Thoughts on being present during horrible situations and coping with rest when you love to move

Meditation did not help me in this situation.

Meditation did not help me in this situation.

Something extremely painful and horrible happened to me last week.

I don’t want to go into the details of it right now for several reasons, but I can tell you it involved several trips to various clinics and to the hospital; a lot of pain, discomfort and frustration; three days of fasting; and surgery at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. I’m extremely happy to be home and on the mend today.

Since I’ve been working on my zen and being present lately, I wondered if it would help me deal the with situation I was in. Though taking deep breaths did help me deal with being pricked a total of six times with an IV needle as nurses searched for a good vein during my hospital stays, it did not help me during the constant pain and discomfort I experienced since the incident last Tuesday. Nor did it help as I fasted and waited, fasted and waited all week for an operating room time. I did not want to be present. I wanted to zone out and for time to move quickly. I watched a lot of really bad TV and stupid movies.

It made me think about those who are going through even tougher situations than I was in. Does being present and meditation help those who are physically suffering? What about someone with chronic pain or someone undergoing chemotherapy? Being present and meditation is all about feeling all the feelz. Is it possible to see past it? I doubt anyone really wants to be present for pain and suffering.

One thing mindfulness did help me with in this situation was coping with frustration and anger. The situation that happened should not have, and could have been avoided. But it did happen, and being upset was not going to make things better for me in the present moment. The surgery is done now and I can focus on healing. Healing that involves lots of rest, missing work, and very little movement other than short walks. As any fellow runner, nature-lover, gym-junkie and yoga enthusiast will know, this is almost as hard to deal with than the post-op pain itself.

But I know it’s what I need to do, and as frustrating as it is to miss out on all the fun activities I could have been doing in the sunshine this weekend, I know this is but a mere setback and will not impact future activities. There are others who have come back from so, so much worse, and who I thought about often during this whole ordeal to help put things in perspective. I am so thankful that this situation was not worse.

I also know I will have no problem getting back into my routine once healed, because being active is what I love to do; it’s what keeps me sane. The hard part will be finding other ways to cope with stress and such in the meantime. I’m going to take this forced time off from working out as a sign to finally read those books I bought at Christmastime and to let my body rest.

Have you ever had a major physical set back? Did you try using meditation to cope? Did you find it hard to get back into your routine? What was the biggest challenge you had to face while healing?