This Nurse Turned Patient Learned Patience!

While recuperating from a hip infection, along with two hip surgeries, I struggled to find some sense and maybe even a positive aspect dealing with this five-month long health challenge.  It wasn’t easy, but I finally identified a personal strength that needed work–patience.  Since I am a workaholic Baby Boomer and was used to running sixty miles an hour–okay figuratively–being laid up and unable to work fulltime was a real adjustment which I did not like one bit!

Early in my recovery pain and weakness was prominent, so putting my own health recovery first was less of a challenge.  However once I had a temporary hip placed and completed six weeks of IV therapy for my hip infection, I was frustrated as I could only return to therapy/coaching part-time for the next six weeks, while I waited to get my permanent hip replaced.

Three weeks after the second surgery,  I anticipated going back to work in a week, when I got a call from my surgeon’s office saying he couldn’t see me until the fifth week after surgery.  Even though I was still using a walker, dealing with that appointment being put off where I hoped to  get a work release note, was really frustrating.  I was missing my clients more each day as well as that feeling professional healthcare workers get from contributing important work.  I was also getting bored watching reruns on TV.  I believed I should be up to full power, so to speak even though my hip still got sore when I walked for only about  twelve minutes.  I realized having a high work ethic and personal self-expectation of excellence also contributed to my impatience because I felt I wasn’t recovering fast enough.

Tips to Develop Patience During a Physical Personal Challenge:

1.  First, identify if impatience is a personal challenge for you.

2.  Admit you can’t be your best at work if your body isn’t healed yet.

3.  Spend more time in spiritual pursuits such as meditation and/or reading positive self-help books.

4.  Follow your physician’s recommendations of daily walks, with rest periods in between, etc. to help gradually increase your strength.

5.  Eat healthily.  My doctor recommended three protein drinks a day to help with the healing process.  Know healthy nutrition is essential for rebuilding healthy tissue.

Although I wouldn’t wish my particular health challenge on anyone, I hope the above suggestions are helpful to you for any health issue that seems to interfere with your career/work life temporarily.  After all we also deserve to take care of ourselves when we, the caregivers, become for a time our own patient.

Being a patient can have the positive effect of helping nurses/other healthcare professionals develop the strength of patience!

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