Sunday 27 March 2011

Scar tissue

One and two and three and ... and ten. This isn't the Oxford boat crew warming down. This is my best beloved counting the seconds for her leg lift. The most bizarre recovery exercise is when, sitting down, she pumps her arms alternately and enthusiastically into the air for a suitable period, apparently to help maximise cardio-vascular function. The most obviously productive exercise is standing up, organising the washing into stuff-to-be-dried-this-way and the rest. She's home!

Much of it seems to be about preventing scar tissue forming. Erin Mae already has a few scars from our boating operations, but nothing that can't be sorted by the subtle use of a paint brush. Surgical operations are a different matter – post-op scar tissue can compromise mobility if it prevents the flexing of the knee. So it's ice and exercises and pain control.

And then there are the other scars. Sometimes, in tutorials, my students explore with me the deeper scars they carry, and that can also be an exercise in pain management. Understanding themselves is a pre-requisite for working with other people. No superficial solutions here. Just hard graft, because old wounds become familiar but false friends, and dealing with them effectively can feel like surgery. Pain to confront pain – this is where the recent film of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader needed to stick more closely to Lewis's text about the healing of Eustace.

But, for my best beloved, Erin Mae beckons. The cost-benefit analysis has been done. Time for more ice!


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