Today I am celebrating. As I contemplate whether to go to the gym to lift weights today, I realize that I accomplished something I desperately wanted to do after my surgery. I am back in tip-top shape. Even lifting more weight than I did before. What got me here? I find myself wondering.
Discipline and determination. My father gave those gifts to me. Faith and belief in myself. Thanks, Mom. Confidence and courage. Jim’s love a solid foundation from which to take each step.
Our bodies are truly amazing. One day I can’t move my arm an inch and slowly, over time, with exercise and therapy, I’m able to move it a bit more, and then a bit more. Today I probably have stronger, more flexible shoulders than I did before. Nineteen months since my surgery. I feel really great.
I still notice some things. I can feel my pectoral muscles when they flex around my right breast. I giggle to myself when I see how it contorts the shape of my breast as I dry off with a towel. I wonder what people think when I occasionally massage the area near my arm pit between sets of weights. There are some yoga postures where my body tells me to ‘go gentle’. I’m not the same as I was, but I am good. Life is good.
All the noticing made me think of this poem from Mostly My Heart Sings.
By Vicki L. Flaherty
I noticed how glad I was to get the bandages off.
I noticed how cleansing it felt to finally take a shower.
I noticed how freeing it was to have the drains removed.
I noticed how I reached back to brush my hair the way I like it.
I noticed how I made the bed without exhaustion.
I noticed how the discomfort under my arm disappeared.
I noticed how taking a walk did not tire me.
I noticed how my arms were extended to the sky during yoga.
I noticed how the scars changed from dark to light pink.
I noticed how the tingling sensations occurred less often.
I noticed how the skin of my breast was not so numb.
I noticed how I am not noticing anything anymore.
© 2013, Mostly My Heart Sings, Vicki L. Flaherty