Posted by: Kerry Gans | August 22, 2013

The Impatient Patient

I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at being ill or injured. It’s not so much the pain and discomfort that gets me, it’s the mental aspect of being thrown totally off your game. Illness or injury not only impacts your physical abilities to do things, but it messes with your mind and spirit as well.

I am an impatient patient. I find that healing takes much longer than I think it should. Most of the time, my mind and spirit have recovered long before my body does, and I chafe at the restraints of my condition.

I had surgery a little over a week ago (nothing serious), and I had great plans for how I would spend my recuperation. Editing and writing, mostly. Care to guess how closely I followed my plan?

You guessed it – not at all.

The day of my surgery lasted longer than expected. The day after I could do little but sleep. I think it was the first day of my life that I can honestly remember doing literally NOTHING. The next two days were better, but I still slept a lot—everything exhausted me.

I am finally feeling more myself, but perhaps that is the worst time of all for me. I FEEL like I CAN do all these things…but I can’t. Physically I am still in some pain, and creatively I am still drained and unable to focus. So what’s an impatient patient to do?

Go with the flow.

I have managed to catch up on all the back issues of my magazines. I also have read 8 Newbery Award books in a little over a week. I’ve cruised the net, learned more about my new coin collecting hobby, written a couple of blog posts and stayed on top of social media. So not unproductive time—just not what I had planned.

Am I upset that I ended up not following my plan? Not really. I know that I could not have done good work if I had tried. And the things I have done needed doing, and were better suited for my condition. Having cleared the decks of those things, I will be able to focus more fully on the creative writing when I get my mojo back.

Sometimes the key to finding contentment in life is not sticking to your plan, but learning to adjust your goals to find success in the moment (a topic I will discuss more in depth on Tuesday over at The Author Chronicles).

How about you? Are you, too, an impatient patient, and how do you deal with times when your body betrays you?

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Responses

  1. Kerry, I can so relate to what you’re going through. When I was sick last winter, my work in progress took a backseat. It wasn’t just about energy, there was a lot of company at the house. And I’m very grateful to my relatives and coworkers for caring.
    Instead I did a lot of blogging. I had hired a promotion company when Steel Rose came out, and they had me on a deadline for a certain number of blogs by a certain date. I wrote several blogs during the hospital stay and each blog took a lot of energy – I found myself doping off to sleep, hands on the keyboard. But the blogging was good for me, and helped me stay in shape for when I was ready for the WIP again.
    The balloons helped a lot took, and I hope your relatives bought you some.
    Barbara of the Balloons

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    • No balloons for me, Popple! Besides, my 3-yr-old would have confiscated them. 🙂 It’s amazing how we writers find ways to keep writing even when we feel like we’re not “really” writing, isn’t it?

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  2. Kerry, Be grateful that your medical problem was cured. I’ve suffered a mysterious intense recurring pain in my stomach for about five years now and after several expensive tests and visits to umpteen doctors they are stumped. One doctor tried to convince me it was all in my head. I’m beginning to think there’s a voodoo doll out there with my name on it and a hatpin in its belly.

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    • Ugh, that’s awful! Yes, I am forever grateful that I have no chronic medical issue to deal with. I am assuming you have already tried radical changes in diet, such as going all organic, to see if it’s food related? I have a friend who suffered horribly until she finally got the right diet–and like you, the docs had no idea what was wrong with her. Best of luck to you, and I hope you find a route to health soon!

      Like


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