Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Lesson in Healing

I have started physical therapy for the pain in my arm and shoulder.  This pain started - or I started to notice it - about three months ago. I noticed  when I lifted my arm sideways there was pain and sometimes I would experience sharp stabbing  in my upper arm.  What was confusing was I had not hurt my shoulder and it was my non dominant (right) side.  Anyway, I went to my doctor with lots of foreboding about what this might mean. (in my mind jumping right to surgery!)

My doctor started me on some pain medication and after a month of the pain not subsiding, I am now in physical therapy.  My first time ever.  And it has been an education for me.  What I have learned is that the arm pain is "referred" from the shoulder issue.  And the shoulder problems  have  a lot to do with my posture.  So, in PT I am learning exercises that don't seem like much at all - but are that are stretching and strengthening my muscles and rotator cuff tendons.  I am also applying ice and finally - and most importantly - starting to pay attention.

It seems like it always comes back to paying attention.
  • What I realize is that this pain has been with me for a while and I have automatically adapted and dismissed it.  I wonder in what other ways I do that with  - not just physical - but other kinds of pain.
  • What  I do  now can  stresses my shoulder and  my posture affects everything - from being on the computer, to watching TV, to driving. New habits can bring new health.
  • Healing happens slowly and I can  I trust this process. As my Physical Therapist showed me an exercise and I could not do the stretch because of pain, she assured me that I would be able to do that later.  Just one step at a time.

So, now I am doing my exercises daily, icing as needed and trying to hold my shoulders back.  And working on these behaviors that do not come naturally to me:
 - being  Mindful  of my body
 - being Disciplined in care of my body
 - trusting in   the slow work of healing

Here is a Healing Blessing by Maxine Shonk

May the God of HEALING be with you,
binding and soothing your every wound, 
moving your gracefully in a dance of nurturing love
 and lulling you back to wholeness and health.
May you be gifted with a healing gentleness and compassion
with which you might touch the lives of others.
May the HEALING  God bless you.

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