8 weeks have served up many lessons and reminders. here are a few:

1. yoga is an important emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual outlet (i know, we already knew this one!)
2. honor the small steps: stopping pain pills 3 days after surgery, getting around sans sling, sleeping sans swath, lifting a cane in physical therapy.
3. when life throws you challenges, make ‘em sparkle: i added a sparkly cast cover to my swath and rocked it for weeks.
4. lighten your load: having two overstuffed bags in tow at all times is too much. i try to carry only the essentials now. in addition, i’ve done oodles of decluttering – physical and mental.
5. get comfortable saying “sorry, i can’t”: i’ve had to bow out of many opportunities that would have overstuffed an already full calendar or challenged a body in repair.
6. honor your energy: in the past when i’d come home from a long work day i’d open the computer and work until the wee hours handling e-mails, projects, online orders. now i find myself saying “it’ll have to wait until tomorrow, i’m pooped!” and it feels good!
7. savor the slow down: life came to a slow halt for the first few weeks as i struggled to use my right hand again. somehow this helped me remember to smell the flowers along the way and to add time to all my usual tasks.
8. think big picture: these 8 weeks are a snippet in my life journey. i’m doing my best to move through these short-term struggles to have long-term gain.

may these injuries continue to teach me lessons and may i embrace them with a compassionate heart. ommmm. i hope these lessons help sprinkle a dose of inspiration into your own life and any struggle you may currently be going through.

this experience can only enhance my teaching and empathy for others suffering physical (and mental) challenges. this will come in handy as i continue my social work studies. ah, life is full of so many lessons and, thank goodness, i’m an eager student.


4 thoughts on “june muse: 2 months post-surgery muse

  1. Kelly

    June 1, 2010 at 2:31pm

    Kimberly, We will all miss your rockin’, fabulous teaching this Summer, but I admire you for taking time off to heal!

  2. lbarber

    June 1, 2010 at 3:23pm

    Dear Kimberly-
    Your words are always so inspirational. As you know, I have faced my own challenges these past few months and everything you say is “spot on”. Thanks for all you do and the fabulous way you view life. You are in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery!
    Lots of love,
    Lynn B.

  3. caroline johnson

    June 3, 2010 at 2:54am

    Kimberly, my heart goes out to you. Continue your journey, slow and steady and you will be there soon enough. I just celebrated my one year anniversary from my big surgery and it feels really good.

  4. Anonymous

    June 7, 2010 at 2:21am

    I am a one time visitor to Tranquil Space, from Florence, Al. I hope to visit when I come to see my son in DC this summer. I had rotator cuff and bone spur surgery in November. It is not pleasant and I am still trying to be careful not too hurt my left shoulder. It doesn’t get 100% fast. Good luck. Lynn Libell

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