The Pain of My First Surgery Led Me to Ask These 3 Life-Changing QuestionS
And they can help you through the hardships of life.
Happy Sunday, readers!
Remember how last week I told you about a story I was working on that I wanted you all to read? It’s finally here :)
I hope this helps you overcome obstacles and sail through hard times, just like it helped me. Apart from that, here’s what you can expect in today’s newsletter:
Something Cool I Did 👀
Links of Stories I Published This Week (+ an achievement)
I finished reading Stillness in The Key this week. What a beautiful read, to say the least.
Everybody should read Ryan Holiday’s Stoicism Bundle in my opinion (Stillness is the Key, Ego is the Enemy, The Obstacle is the Way) - the world needs it more than ever. I’ve read two books and am on to my third one.
Here’s a quote I really liked:
“Be present. And if you’ve had trouble with this in the past? That’s okay. That’s the nice thing about the present. It keeps showing up to give you a second chance.”
― Ryan Holiday
I mean I LOVED the entire book and wish I could write 100 quotes here, but I’ll wait for you to be as moved as I was. It deepened my perspective on how can I best allocate my energies to the present, and much more.
Now, let’s get the newsletter rolling 📜
💉The Pain of My First Surgery Led Me to Ask These 3 Life-Changing QuestionS
I wish people knew what it's like when the needles in your IV tube get air and swell up your entire wrist. After that, the antibiotic liquids the go inside through it feel like a thousand needles entering your veins. You feel like your blood vessels will blast. Even thinking of it makes me sick in my stomach.
I was excited about this procedure. I’ve had this injury for nearly a decade and it now put me at risk of early osteoarthritis. I thought the 3-month long rehab and 2 months of bed rest won’t be hard. I’ll be pampered and chill in bed.
I watched my surgery as it was arthroscopic (a tiny camera goes inside your knee joint). I am too weak-hearted to see a drop of blood or a minor cut, but luckily, when they drill into bones, there’s no blood. It's just all white and the residual bone post drilling looks like cream. Nothing graphic, really.
What followed next was a torture.
Both my knees had new ligaments now because they were ligament deficient and my knee joint was weak. I woke up not feeling my legs because of the general anaesthesia. It was pleasant. I felt nothing and kept falling asleep.
Until hours later when I gained some sensation and couldn’t move. Like every normal human, I had to use the washroom. My bladder was full.
But my brain’s signals to my muscles weren’t strong enough. I couldn’t even move my toes. So while I regained sensation, I didn’t entirely regain control.
The hospital staff told me it's best for things to happen naturally, so keep trying. To give you a sense of how it felt, think of holding your bladder for 30 minutes more where you’re trying to release it and feels it's almost there, but nothing happens.
Each minute feels so long and painful. I had to finally resort to two people helping me out with an artificial method involving more tubes. Never had I been this embarrassed.
This happened two more times in the next 24 hours.
The night post my surgery, they sedated me at 11 pm to rest up. I woke up at 2:30am because of the above-mentioned scenario occurring again. Adding to that, I was on my back for so long that it hurt. I just sat the night ahead since I couldn’t turn and lying down was painful.
I’ve been home for 24 days now, and some every day challenges have led me to ask three important questions and find out answers I hope stay throughout my life and help improve yours.
Sleeping is difficult. Even with the recovery I’ve made over the last few weeks, I sit up to use my arm power and turn. My back and neck hurt after the first 2 of weeks working on my bed.
The first week that I didn’t work and rested was terribly boring. There’s only so much TV you can watch and read and talk to friends. Everything felt like such a huge issue that I didn’t want to deal with.
During my first week, I cried every day at my helplessness because of my immobility. If something fell down, I had to call my mom to pick it up. Every time I ate I dropped food on my t-shirt because of eating on the bed. I bathed once in 3 days with my mom’s help and had a towel bath each day.
I felt disgusting about myself!
And then I questioned, is it really a ‘problem’ or a minor inconvenience? Yeah, life sucks right now. It’s difficult to even for my optimistic and law of attraction fan mind to be positive.
But it’s a temporary inconvenience, right? It’ll go in weeks or months, and ultimately be okay.
I feel often in life we think of minor inconveniences as enormous problems and stress ourselves out so hard.
The world’s burden seems to be on our shoulders.
Our perception of the problem is far bigger than the problem, and this question down sizes our issue and makes us realise the impermanence of it.
