It's been nearly a month since I had surgery to remove a benign tumor from my right parotid gland. The surgery was done in Los Angeles and I'm now back in Kona, absorbing the sunshine and the Pacific skyline. I was fortunate to have the best care before, during, and after surgery and may have more to tell once I'm back to normal. Right now, I have no control over when that will be and surprisingly, I'm okay with it.
There are portions of my right ear and the surrounding area that are still numb. Although I don't go to sleep at odd times anymore and have no discomfort to speak of, my body feels as though it's in second gear. My speed limit has been lowered and all I can do is go along for the ride.
I've spent many years experimenting with the care and feeding of my physical body. I turn it upside down, dress it up, keep it warm, cool it down, ply it with vitamins, stretch, twist and otherwise cajole it to perform. Acting from the outside, I think I'm in charge. Every now and then however, something rises from within and makes me feel remotely, controlled.
When I was little, hiccups were an amusing example of losing control. They came with no warning and left when they no longer found it funny. In my late twenties, I remember being surprised at the way labor contractions took over my practiced Lamaze breathing. The hiccup gremlin had turned into a demon and I had no way to stop it. Of course, I can look back now and say that I hiccuped my way through a natural childbirth because the result was (and still is) such a joy.
I suspect that I'll look back on this time and also admit to a newfound joy. The healing process that I'm going through right now feels as involuntary to me as hiccups, minus the bouncing chest and squeaky spasms. It feels like riding a swing, in a rhythm that's medium to slow and I sense that it will take, as long as it takes. Amazing adjustments and restorations are happening within me and all I'm doing is lazing. My body and I, we're forging a brand new relationship. I'm going to expect more and resist less.