Listen to your heart and other body parts

When I was initially recovering from prostate surgery, the common advice I got from people was, “Listen to your body.” This was not, of course, in a literal sense, although that could be fun too. (“Hey, kids, come here and listen to my body!”) Instead, it was about allowing my body to dictate what I should be doing. So I took that advice, and in those first days following surgery, what I mostly heard my body saying was, “I don’t like this.”

Since then I’ve gotten stronger, and the messages from my body have become more nuanced. In fact, it’s not my body as a whole I listen to but the individual parts, although there seems to be a general plea to eat chocolate and watch Netflix. But most of the time, there’s a whole cocktail party of discussions going on. Come: let’s listen to my body together!

My feet
What I’m hearing from my feet is that I don’t appreciate how much of the weight they carry around here. They’re always there for me, they say, when I need to walk or kick a ball or boot a cat off the bed. “We do nothing but consistently toe the line,” they say, “and what do we get? Nail trimmings twice, maybe three times a year.” So I asked my feet, what do you want? It turns out they want one of those spa treatments where little fish nibble the dead skin off your feet. “Seriously?” I said. “All that complaining was just so you could guilt me into sticking my feet into a glorified fish tank?” My feet are the worst. Seriously, my feet stink.

My knees
Two nights ago, my knees woke me up doing a vaudeville routine. My right knee was singing, “On Moonlight Bay” while my left knee was pulling rabbits out of a hat. (That’s my trick knee.) “Shut up, knees,” I yelled, “I’m trying to sleep!” But they just broke into a rendition of “Swanee” that went on for 20 minutes! Oh, but they paid for it the next morning. As I got out of bed, all they could sing was vintage breakfast cereal jingles: snap, crackle, pop.

So, no, I don’t listen to my knees.

My groin-ial area
What can I tell you? Since the surgery, my groin-ial area’s not happy. In fact, it’s cranky. Crotchety. I know I said I would share what my body was telling me, but in this case, those conversations are just too personal; they’re privates.

What I can tell you is that my groin-ial area really feels like it took one for the team. Made the hard choice. Rose to the occasion one last time. And for that, I salute you, groin-ial area, for you can salute no more.

True, it’s been through a lot, my groin-ial area, and it has a lot to say these days, trust me. (Oh those walks down memory lane…) But frankly, since my prostate was removed, it’s been a bit of a drip.

My gut
There’s a reason they say “listen to your gut,” because your gut is actually very, very smart. For example, a few days after surgery, my gut told me that one daily portion of Lax-a-Day is exactly half a daily portion too much. Thanks, gut! I can always count on you to send me useful information, though I must admit sometimes it’s a lot to digest.

My entire upper body
I have to tell you, I’m getting a little sick of listening to my upper body. At first after the surgery I was mindful of what it had to say: “Hmmm, we’d like to help bring in the groceries but we don’t want to overdo it. Sutures, swelling, etcetera, you know? We’ll just lie here and heal. Can someone bring us a blanket? And that box of chocolates over there? And the remote.”

So I listened to my upper body. But now I have a feeling my upper body is taking advantage of the situation. “Oh, we’re not sure we should bring up the laundry basket. Scooping the kitty litter? Gee, that’s a lot of bending and stretching, isn’t it?” It’s been two months! Meanwhile, my upper body has become as soft as a fresh bagel and my arms look like stocks of wilted celery. In other words, I look like I normally do, but I feel terrible! I need to stop listening to my upper body.

Also, could someone get me a bagel and some celery? I’m a bit sore…


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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36 Responses to Listen to your heart and other body parts

  1. Selective listening worked for a long time. Then I crossed some magical age line and everything started screaming at me. I learned in physical therapy that the conversation my knees have when they go down stairs is called “crepitus”. That is some serious onomatopoeia happening with that word.

    Thanks for the morning laugh, Ross!

  2. Nadine says:

    Awesome. The photo and first two paragraphs were my favourite. Definite lols.

  3. Love that sense of humor!!

  4. Claudette says:

    When I started feeling more aches and pains (post pregnancy/nursing) while in my early 40s, then a lengthy and ongoing peri-menopause, I went to see a naturopath who taught me things no doctor ever did. Doctors help treat me, naturopath helped me listen to my body and guided my understanding of how things like nutrition, physical exercise, and mental/emotional well being is connected. Since my whole family started taking a zinc supplement, to example, we’ve been hit by viral colds much less often. That kind of thing. Slight adjustments in diet too has improved sleep, and other things. It’s been a positive experience for me.

