17 February 2014

The Art Of Nothing

This weekend I was in bed with the flu, giving me that opportunity to do something that I really love – which is, nothing.

I love doing nothing. And I never get the chance to enjoy doing nothing unless I'm on vacation, or in some state of unwellness or repair.  There are times where I can choose to do nothing, but that not nearly as fun because I am wracked with guilt. Inside I hear my mothers voice saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day, you should be outside!’

But this time I was wracked not with guilt, but with fever. And after spending a whole day throwing up like a hung-over teenager, Jim broke out the ginger ale, and I started enjoying myself. Day two was even better. I feasted on Saltines and lay back on our six pillows, staring at the ceiling. With a cat under each arm and a dirty basset hound at my feet, I was too feeble to be concerned about hair. Blissful.

Ed, Jed, Bed
Day three was the best. My eyes had stopped throbbing and I could finally watch guilt free TV! So I staggered to the sofa, ate half a banana and switched from the Olympics, to chick movies, to reality TV. Who knew that bobsledding was so fascinating? And that male sledders sometimes have little bellies under their shiney onesies? (Although the commentators didn’t seem to find it as fascinating as me.)

But the best thing about day three was that my big puffy hand with its four pork sausages was almost back to normal. I held it in front of me in disbelief as though displaying an engagement ring. But so much more precious. I could finally make out the tendons of extensor digitorum on the back of my hand. It was so beautiful. And so achingly familiar that I realized how much I’d missed it.

I also realized that my hand had deflated because of doing nothing. No driving, dog walking, typing, lifting, showering, lymphedema exercises, cleaning, opening doors, putting on pants. I didn’t even have to open my own ginger ale. Wingman did it all. I’d even given my fleshy compression garment a break for a few days and left them in a drawer. And still, my hand almost returned to normal.

So doing nothing is good for me. And it is good for my hand. When I hear my mothers voice talking about the weather, I have mine own voice with a valid excuse. (‘But mom, it's very theraputic to stay in bed. Inside.’) So now, doing nothing is part of my recovery plan, and I never have to feel guilty for doing nothing again.

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