Following my most recent surgery, I was able to return to work much more quickly than I was able to following any of my previous surgeries. This was true because of the nature of the surgical work that was performed and because for me “work” consists of sitting on my butt and offering advice and commentary. If my “work” involved anything more physical than lifting a small cup of coffee or sliding a pen across the surface of a piece of paper or typing on a computer keyboard, I would not have been able to sneak back into the office after so few days’ absence. This allowed me to keep notice of my surgery relatively private.
However, as with any office setting, word tends to get around. Today I had quite a few visitors come by my office just to see how I was doing. Many expressed great surprise that I was back at work so soon. But I must admit that I was taken aback when two of the visitors commented that this was my forth surgery in eight years (I had not admitted it to myself, but they were almost right, it actually is my forth in eight years and six months). My initial reaction was very negative. I did not want my health to be a topic associated with my work. I did not want there to be concern that I was not still generally a capable individual who had many years of significant contribution left. My ego was bruised that anyone would be questioning that I could be so infirm.
But after a few minutes, well maybe a few tens of minutes, some degree of sanity returned to my thinking. These people were not questioning whether I was still able to contribute. They were actually glad to hear that I was doing well. They were actually glad that I was going to be there to offer advice and commentary. Even though it is often offered with a healthy (some might say unhealthy) dose of sarcasm and cynicism, the advice and commentary is more often than not useful to these people and to others.
Now that I have my head turn back the way it should be, I realize all the people who have been coming by today are just coming by because they have heard that I had a health issue and they are glad I am OK. Amazing but the frustrations of work seem much less than I remember them. And also amazing, but the discomfort from the surgery is just not as bad as it was this morning.
Is Still Here