    So this post is a great reminder that we can all do better to look inwards, right? 😊

  5. “Crochety”–*groin groan* Very funny stuff!

  6. M. Oniker says:

    I wish I could be as humorous about crappy things as you can. Maybe I’d have to move to Canada. I used to be a massage therapist, doing medical-type work (working with cancer patients, Parkinson’s, injury), and your post brought back a memory that just made me grin. I had a wonderful client, saw him weekly, and we got into the whole “listen to your body” thing. I wasn’t one to push, but he brought it up! He was eye-rolling and totally grumpy and skeptical. Over the weeks though, the subject came up several times, and he finally started to understand. He was so thrilled. And, yes, there were good bad jokes there, too. Including the time he walked in with coffee and donuts because that’s what his body told him we needed.

    I no longer practice massage, due to injuries including that knee crepitus thingie Michelle brought up. I will say that if you can find a good, medical massage therapist, you might be surprised at how it can help you recover from the surgery.

    I routinely pass along links to your posts to another Canadian who is also fond of I-don’t-want-to-laugh-at-the-puns-but-I-have-to-because-they-are-hilarious humoUr.

  7. Excellent puns! Definitely a party goin’ on upstairs – – along with all the other voices, it must be getting noisy up there. I’m glad the clamor in your head didn’t block the rib-ticklers/knee-slappers arriving from your sense of humor.
    My stomach, I just ignore, it’s a monologue about cheeseburgers & Singapore noodles, and it constantly repeats itself. And my hands don’t mind me, every time my brain tries to tell them what to do, they say “The nerve of that guy, just ignore him,” and then the fingers dance around in a mocking way, and drop noodles in my lap. So if my body doesn’t listen to my head, one of my favorite places, why should I listen to the body?

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Wasn’t the Singapore Noodle Drop one of those YouTube viral trends?

      • Pretty sure that video was spaghettini or vermicelli, if you look closely, when the guy gets beaned with a meatball, that’s the giveaway. Consonants, fly balls, flies, noodles, you name it, I’ll drop it, but even if messy, a bowl of Singapore noodles is a food of the gods.

  8. ksbeth says:

    thank god your funny bone remains untouched

  9. For 41 years my body has been underseige taken over by this crazy ass disease! I know listening to your your body is so important, I have seizures as well and so my brain is off! When my body experiences a seizure sometimes, I can tell way before things begin to happen and I sit down. Sometimes I just faceplant on the floor. In the early stages, I had so many bruises that people thought my husband beat me! If I listen to my body all the time I would be sleeping 24 hours a day. Or like you eating chocolate and watching Netflix!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  10. Tell your feet to shut it. You don’t have any weight. Are they kidding? Have they been to Disneyworld?

    Ha. Crotchety.. I see that. It’s early here but it’s not THAT early.

    Next round try coffee. Nature’s laxative.

  11. List of X says:

    I don’t really listen to my body, but sometimes when I get hungry my gut can talk so loudly that other people can hear it, too.

  12. Trent Lewin says:

    Are… you talking to your body? The groin-al area bits are… wow. Only you, Ross, could be funny and real. Most people would be complaining about the various afflictions that mar their recovery… but you? Talking to your body.

  13. berinaberrry says:

    I am so afraid of health problems, I listen to my body all the time.

    I take medication to control my heart rate, but I am always scared something worse might happen, so I listen some more.

    I turned 50 the other day, my digestion is a mess, my stomach keeps reminding me to chew my food properly, my throat wants to swallow before it is well chewed. The battle with my throat and stomach is most pronounced. The migraines, made me change my sleeping pattern.

    Sometimes we forget some parts of our body, like the legs, until someone mentions them.

  14. markbialczak says:

    I think it’s awesome that you follow your ears, Ross.

  15. syedjavedshah says:

    ALLAH made us with a amazing body,
    So which of the favors of your ALLAH would you deny?

  16. cat9984 says:

    Sounds like you’re pretty much back to normal 🙂

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