Paul the dog actually has the same old ears as always, but in these early days of 2018, I actually have kind of a new one. My surgery on the 29th went well (as far as I know! I was unconscious!), and recovery is going ok too, I think. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been quite tired, and in occasional pain; my neck and jaw have been a bit stiff, and of course my ear is a mess, and full of bloody cotton. (For a MONTH. Fun.)

The worst feelings have really not been physical at all: I’m just not good at being a patient; or perhaps I’m not great at being patient. My discharge papers mentioned that the particular surgery I underwent is generally “well-tolerated, with minimal pain,” and so I feel unwilling to admit when I am in pain, or when I might need pain killers. I can move (mostly) normally (my upper body has been a bit T-rex rigid, much to Dave’s amusement), but I get worn down easily, and I can’t really exercise yet, because bearing too much weight could strain my stitches. I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling that I’m not in top condition—or that I couldn’t be in top condition, if I just tried. I’ve spent a lot of my life getting things done through pure will, but you can’t force yourself to heal faster. Sometimes you have to just collapse and let your body mend.

But collapse is not my forte. I don’t like having cloudy thoughts, or feeling scar tissue tug at my neck. I don’t like feeling self-pity. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a few days of my life: every morning I’ve felt a bit better, and in a week or two I’ll probably be close to normal. At the end of the month, no more ear full of bloody cotton. But in the meantime I have the opportunity to experience my own human frailty, and it is making me surprisingly pissy.

Happy new year!