Rest and relaxation aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. While juggling the responsibilities of home and office, you dream of days of leisure. Then you get them, and soon the thrill wears off. After having extensive surgery, I was instructed to take it easy for 4-6 weeks. The first few days, while I was under the influence of potent narcotics and trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, those instructions were easy to follow. As I began to feel better, I chafed at the restrictions on my social life.
Hoping to speed my recovery, I studied a book on holistic healing which stressed the value of meditation, visualization, and healing touch. As a training exercise, it suggested that I lie down and relax, breathing deeply for several minutes. I should then place my hands gently on my abdomen and speak softly to my uterus. I should ask my uterus what its favorite color is, then ask what it needs from me to be happy and healthy.
I did my best to communicate with my uterus, but my uterus is not much of a conversationalist. The last time my uterus had anything interesting to say was during labor and delivery back in 1976. Frankly, I’m a bit hesitant to reopen a dialog with my uterus, just in case its favorite colors are baby blue and pastel pink, if you get my drift.
My stomach, on the other hand, never shuts up. Unfortunately, all it ever says is, “feed me!” I know its favorite color: chocolate brown. My talkative stomach has been known to wake me from a sound sleep. Nothing short of a midnight taste test will shut it up. My stomach must be a graduate of the Dale Carnegie course on how to win friends and influence enemies.
My uterus, on the other hand, apparently is an introvert and a mute.
The book on holistic healing suggested I concentrate on sending a surge of healing power through my fingertips into my abdomen. When done properly, I should feel the transfer of heat and energy. I failed dismally. I was a weak battery on a cold morning. Perhaps I needed a jump start.
Fortunately, I had a set of jumper cables in the trunk of my car. Let’s see, to what parts of the body should I attach these two clips? Is it the black cable that is negative and the red cable positive, or is it the other way around? Does it matter if I use the right side or the left side of my most obvious bodily appendages?
After a few weeks of recovery and isolation, I began to have serious misgivings about my mental health. Being a social person, I sorely missed the company and conversation of other human beings.
I tried talking and singing to my houseplants, which I’d heard would stimulate their growth. Either the plants had not read those articles or they didn’t care for disco dance tunes of the 1970s. Three of them subsequently developed root rot. The fourth pulled itself right out of the pot and escaped through an open window during my chorus of “Boogie Fever.”
I had lengthy conversations with the squirrels in my yard, but once we had exhausted the merits of black walnuts versus hickory nuts as it pertains to long-term storage and the resulting loss in nutritional value, the conversation lagged.
The highlight of my recovery was when a pair of religious crusaders rang my doorbell. At last! Company! I invited them in and then let loose of several weeks of pent-up conversation. Three hours later, they fled to their waiting car and locked the doors. As they peeled rubber and tore out the driveway, I chased it, shouting into the exhaust fumes, “Wait! Let me tell you more about the development of Velcro and its devastating effect on the shoestring industry!”
My poor husband bore the brunt of my loneliness throughout my recovery. Whenever he could think of a reason, he’d escape for a few hours. By the time he got home, I was as eager as a puppy. If I’d had a tail, its vigorous wagging would have knocked him over. In my unbridled excitement, I might have licked his face and peed on his shoe.
“Bad girl! Bad girl! Down!” he’d shout, swatting me with the newspaper in his hand.
For the rest of the evening, I’d follow him around, singing, dancing, and regaling him with bad jokes.
“Boogie Fever,” I sang as my feet went tappity, tappity, tappity. “A priest, a rabbi, and a nun walked into a bar…”
That’s when the phone rang and the caller i.d. identified it as a telemarketer. Oh boy! Somebody new to talk to! It might even be worth the purchase of a car warranty.