Thursday, February 16, 2006

Extreme Self-care

Here I am, a Thursday, at home. I was forbidden to go to work today (well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration). I have the start of a cold, tickling it’s way down the ivories of the back of my throat. I can’t have a cold, and have surgery. And come Friday, a week out from surgery, I can’t take the kinds of things that ward of colds (Echinacea, garlic, etc). So, sleep is the answer. Staying home, rest and relaxation, these are now on the schedule. Literally.

I guess I had been overdoing it a bit (imagine that?). Even Maggie (my fine, black cat, for those a bit behind the times) is on the bandwagon, pinning me down, lying on me and giving me Purr Therapy. I am being forced into what I like to call Extreme Self-Care. You know, the taking care of ourselves to the nth degree. It is ironic, because I am a big advocate for it, especially in other people’s lives. And there are times I have lived it right down to the ground (gee, 2001, when I had cancer, comes to mind). But I get slack. I forget how important it is. And extreme self-care, by the very nature of the title, is not something one can participate in everyday; it is for extreme or unusual situations. Well, here I am, extreme and unusual (the situation, not me. Well, then again, I guess both are true).

Another way it has manifested is in needing to boundary set. The one out-of-the-house thing I did do was go to Cancer World, to get a bit more information on how the day will unfold. I want to know the flow; it gives me a much-needed-under-the-circumstance sense of control. Well, turns out this gal told me things that we very different from the first gal. Oh dear. And this second opinion was not to my liking. She told me no Emla (topical Novocain) on the breast. She told me they might put the IV into either arm, can’t tell until the day of. She told me the might use local, they might use general, it all depends. Depends on what? I wonder to myself. Well, turns out, along these extreme self-care lines, that I need to wonder it out loud too. I was reminded by dear friends that it is time to go and get assertive, and clear and no shit, no kidding with these people. I need to decide what I want and then let them know what it is, because not knowing takes away my power and my sense of safely, and right now, I need those.

I have yet another example of it. My mother is coming to be with me after surgery (bless her, there is nothing like having your mom around when you are sick, it is sort of healing and nurturing by its very nature, regardless of how old you are). And yet, I do this thing when people come from out of town, where I Put My Life On Hold. They don’t ask me to (I have already had this chat with my mother, she said, and I quote “you don’t need to entertain me”), but it just happens, I don’t know how else to do it. I stop calling my friends and going out with them. I don’t take my afternoon naps or watch the silly mind numbing TV shows or videos that I like. I try to plan and structure things (when what I really like is to just flow and see where life and the day takes me). Correcting this behaviour quirk baffles and consistently exceeds me. And, under this situation, correcting this behaviour (and I guess attitudinal) quirk would fall into the category of extreme self-care. So I guess it is time to learn some new behaviours. This surgery sure has lessons pouring out left, right and center. I hope I am as good at integrating them as the surgery is at providing them. Wish me luck.


At 10:40 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes my dear....lessons! I have an idea...why don't we set up a "Signy Extreme Care week"? All of us just checking in with you to see what YOU want for the day - sappy TV, Videos, naps, soup.....

Let the world take care of you right now...



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