I’ve been okay after the first week when I started work. I mentally felt calmer and have kept myself busy with work. My friends come to meet me every week and there’s enough to be busy with. I’ve been making progress during my physiotherapy every single day, and that makes me feel I’m getting closer to being normal.
Until it was time for my stitches to be removed.
It’s an hour-long journey to the hospital. The stitches removal really hurt because of some clotting. On my way back, every road bump hurt my knees. I was also watching everybody around me – the real world.
I came home and broke down. I felt like my life has come to a halt in a moving world. Everybody is living their normal life, going out, doing what they want to. And I’ve been in the bed for weeks, and have plenty more to go. All the progress is still so far from reality.
With this, I questioned later — am I losing sight of the big picture?
This surgery is for long-term betterment. Life will get back to normal in months. My muscles were cut and bones were drilled, I needed to be more compassionate with my body that underwent trauma.
Instead, I was whining.
Often, the big picture in life requires us to take a few (or plenty) of small steps. Not all are great, and some are painful. In the times you’re low, don’t forget to remind yourself of the big picture. Even the destinations with lovely sunshine can have storms on the way, don’t lose sight.
That big picture keeps me going each day.
During the first few days, I was terribly negative. I even stopped texting my friends because all I wanted to do was feel bad about my situation and feel how terrible my life is.
I’d keep my phone away because I could feel the negativity I’m putting in to the other person because I was so full of negative energy. I recognised this and stopped.
After the first two weeks, I realised there's a bloody long way to go. It will hurt and pain and that's just what it is. Either I could be the negative ball of energy I’m becoming and cry every day, or just buck up.
Is suffering a choice? I questioned.
In the coming days, I enrolled myself in a meditation course made for rehab and tried to accept the situation as it is.
I told myself — either I could sulk about it or just choose to not sulk. Don’t have to be joyful about it, but at least choose to step away from feeling negative.
That’s helped me every day, and can help us in all aspects of life.
Lastly, it will be 4 weeks since my surgery in two days, and I have 4 more weeks to be in bed.
I mean, it feels really long, to be honest. Each day I feel better.
These three questions are really helping me go through the lowest point in my life, and I hope they can help you with obstacles too — small or big. Next time you’re low, ask yourself:
Is it really a ‘problem’ or a minor inconvenience?
Am I losing sight of the big picture?
Is suffering a choice?
I hope they can shift your mind to a better place and drive your actions with greater purpose.
Last weekend I read a guide about branding yourself as a creator. You see, today everybody and not just creators have to establish a digital presence online. Whether thats on LinkedIn or via other social networking platforms.
In fact, I’ve lead executives and businesses with their social media content so they can make some noise. It’s a funny world we live in where you can be damn good and not get enough work or be average and make noise and get opportunities. But it is what it is.
If that’s something you’re seeking help with, this guide was really helpful for me and I hope it can be for you too.
Also, I’m being quite active on Twitter. This brings me to the next part…
Something 🆒 I Did 👀
Before you read this, please know that I’m really scared of speaking in front of an audience. My nervousness makes me stammer and this time for a change I did not…
In this particular Twitter Space, we had a really good discussion about building an audience and consistency.
For me, it wasn’t just the discussion but stepping out of my comfort zone. Usually, people leave comments, email me, and DM me because they connect to some of my writings, so this is the first time there was a voice behind this writer.
It was super scary, but the feedback was over the moon. I’m getting on a call with Jessie on Monday to discuss if we should do this again. :)
📝Some Stuff I Wrote This Week
If you’re not on Medium, let me tell you that there are certain publications that Medium owns. It has a process similar to writing for a magazine, you need to pitch a very high-quality story to the editor.
For the first time in my last 13 months of writing on Medium, my story got published in a Medium owned publication - that is a BIG deal. It speaks a lot of my emotions and ideologies about living.
Why I’m Done Living for The Weekend - I hope you enjoy it.
Other stories published this week:
Some tweets I think you’d like (controlling my urge to post 20):
I don’t like shoving my ebook up your face so I’ll try to mention it at the end of my newsletters. No hard sell, it’s for free, so.
If you’re interested to build a side hustle and make money online, grab a copy:
I’m excited for the coming week. I’m building a new product that I hope to complete and I also want to watch this movie that’s been waiting on my Netflix list. Oh, and I’m starting to work with a new client from LA that I’m kicked about. Guess what is it about? Building their brand!
I’m grateful and in love with what I do, and I pass on love and gratitude to you too. A little more if you’ve read it this far.
See you next weekend :)