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  • Mary Carolla

Rest, Healing, and Patience

It’s been almost four weeks since I injured my ankle and two weeks since I had surgery to repair the damage. I have several more weeks of rest and rehabilitation ahead of me. And to be honest, this whole thing is hard!

The hardest part isn’t the pain or loss of independence, though, make no mistake, I’m struggling with those things. It’s the inactivity. The “rest” part.

Almost immediately, I started planning how I could return to “normal” life. What pieces of my life could I keep? How soon could I get back to x, y, or z? When can I get back to doing all the things?

And completely overlooking that rest component of my healing.

But, as my surgeon explained, rest is pretty important, especially initially. Of course, I know this. Intuitively and professionally. I’ve helped guide people through injuries just like mine many times.

Sleep and rest are essential for so many aspects of our health; brain function, tissue rebuilding, and mental wellness are just a few of them. So much is happening as we rest.

If I KNOW it, why can’t I just DO it? Just REST! What should be easy is proving to be rather difficult.

The rainy weather we’ve had has helped get me to be a bit more still. It doesn’t feel quite as hard to lie around with my leg elevated when it’s dark and gloomy. Sunny, beautiful spring days are proving to be a bit harder, but I’m trying. 

I recently read a poem that put rest in a little more perspective. Here is the part that especially resonated with me:

“If only we could see the courage it takes to lay aside the worries, the fears and the comparison, just for a few hours, to let the mind, spirit and body come together again.

Doing the one thing they all require so much… nothing.

If only we could see the power in rest.

Because resting is very much doing.”

-from “Resting is Doing” by Donna Ashworth ("Life: Poems to Help Navigate Life's Many Twists and Turns")

So, I will take the advice I give all of you: I will rest so that I may heal. And I will be patient with my body, my mind, and my soul as I do so.

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