Close to the Bone III: Better News

By on Jul 19, 2016 in Pathways, Posts | 2 comments

For the first two years of writing this blog I had enjoyed posting very regularly twice monthly. However, I have been inconsistent since November 2015. This was primarily due to the health issues which I discussed in “Close to the Bone” on 2/1/16 & 2/16/16. The health problems are much less serious now but remained surprisingly engulfing until recently. But, finally I am emerging into a healthier space. Since I detailed some of the issues in the more harrowing, virtually death defying time, I want to update in this calmer time when I can hopefully return to more reliable schedule.

Originally when I went into the hospital in December I was expecting a hip replacement. This ended up erupting into a quadruple heart by-pass on December 8th. Finally, on May 27 the hip was replaced. This surgery has been essentially without major complications. I experienced relatively little post-surgical pain which was well controlled with medication which I needed rarely. At this point I am comfortable for the most part at home, driving and at work. Before and after surgery I used a cane which I no longer need. I exercise twice a day by walking and am up to one half mile per outing and plan on extending next week.

And still there is learning:

Even though this surgery was far easier and much less complicated than the previous experience it has been surprisingly engulfing. On the way up to the surgery and since then I was not capable of writing. Frankly all I cared about was surviving until I got to surgery and recovering after. My body needed all of its energy for healing. Sometimes I despaired of ever getting my energy back or wanting to reflect or write again. I thought it was possible I was done blogging, reading and meditating. But the energy needed for healing trumps pretty much everything. I’m still surprised how much this was true for me. It was useless to fight that process. I could only be what I was.

At a follow up visit with the surgeon three weeks after the surgery I had only two complaints. One was the predictable, annoying and rather light hearted problem with putting my left sock on. The hip did not like stretching to accommodate that task. Fortunately, I learned to compensate. For a while I measured my progress by how easy it is to put socks on. The second complaint was more serious. I remained constantly exhausted. All I could do was sleep and work. That was tackled in two ways: first it was noted my red blood cell count was low so I was started on iron supplements. Second one of the heart medications was changed. Energy responded quickly. I was very grateful for the improvement and that there was a physical approach. It isn’t always karma, attraction or unconscious issues. Sometimes inner processing and contemplation are not the solution. The way Spirit shows up in these times is through wise medical intervention.

While I used my cane I noticed a very delightful phenomena. People were very kind to me. They open and held doors, they invited me to the front of lines, and offered to carry things. Even scruffy, boisterous groups of adolescents were aware, alert and solicitous. A big, strong guy with tattoo sleeves on both arms was very kind. And more than one person appearing to be much older than I patiently waited as I hobbled through a door. In a world of anger, road rage, unrest and often violence kindness happens.

All of these experiences are part of my spiritual journey. From facing death to the simple joy of receiving kindness. This part of the journey is not yet over. I need the discipline in continued exercise, developing a truly healthy diet and learning to love my body.


  1. Glad to hear you’e gaining and writing easily again. See you soon, Rod

    Rodney Ferris

    July 19, 2016

  2. Hi, Graham- glad to hear you are doing better. Your comments about surviving before and after the surgery, to the exclusion of all other activities and desires, reminded me very much of what it is like to have PTSD, which in a way I suppose you did have. One is in survival mode, and there is not much left over for anything else. Really saps the spirit. Best wishes for continued recovery. PS Think I’ll get a cane!

    Christine Bibby

    July 19, 2016

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