A Long Road

Tomorrow will be the 1 year anniversary of my first ever emergency surgery.  It has been a long road to healing. I found myself up at midnight in extreme pain and by 4:30 I was in ER. At 9:30 that night I was heading into surgery.

It was a bit of a gong show. My nurses however, were amazing!! After surgery my doctors and nurses were truly wonderful.  I felt bad for our nurses working short staffed and over capacity. It was clear they wanted to offer a higher standard of care, yet circumstances prevented it. Still they accomplished their work with a smile and good humor. They worked compassionately & professionally. They were run right off their feet!!
I was naive about recovery, so naive! I didn’t realize what recovery involved.

What I learned about physical healing:

1. Healing requires time.  When my doctor said I would be off work for 6 weeks. I panicked. When they said it would be a gradual increase over the following weeks, I couldn’t believe it. When they said it could be a year before I felt like myself again, I was in full on denial. In my line of work that is costly both financially and in clients.  It was slow going when I was getting back to work. That was really difficult. God had me covered. He took very good care of us. 
2. Rest is crucial. I cannot nap unless I am very ill. Or apparently if I have had surgery. All of a sudden I was napping a few times a day. At first I was so frustrated by this waste of time. I soon realized that the opportunity to rest was a gift. I learned that rest was valuable and the important work of healing was accomplished through it.
3. Limits aren’t fixed.  When healing, you never know how much activity is too much. As you get better, what you can do and how much of it you can do are constantly changing. Looking forward to doing a task again was a great way to stay encouraged.
4. Over doing it, isn’t the end of the world.  I would constantly get scolded by well meaning people. I thought sweeping was light house keeping. I learned the hard way, it is not! The first day I was allowed to drive, I drove all over the place. I was so tired of being cooped up. I came home and had a big long nap. The next day I was so very sore that I had to stay home and rest. I had to rest the next day as well. I was alright with that because at least I had a bit of independence back and had gotten out of the house all on my own! 
5. My family could do more than I had been asking them too.  This was a great opportunity to get the kids to be even more independent. They were great at helping out and took on new responsibility willingly and for the most part with a great attitude.
6. Gratitude.  I have taken my strength and health for granted.  I am much more aware of what a gift this is.
7. I am more purposeful. I have always loved exercise, recreation and movement. I have taken it for granted. I wont any longer.  The hardest thing for me in all of this was the limits placed on me and the loss of independence.  I am much more focused on maintaining movement. I am more aware of the independence it allows me.
8. I  need help and what I want, might not be what I need.  I learned to pay attention to my limits and ask for help. There were a few times where fatigue and exhaustion caused me to feel panicked. I was able to evaluate the circumstance and change the plan to be more manageable. If that meant asking for help, I did.
9.  Friendships and laughter are what gets you through.  Times laughing with friends were looked forward to and were so valuable.  Laughing about my circumstances with loved ones was very helpful.
10.  These things reveal a lot about oneself.  I learned a whole lot about myself through this. Not all of it good! I have had to face those things and work them out.
We have a very generous church family. We have amazing friends and I could not be more thankful for my husband and children.  I love that they understand my need to get out and play and are willing to come with me! I don’t want to go through a surgery like this again. I am glad for what it taught me even though it took so much longer than I thought it would!

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