Still an impatient patient

I’m a terrible patient.

A very impatient patient.

I’ve written about this topic a time or two. Just the other day, I reported on my status after the summary removal of my last remaining girl parts.

Nick Bantock

Nick Bantock

Now, a few days further into the healing process, I feel good but not great. Truth be told, I’d much prefer to see and feel a lot more progress. The days are long when I’m forced to sit and heal. I’d like to say I’m a better patient than I used to be; crikey, I certainly should be given all the practice I’ve had during the last several years. But I’m not. At least not noticeably better.

In “Wisdom from the DL” I labored under the mistaken impression that I was getting better at being a patient:

I’ve been on the DL — disabled list — an awful lot since cancer came to town, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it, but I think I’ve gotten better at it. I’ll never be good at being a spectator in my own life, and I’ll never be one who enjoys the journey in my haste to get to the destination,but I have learned the value of time & place and that sometimes you have to be instead of do. I’ve learned to chant “It’s temporary” a thousand and one times to remind myself that while this is my life, it won’t always be like this.

In “Recovery mode” I was perhaps more realistic and came clean on being a terrible patient:

Recovery is tough, and it’s not one of my favorite things. It’s nowhere to be found on the list of my favorite things. I’m a terrible patient — impatient, restless, and intolerant of my dependent state. However, I’m quite the pro at the recovery process now, after multiple surgeries, and don’t fight it as much as I did in the beginning. I’m not going to win patient of the year award in this lifetime, but I’m not gnashing my teeth over the process this time around. Baby steps.

Here I am again, on the DL and in recovery mode. And I still hate it. I still suck at it. I’m still a very impatient patient.

Amidst a previous recovery–for which surgery, I don’t even recall–I explored some words of wisdom on the topic of patience. A few of my faves:

From Shakespeare’s Othello: “How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” By excruciatingly slow degrees, that is.

Alexandre Dumas chimed in: “All human wisdom is summed up in two words — wait and hope.” I’m pretty sucky at both of these.

And from Leo Tolstoy: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Well, that confirms it: I’m hosed.

Then this from Ben Franklin: “He that can have patience can have what he wants.” Franklin. What a smart ass.

What I want is a time machine. Set to “fast forward” so I can speed through this infernal healing process. Or perhaps a home lobotomy kit, so I can fashion myself a new personality. One marked by patience.


4 Comments on “Still an impatient patient”

  1. Patience is a hard thing to come by. I am most impatient when the need for patience is the greatest.

    As to lady parts. Let me share a poem excerpted from my third book, This Path We Share:

    I Am Woman

    A long, long time ago
    my one uterus was
    un-wombed from my body
    You don’t need it anymore
    they said

    Then they cut off two breasts
    one at a time
    This one is diseased
    This one bodes ill
    they said

    Now they removed ovaries
    two at one time
    as well as the mass that
    had chosen to take up residence
    It’s no matter, they’re dead
    they said

    I still have
    one little love button
    one shortened vagina

    Oh, my darling,
    will that do?
    Do I still qualify
    as woman?

    (Copyright 2010 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

  2. Eddie says:

    You can’t be good at everything. If you were you’d be obnoxious. There’s a fine line between patient and passive. Your “impatience” leads to getting a lot done.

  3. caroline says:

    I have no patience with being a patient patient these days. Put me in the hospital and as soon as the doctor says I can go home, I am ready to rip the IV out of my arm myself and check myself out. I am the impatient patient – always have and always will.

  4. […] about surgeries. Despite the double-digit number of surgeries I have had in the last five years, I don’t like being cut upon or tweaked or refined. I’m good with my rough edges. My body has other ideas, […]

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