Today is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi (Santa Chiara). St. Clare was a close friend of St. Francis of Assisi and was the foundress of the Poor Clares. I have been blessed to visit Assisi, Italy numerous times and have been able to see firsthand San Damiano where she lived and died. Through these visits, I have learned a fair amount about St. Clare, but what struck me today during mass was a new understanding of her sickness and suffering. She was sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she said that no pain could trouble her, so great was her joy in serving the Lord.
Wow. I could use this encouragement today. Today is 2 weeks post surgery and I think I'm reaching a new and more challenging stage of recovery. I had been told to expect 2 weeks of intense recovery and then an additional 2-4 weeks after that until I was fully recovered. Thus, I think I was prepared for the pain and the adjustments that the first 2 weeks would require, but I don't think I was at all prepared for what these additional 2-4 weeks would look like.
I'm exhausted. I can't make it through my days without at least two naps. It seems that I'm falling into a pattern. Get up at 7:45, make it to 8:15am mass, come home, read or work for a bit, sleep from 10-12, have lunch, try to work an hour, read a bit, and fall back asleep from 3-5, have dinner, hang out, go to bed, get 9 hours of sleep and get up and do it all over again. It's crazy how much sleep I'm getting and yet how sleepy I still am. But I guess when I stop and think about what all my body has been through and how much it is having to rebuild itself right now, it is to be expected.
So why am I so ridiculously frustrated right now? I feel good enough to start doing some things on my own and my lifting restrictions have been lifted by my doctor...and yet, I can't do the dishes or the laundry or mow the lawn, etc etc etc and although I can lift Frances (the petite cat), I can't lift Bruno (the fat cat) without pain, so clearly I'm not ready for lifting yet. I am allowed to drive when I am off of the pain meds and when I feel that I could get the car stopped in an emergency...yeah, I'm not there yet. I feel like I should be back to work almost full time, and yet it hurts to sit up for about more than an hour, so that's out too. I just feel stuck in this limbo of being somewhat healed that I feel guilty about not doing more, and yet not healed enough to do that which I think I should be able to do. Combine this with post-peak hormones that are going unchecked since I'm off of the Progesterone this cycle and things are pretty much a mess right now. Post-surgery recovery + PMS + not being able to run or do anything that is a normal stress relief = Suzy's is really struggling right now.
Yeah, I could use a dose of St. Clare right now...dear Lord, please let my mindset be "no pain (even emotional) can trouble me, so great is my joy in serving the Lord."
The Prayer after Communion from mass today seems only fitting...
may this Eucharist renew our courage and strength.
May we remain close to you, like St. Clare, by accepting in our lives
the share in the suffering of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.