I’ve got an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon this coming week. Based on results from recent X-rays, it appears that I have a large bone-spur in my right shoulder. The excruciating pain running up and down my arm for the past four weeks is what prompted me to go to my doctor in the first place. This second appointment will be to decide if I need an MRI, and/or surgery. I’m well prepared what to expect, since the same problem arose in my left shoulder just a few years ago. The operation itself is not very complicated, however the recovery part is not something I’m looking forward to in any way. In fact, it’s something I was hoping I’d never have to relive.
But, if I had to guess . . . chances are, I’ll be having surgery within the next six weeks. Besides the need for prescription post-surgery painkillers that totally mess with my head in a bad way, I’ll also require something that makes my very uneasy – relying on other people to help me with every little thing imaginable. I feel like a hypocrite, because I’m constantly preaching that there’s no shame in asking for help, and here I am cowering at the thought of requesting assistance for walking from the bedroom to the kitchen. All the years of living with depression, of not believing I had a smidgeon of worth or value, not having the courage to ask for anything out of fear of rejection, apparently has left an emotional scar that’s starting to flare up once again.
The horrid belief that I would be burdening a loved one with having to take care of me is a thinking error of major proportions. I already know who I can count on – and truthfully I don’t even have to ask for help, it’s already been offered and arrangements will be made before I even step foot into the operating room. Decades of shyness, fear and self-loathing sure do play a role in the person I am today. At least I can see now that the people who love and care about me want to help me, and I’m no longer ashamed to take every drop of support that I can get. I don’t think a day goes by without me reminding someone in psychological or physical pain that they are not alone – now it’s time for me to look in the mirror and do the same.