This is a personal post since it will be about my recent elbow injury. Here is the original post on that: https://buskerbayarea.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/i-broke-myself/
It’s been six weeks and my elbow has not completely healed yet. This makes me short of my goal for complete recovery. And nothing says depression like falling short of your own goals. But I remain an optimist about my elbow. I don’t think it’s ever going to be the same again though. Maybe that’s expecting too much of myself, but I believe that the body heals itself quickly and that it is up to the mental wherewithal of the individual to handle the pain of a quick recovery. I feel as though I have failed that test and now I’m looking at a long road to recovery. But this has only inspired me to be more proactive about my healing.
There is another perspective that I’ve been considering concerning my injury. The thought itself might indicate to a skeptical reader that my injury was self inflicted, but you’ll have to trust me when I say that it was simply an accident. It may have been a freak accident, but an accident nonetheless. Here is how I’m defining accident: An instance of extreme personal neglect. In other words I was neglecting myself and/or telling myself that I was stronger than I really was. Though my music was feeling stronger everyday so maybe I just needed to learn a limitation.
And now I know another limitation. My pain threshold.
Physical therapy has been kicking my ass for the last six weeks. I’ve been improving and I feel like I pretty much have control of my hand again – but my elbow joint is still profoundly screwed up. And I think I might be in it for the long recovery. I began qigong today and that seemed to have a big effect on my energy level from the first day.
And so I’ve often began looking at my accident as a “trust fall.” Have you ever participated in a trust fall? It’s when you fall backwards and let a trusted individual catch you.
In a sense, I felt like I was “caught” by my friends and loved ones and the health care system as a whole. I have trusted my physical therapist and surgeon probably more than anybody. And yet my elbow is not healing perfectly as I believed that it would when the injury happened. But I think the only real person to blame for that is myself since the body will take care of the healing, if the individual can take care of the pain.
The most important lesson that I’ve learned through this whole six weeks is that pain is in the brain. We each deal with it how we know to best. Some of us avoid it at all costs. I am confronting my most intense moments of pain when I try to extend my elbow, and so I am also confronting my truest self at these times. So I need to sing through the pain. Music is truly my best healing tool and I am also recommending it to everyone else in the world.
I don’t necessarily always care for the Black Eyed Peas, but I think they got it right in this song: Music is my medicine.