Recovering from Illness – The Myth of a Writer Who Doesn’t Need Downtime

11 Jan

I had total knee replacement surgery on Oct. 28th. This was no small operation. They literally cut me open, sawed off my leg in two places, put in a fake knee and sewed it all backup. The recovery time was supposed to be 6-8 weeks and there is where I made my mistake.

I thought that because I am a writer I could just keep working through the recovery process. I could, after all, sit on the couch, leg up and still write….ummmmm nope. I didn’t account for several things. First, the pain….wow the pain…the first three weeks was amazingly painful and no amount of painkillers appeared to help for very long. Second, there were those painkillers…I am not a “pill” person, I hate them. So when I started taking the pain meds I had no tolerance what-so-ever. I would take a dose and sleep…my body gave me no choice. By the time I woke up from my stupor, it was time for more meds…it became a circle of unconsciousness. Finally, there was the lack of desire. Yes, I am a writer and yes I live to write but when you hurt and you are stoned a lot of the time your desire to get creative does not include a keyboard. I wanted to sit and wish the pain away…not create.

What should I have done? I should have recovered. I didn’t do myself any favors, I frustrated a lot of my clients because I kept saying I could do it and then couldn’t…it was a mess. The truth is I owe it to myself to take care of myself and in order to do that I, like any normal person, need to follow the doctor’s instructions. I am still fighting this, 9 weeks out. Knee replacement surgery takes up to six months to fully recover from and every time I go to physical therapy it’s like they opened it up all over again. The bottom line is…you can’t create if you can’t take care of yourself.

So talk to your clients, help them understand that it is a process. Don’t put it off for your clients either…one of the things about working for yourself and from home that sucks is that clients tend to hold you to a different set of rules…don’t let them do that. You are no good to your client if you are in pain all the time. So heal….take the time to heal and in doing it correctly you will be back at that keyboard twice as fast.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on January 11, 2023 in Writing


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