Recovery: The Lost Art of Convalescence

Emily Mayhew in The Guardian:

Getting better is rarely something that happens all the time. Whether we’ve been seriously ill or injured, everyone has to experience the complexities of recovery as the aftermath. Aftermath is an old agricultural term meaning “a second crop” growing unexpectedly in the space left by the main harvest and it can entail difficult decisions about what should be done with these remnants.

Recovery can feel like a second crop, something to be welcomed because we have survived, but an unpredictable and strange new phase in our healing. The medical professionals who have guided us through the harvest of treatment have usually moved on, replaced by different kinds of responders to the changes in our health. We find our questions about what is happening to us are answered more slowly, with what seems like a lower priority than before. More of the work that is needed, it turns out, is up to us and it is likely to be slow going. Often, the field in which we have been left alone is vast and the ground is churned and the few green shoots growing there stand far apart and hardly seem worth gathering.

More here.