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. Now a days, more and more people want things done in an instance. For example if we look at technology, it has advanced and no doubt will continue to advance in the future. Our cars have technology unheard of 20 years ago, but does this make us better drivers, or prevent us from having accidents. I can recall, being able to reverse a car into a space with out any rear cameras, or sensors screaming at you, saying you are too close to an object.

    None of these things have made our bodies advance, instead it has taken us further away from its intelligence. But that intelligence of the body is always there, waiting for us to tap into. It has sensors, that can communicate in many ways. The question is, are we willing to listen, feel and respond, or are we going to continue to ignore it.

  2. When we start going again before we are ready the body is even louder in it’s “Slow down and stop for a moment” It’s the pain of our disobedience that we run away from the most.

  3. It is very healing for us to allow others to look after us when we are recovering from an illness or surgery, and deeply healing for us to surrender to what is needed.

    1. Totally agree Sally, it is very healing to be cared for. Are we willing to be vulnerable and say I need support too, and this is the time for me. It isn’t selfish, it is self loving.

  4. The wonderful thing about learning is that there never is a mistake. We learn and by sharing our story, others can learn, too. There’s so much for everyone to appreciate in every movement we make even when it doesn’t match the picture of how we wanted it to look.

  5. It is amazing how patient we can be with others but how impatient we can be with our own healing process whether this is after surgery or simply allowing a needed clearing and giving ourselves the space to process that without beating ourselves up for not being productive. What this exposes for me is the different weight I put on tasks where there is a recognisable outcome at the end and the ongoing process of healing that is often unseen at the time.

  6. I am sure many can relate to what you write Anne. Better to take the rest we need and return in our fullness and expansion.

  7. They often say that nurses and doctors are the worst patients – though I think there are many many of us who don’t look after ourselves to the level or the depth our bodies require. Your blog really makes me wonder how many times a day I compromise my body – and what effect that is having long term – thank you.

  8. Thanks Anne, I’m home unwell in bed and I realised this morning after feeling unbearably unsettled that I didn’t feel comfortable about not having a function, my belief was I needed to be doing something to feel connected to others or part of the team so to speak. This was really exposing because my body genuinely needs rest whilst I recover, but I’m having trouble accepting it because I’m placing value on myself in doing something, not just being and attending to myself.

    1. So true I have often given in to this uncomfortable feeling of not being productive when recuperating and gone back to work too soon and like Anne recognised that I am not ready but felt unable to acknowledge this as it will affect others and then have taken longer to recover which impacts not just me but all those I am connected with.

  9. Listening to our head and ‘over-riding our body’ can be suicidal so maybe we should look at the underlying patterns that have hooked us into to listening to those versions from our spirit and not the true way our whole body intelligence works when we are connected to our Soul, which is ‘going deeper, feeling the stillness and beauty and grace within me’.

  10. In March 2013 I had a chest infection that lasted over a month. I kept going back into work and my manager kept sending me home again. I couldn’t believe that I could take time off and rest. But I don’t doubt that repeatedly going back prolonged the illness. These days I take the time to rest however long it may be and I return to work ready, committed and joyful.

  11. The mind can certainly play tricks, it has us doing things that are not just unwise but are self harming and takes us a long way from where we really want to be. We are so used to a fast paced life and getting on with things that it is often difficult to stop and allow the body the rest and healing it needs. Practising being still not just on the outside but connecting to the stillness within supports us to stay with our bodies true needs. Esoteric Yoga as presented by Universal Medicine accredited practitioners is a great way to deepen this process.

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