Convalescence is a frustrating, limbo period full of thwarted aspirations and inability to complete even simple tasks. It is a time of contradictory physical and emotional reactions. Physically you feel that you should be able to more than you can. Small tasks are much harder and take much longer than you expect, others just have to join the ever growing list of postponed jobs. Emotionally, you feel you should be grateful for getting past the worst, but actually you feel frustrated about the slow rate of progress, and at the same feel guilty that you know that there are those who have to cope with much more intractable problems.
I’ve spent the last week recovering from a biopsy which has taken a sample of muscle tissue from my right thigh. When this was first proposed I thought that it would only entail a fairly thick needle puncturing my muscle. I expected a bit of bruising and stiffness for a couple of days, but nothing really to get in my way. What actually was required was a 60mm incision at the top of my leg, which has left me fairly well immobilised for the past week. Yes, this was small beer, non-traumatic, elective surgery and I’m not complaining. But the disjuncture between my wishes and my capabilities is still frustrating.