Are we ever really alone?

I’ve been stuck at home for more than a month, recovering from a major surgery. Pain medications and limited (but improving) range of motion, preclude my driving. While long-time friends visit and call, I spend most days alone… but only in the literal sense, thanks to my new friends on the Internet.

Before my surgery I located a health issues website, at, <www.healthboards.com/boards>, with numerous message boards, including one specific to my surgery. In addition to some very helpful sticky threads  – such as, “What I wished I’d known before my surgery,” and, “Things I wish I’d known about recovery” – this board features dozens of threads that show I’m not alone in worrying about new pains and problems.

The chance to “talk” with other patients who have gone through, or are going through, my surgery and recovery has relieved a lot of my fears and concerns. My message board contacts are available 24/7, another plus. My message board friends provide sympathy, empathy, and information. While I continue to rely on my surgeon and physical therapist for specific advice and direction, message board posts help fill in the gaps, for example, regarding what’s typical and what to expect (Has anyone else had this happen?).  Joining this online community also has reduced the isolating aspects of being substantially home-bound.

I long to go back to work and volunteering, to take my dog to the park, to go where I want to go, when I want to go. In the meantime I appreciate of the support of my family and friends, and my new online community. It helps to talk to other inpatient patients!  And to hear from those who’ve been there and done that, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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