Healing Time


How is it that falling off of a 20-inch stool in one of those blink-of-an-eye home accidents translates into rather long and involved healing process?

Well, it’s simple really. It’s when a fall results in the kind of break that creates a lovely little bone mosaic on the X-ray (MY bone!), that makes the radiologist say “that’s gotta hurt,” and orthopods drool at the surgery because they get to use cool power tools, and the casting techs say, “wow! you did a really good job” and the nurses say, “poor you” and the physiotherapists say it’s going to take a lot of work and they all say in glorious unison like a gospel choir,  “18 – 24 months for full recovery.”

You might gather from my tone that I am not entirely pleased about this. You are correct. I am royally not pleased.

Goodness knows I want to be serene about it, move easily into the exercises, grit my teeth and smile through the pain and for the most part, I am.  But the truth is, I want to be healed and I want to be healed now. Yes I know it’s a process, and the body and the mind and heart and perhaps spirit are all involved in the healing process, and everyone has to go through it, be motivated, have patience and blah, blah, blah, but: can’t it be faster?

Apparently not.

The body’s mechanisms for curing and repairing itself are quite remarkable, and I get that physiologically, the bones have to knit and the muscles take longer and the scar tissue has to tear and repair and I have to do a lot of work to throw down my crutches and be able to walk normally. Got it, got it, got it.

Healing takes the time it takes. And apparently, in addition to the physiological process, there’s this whole other process, one that is entirely personal and subjective requiring motivation and has something to do with power of mind and positive thinking.

Oh really? To whom it may concern: My personal-subjective-motivated-positive-thinking-process would have healed me yesterday.

I am not alone in this desire to be healed super pronto. A friend of mine is suffering the kind of injury that happens when a relationship of six years ends: a broken heart.

A physical injury is in some ways a bit easier to bear. Over time, I will remember that I hurt myself, but I won’t really remember the physical pain: I’ll just recall that it hurt. There will be scars from surgery on either side of my left ankle and I’ll get a letter that explains my half-cyborg status when the metal detectors go off as I pass through airport security. I will step on stools again, just not THAT one.  And I will walk and run again. I will do yoga again. I will dance again. I will go to the gym again, and take my dog along the boardwalk. I will stand for hours just because I can. I will have my life back.

A broken heart is different. No ambulance comes to your rescue. Just friends with hugs, tea and sympathy, all at a loss for words. A broken heart is an invisible injury; no surgeries or letters to airport security are going to help. A broken heart touches on trust and sense of identity and feelings of worthiness of being loved, of being lovable.

We are supposed to bounce back from a broken heart, and somehow do that quickly, a month for every year together is the slide rule calculations, even though there there are no usual healing time charts stuck up in a doctor’s office to tell you how long it takes to recover from a broken heart. But, there IS a website that claims it can be done if you take the 15 steps it promotes. I could not help but think two things as I read through the site:

1. a template to mend a broken heart means the cult of project management has breached the gates and is going maintstream, and

2. is the information on the site more about fixing a broken ego than broken heart?  Since when is ego part of loving, exactly?

Broken hearts can be helped by slow deep breaths, tears, feeling the feelings, waking and sleeping and eating and being with friends and hugs. Some alone time to ponder or meditate helps or to see the sun set or rise, to take care of a pet and to let the heart knit itself back together, healed and stronger. And importantly, ready to love again.

While bones and soft tissue injuries and surgeries all have their usual healing times, the injuries of love and loving operate in a different dimension of the time/space continuum, the one filled with feeling and mind. Seems to me that what helps is deep breathing, courage, open heart and open mind because no matter what, good love is always worth it and healing will always and ever take the time it takes.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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2 Responses to Healing Time

  1. letempspasse says:

    Hope your friend has healed that broken heart as well as you managed to heal your broken ankle….

    Reminds me of a poem…

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.
    ~ Emily Dickinson

  2. baloney says:

    sob. yes. sob.

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