Post Surgery report: Whispered Ah

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on May 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

One of the biggest challenges for me in the entire long sequence of recovery from injury has been enforced inactivity.  The initial emergency surgery for patella repair required me to live with huge daily pain and a fully extended leg for months, as well as re-learning to walk with a severely atrophied leg and very unbalanced use of my entire self.  The recent surgery recovery is much simpler, as pain is quite minimal, and I can bend my knee, within limits for incision healing, and can walk with relative ease.  Still, my surgeon recommended a week off to reduce inflammation and allow healing.  Restlessness, boredom and frustration ensue.  Without pain to stop me, I am likely to push myself beyond recommended notions of activity.

Inhibiting the urge to move and to return to teaching and full activity is a constant project.  Anesthesia and post-surgery pain meds have made me very cranky, and my typical crankiness solution is physical activity.  The internal landscape of noise has thus become louder and more insistent.  The only “activity” that assists me is Whispered Ah, an Alexander procedure that requires dynamic non-interference and overall quieting.  Whispered Ah reveals more layers of internal noise, and a necessity for further quieting.  I don’t want to be quiet, but I have to just now.  I want to run around the block, see to the garden, clean the house, go see some art, find external distractions galore.  Instead, I will breathe. Damn, but this is hard!

So, I sit with my leg iced and elevated, allow reflexive respiration, watch the crows play in the wind, swallows swoop for insects, rain clouds gather and disperse.  I reflect, with gratitude, on the great care given to me by surgery nurses and doctors, the kindness of loved humans and animals. Perhaps I can allow a drift from movement urgency to momentary being, and return to cherished full activity with new skills and awareness.