The Im-patient Doctor


by Dr Anne Malatt MBBS, MS, FRANZCO, FRACS

I recently had surgery.

The wonder-fully inspiring account of this can be read elsewhere on this website.  I just felt to balance it with the other side of the story.

The surgery itself was an amazing healing.

I felt wonderful for a few days afterwards and lay on the couch allowing my family to look after me and feeling the grace of it all.

As my body started to heal, my mind started to play tricks.

I did not deserve to care for myself and be cared for; I was needed here there and everywhere; I started to feel empty because I was not “doing” anything… all my old thoughts and patterns started to rear their ugly heads and demand my attention.

The tension was too much for me.

Instead of going deeper, feeling the stillness and beauty and grace within me, allowing myself to feel that I am enough as I am, and don’t need to do anything to be loved, I got up and moved.

I went places where I thought I was needed, and then I went back to work.

I love my work, but I am not what I do.  The funny part was that the minute I got there, I felt that, but by then it was too late – there were 20 people booked in to see me that day, and 20 more the next.

By the end of the first day I was very tired and sore, but I did not feel able to cancel the next day.

By the end of the next day, I started to bleed.  All that movement, all that pressure I was putting on my healing body, was too much and it had to be released somewhere. My leg, which was supposed to be up, blew up, into a huge haematoma. Now I was in pain.

All that lovelessness, all that disregard, all those years of putting others before myself, of not listening to my body, of over-riding what I did feel, see and hear, of pushing through pain, tiredness, sadness…all came to a head, in my left leg. It really hurt, not just physically, but because, perhaps for the first time, I could really feel the pain of how I had lived, against the truth of what I knew.

So now I am back on the couch, with my leg up, pondering on what happened. The silly part is I have had to take more time off healing what I have harmed than I would have if I had listened to my doctor in the first place!

Some of us, especially the “smart” ones, can be slow learners!

295 thoughts on “The Im-patient Doctor

  1. “I went places where I thought I was needed, and then I went back to work. I love my work, but I am not what I do.” Yet so many believe they are what they do – their identification. I can relate to this too. The body has huge intelligence and gives us signals, if we only listen and respond to what is needed – sometimes giving us a moment to stop – if we don’t choose to stop for ourselves.

  2. Having just broken my wrist this is quite a timely read. I can feel how I have not fully stopped and felt what my wrist is showing me, and instead using my time to fill in all the areas that I had previously not had time for. I can feel that I am being asked to go deeper but not taking the steps to fully embrace and appreciate what is being offered to me.

  3. A great lesson and seemingly worth the price as the damage wasn’t permanent. To be able to stop such ingrained behaviour is a blessing.

  4. When I would follow my thoughts i would not be sitting and or lying on the couch with my wrist in plaster but I would do whatever I could to avoid, disrupt the stillness that my body is presenting me with. To break this pattern of identifying myself and my worth with what I do is to surrender to the wisdom within my body.

  5. Putting others first is something as women we can all do, I am learning to unravel this in my own life and to see the part I have played in over riding how I truly feel and in being responsible for others, and how exhausting and harming to the body it is when we live in this way.

  6. I love the honesty and humility of what you share here Anne, and how it often takes a real stop for us to see and feel how we’ve live and how much it can hurt when we see and know that we’re not considered ourselves in there, but placed the world and all others first, to the detriment of ourselves and them, for we have not been the quality of us.

  7. The pain of knowing that I have turned against what I know to be true is by far the greatest source of agony in my life. And as much as I can distract myself away from this pain, giving myself the illusion that everything is bubbling along just fine at the surface, the reality is that the more I connect to this pain and allow it to be felt, the more solid and genuine I feel and the more capable I am to handle life’s challenges. The real weakness is therefore in not being aware of the deep pain of separation from our soul. And real strength is in living with the awareness of this separation everyday and yet to carry on bringing light and love to life.

  8. “I love my work, but I am not what I do.” – this is so important to remember! To appreciate our worth as we are and not just for what we do. And reading this blog reminds me of the importance of really listening to and honouring our body, thank you Anne.

  9. Thanks for your honesty Anne. This is a beautiful sharing, that makes me feel how important it is to honour our body, especially when it is in a deep healing process, and also how important is the reflection we offer to others in that process. This is very generous on your side, as sometimes we may think that doctors are invincible and maybe we forget that they are also human beings who make mistakes and learn in their life too.

  10. I know that feeling well, following the thoughts of going into work but stepping out the door I feel like I shouldn’t even be in my uniform let alone out of bed! Pushing ourselves when ill only makes the healing take longer. We all know this but give precedence to those thoughts that don’t have care or love in their foundations or orgin.

  11. There is no surprise that our body reacts when we override its needs for rest, and how quickly we can go backwards when we think we can get away with something, all along knowing inside that we should not be pushing our body, but respectfully supporting and resting it.

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