Operations are not something that you do every week and an inguinal hernia is not a major one. In fact, it’s very minor! Still, you are put to sleep and someone slices up your insides and then you wake up and feel like you have arrived on another planet. Which is the easy part. It is then a case of doing nothing. Recovering, effectively. And doing nothing is actually pretty challenging.

Laying Around

To be honest, I did not realise how much the operation would take out of me. I even thought I would go back to work the week afterwards. Which now seems incredibly deluded! Fortunately wiser heads than mine prevailed in the form of a Human Resources contact who advised me that I was insane and to take a week sick. I agreed, thinking I would be sharp and alert in mind but the physical rest would be needed. Lots of things to do that that did not involve moving!

Well, even that was pretty deluded!

Getting out of bed turned out to be a major action. Once I got downstairs, it would be enough to put the TV on and just stroll through Netflix. Finally I was ‘binge watching’. Or watch the first races of the cycling season. Brain not completely switched off but not straining at the leash! Just laying around, no energy.

Making the Most of Nothing

So this is something new for me. I like to push myself as hard as I can, keeping moving as best as possible. I may not be able to do as much as I could do once but I will still do as much as I can. This could always be something to look at and feel sad about in that I know there are things that I cannot do anymore. I think I talk too much about that sometimes!

Now I really could do nothing that involved mobility. No shopping, no cycling. Not even cooking. Certainly nothing that involved lifting. This had been a hernia operation after all. So make the most of it. As painkillers and their side effects wore off, I became more alert and started to read. Memoirs of someone with MS first (for a change), then E.M Forster, then Antony Beevor’s history of the Russian Revolution and Civil War. I mentioned I wanted to get my brain moving. Out came a a notepad. Ideas to redesign this blog. A little more active, mentally at least.

I could not keep it up though. I am aware of fatigue caused by MS and the impact that can have. Add recovery from an operation and sometimes the body just said ‘no’. Or rather, the mind. Not in a way that it was completely gone, of course! Just more passive. So I watched a Netflix programme until I dozed off. Or watched the birds feeding in the garden. The usual Blue and Great Tits and Blackbirds but also elusive Dunnocks, Nuthatches, Long-Tailed Tits, Robins….

Suddenly, doing nothing was not too bad. Making the most of it. Actually noticing what is around me. Appreciating it.

Back from Nothing

Appreciating it whilst it is fresh. But not something I want to carry on with. It is a taste of things to come, perhaps, and one day I will be less mobile. But I am not there yet. Movement is now coming back slowly but MS does impact the speed of recovery and there is a chance that some events I am looking forward to cannot happen. But it was important to get the hernia done, clear the field ready for the discussion of Ocrevus.

But I have learnt from this. Learnt how much I enjoy my own time but also learnt how much I enjoy that of others. Learnt how much I love the action of riding my bike or cooking dinner but also learnt the value of sometimes just looking outside and seeing what is around me. Being passive sometimes, making sure the energy is there for when I can use it.

Still is good to come back from doing nothing. It is less than I used to be able to do but it is still something to treasure. Still, I learn to treasure more as the terms of my reality change.

1 Comment

Val · February 27, 2024 at 14:30

Glad the operation went well. Take the time your body needs and enjoy those ‘in the moment’ moments.

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