The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Healing
Shit happens. And it usually happens when you least expect it.
This year I’ve been on a major health kick. I lost thirty-five pounds through a drastically improved diet and workout regime and have never felt better in my life. In fact, relative to my age, I’ve never been in better shape. I did not know why I was training so hard, but I’ve been diligent and disciplined like never before. I’ve been on a mission.
So I was flabbergasted when I learned I needed two robotic surgical procedures. Yikes. The finding was purely incidental and the prognosis is excellent for a complete, 100% recovery. In fact, a few short months it will seem like nothing ever happened. Maybe I was subconsciously getting my body, mind and spirit in shape to handle this. Surgery is no walk in the park and I have to deal with a double dip, so I really needed to be ready.
Today marks two weeks since round one and I am feeling terrific. My body is healing steadily and I feel and look (so I’ve been told) terrific. I’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks and more than ever, I’m appreciative of everything in this life. With this in mind, I offer my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Healing. Not that Guy’s Guys heal any differently, but this recent challenge has provided some important learning for me. I will devote another blog post to surgery, but right now, let’s discuss the process of healing. It is an important aspect of our lives, regardless of our physical health. I hope some of my insights work for you.
Sometimes we need to get off the grid. Even though I mapped out my upcoming blog posts and Guy’s Guy Radio podcasts in advance, I went dark for a solid week, focusing only on the procedure. Prior to surgery there is the usual prep and some anxiety about the unknown. I decided to hand my troubles to God and focused on relaxation, knowing I am healed, and my connection with the universal consciousness. I did not read the newspaper or watch our toxic news on television. I bought a copy of Men’s Health on my way to the hospital and managed to flip the pages for a few days while drugged up on painkillers. I did not listen to my beloved Rolling Stones or post on FB and Twitter. I rebroadcasted an earlier podcast for Guy’s Guy Radio and reposted a blog for the website. I planned my business activities out in advance so I would not be disturbed. This was a time for quieting my mind and spirit. I remained calm throughout the hospital stay and praised the heavens when they removed my catheter. Finally, after two long nights I returned home.
Sleep is a miracle cure. Although climbing in and out of bed was discomforting, sleeping in my own bed was far better than being propped up in the hospital with an IV and that damn catheter. I am a tummy sleeper, so adjusting to sleeping on my back for the next two weeks was challenging. But, I made sure to make the most of my time in the sack. I sank back, meditated, and let myself drift in and out of sleep for days. And, as if on cue, I felt better each and every day. I made sure to nap in the afternoon and not allow my mind to be disturbed by anything. I have found a new appreciation of the powers of sleep. It has been a miraculous path to my healing. I was off painkillers in less than a week. Sleep, sleep, sleep.
Learn to appreciate the little things. After having the catheter removed, I had a new appreciation of not having anything dangling from my you-know-what. Then after three days of noshing on soft and slippery foods, it was great to ingest solid foods. The painkillers keep you constipated so after three long days I was ecstatic after my first bowel movement. Yes, these are the little things that we so often overlook. I am now very appreciative of all of our creature comforts and simply being capable of functioning like a healthy human being. It’s something we too easily ignore. Be thankful, people. Everything can all change in a heartbeat.
Be flexible. Adapt. If you can’t sleep on your belly, sleep on your side. If you can’t jump in and out of bed (a favorite pastime that drives my wife crazy), then quietly slide into bed. If you have holes drilled into your abdomen, keep them covered when showering. If it hurts like hell to sneeze or cough, do whatever you can not to sneeze or cough. If you can’t drink, don’t. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t pick up your seventeen month-year old child, find a way of cajoling him onto the couch so you can read to him. It’s that simple. Learn to do things differently. I did not get frustrated and the challenges helped me stay sharp and heal. I improvised and am a better person for it.
The power of visualizations and affirmations. From the moment they jabbed me with general anesthetic, I have been visualizing and mentally repeating affirmations of my health. I say, “I am healed and renewed” and “I am one with the energizing life of God” throughout the day. I also see myself in my mind’s eye as completely healed. There is power in the words “I am” and the intentions that follow. You can use these for any area of your life. It works. Just know it.
Surround yourself with love. I am certain that my healing is on the fast track because I am sleeping with my wife, son, and cat in the same room. I feel their love and it helps my body, mind and spirit heal. I know this. Love heals. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. It’s that simple. That’s all I am going to say about it.
So after two weeks, I’m feeling strong. In fact, I feel tremendous. My surgeon told me that the procedure went perfectly. I am well rested and in a state of grace, more than ready for round two.
Do you know how to heal?
This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are my surgeon and the team at NYU Langone Center who have cared for me during each phase of my procedure. Thank you all.