The emotional struggles after surgery and the strength of God
So here I sit…..two months post-surgery and I haven’t written since the surgery. And when I ask myself why I simply don’t have an answer, other than I’m scared. I am fearful of opening up to all what has been going on in my head. I didn’t expect to be in this spot, emotionally and physically after my surgery. I’m in unchartered waters so I’m not sure how to act, respond or reset my mind.
I’m struggling because I have this expectation of what I think people expect to me to be after surgery. Now no one ever put any expectations out there expect me. I put it on myself. This was my 6th surgery so I should know what recovery holds, right? I should know what the road looks like, how many hills, turns and valleys I will hit. But like every obstacle you encounter in life no two are the same.
Going into surgery I felt the strongest I had ever felt. I was physically in the best shape of my life, my support team had filled my heart with love & hope and I knew God had me. I told myself this was it, no more surgeries, nothing but a road to recovery from here on out. This was the last time for a long while I would take the dreaded ride on the hospital bed to the OR, feel the cold of the operating room and hear the beeps of all the monitors around me. The last time I would be poked for an IV, the last time to put my health in my Doctor’s hands and the last time I would have to see my loved ones faces burdened with worry and fear for me.
I had my recovery all planned out. I had my Netflix ready to go, my DVR filled with TV shows and books to help me from getting inside my own head. I had my physical rebuilding schedule and goals set. I had it all figured out. I could handle this; I mean heck this was my 6th go around! I had this calmness going into the surgery. And thankfully my surgery went just as planned. The Doc found endometriosis in 5 spots, which I’m not surprised. Total side note - when you have endometriosis you become very in tune to your body so I knew it had come back. And he was able to remove all the spots with no issues. I had my few items on the list that needed to be checked off in order for it to be a “successful” surgery (in my mind).
So coming out of anesthesia I asked the nurse my “success” questions. “Did I have another colon resection or colostomy bag?” The nurse’s “No ma’am” was music to my ears. “Do I still have my one ovary?” was answered with a beautiful “yes ma’am” and the final question of “Can I see my boyfriend now?” followed with an “Absolutely” lifted my heart and spirits. I could not have asked for a better outcome (well except maybe not having any endo but let’s be real here haha). Lying in the hospital bed that night I took a sigh of relief, a sigh that I had been holding on to for a few years. I finally had a sense of finalization with my endometriosis. I went into my post-op visit a couple days later with a weight lifted; feeling confident this hospital visit would be my last for quite some time. So when I learned in this post-op that they found a hernia requiring another surgery I lost it.
A hernia!? What? When? Why and how? I was freaking out and had so many questions zipped through my mind. Like seriously? Are you flipping kidding me!? So when I finally came out of the pain med fog I was lost. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I just had the best case scenario surgery only to be followed with learning I would have another surgery. I took a huge detour, back to my old ways and mindset. I shutdown, closed myself off and got into my own head. I criticized every part of my body, became frustrated when someone would try to console me and honestly just felt defeated. And defeat can tear you down, make you question your own strength and eat away at you. And I was doing just that.
I would ask myself “Why bother rebuilding my body physically when I’m just going to go back under?”, “What will my body look like after another surgery, so shortly after this last one? “ “Can I even handle this one mentally?” and the heaviest question of “Why God?” And once I found myself asking that last question I knew I had let Satan into my thoughts. I let Satan come in to my head and cause doubt, fear and chaos. He came to defeat me and I was letting him.
And then everything just clicked. I came out of the fog I had let billow around me. I felt like I had just punched Satan in the face (and not a girly punch but like a hardcore, knock you out sort of punch). And the calmness I felt before the surgery was returning. I knew I had God as my protector and just simply needed to trust in Him. And let me remind you that we all have our own struggles and obstacles in life. We process and experience them differently. We should not be judging or comparing others journey to our own. All we need to do is have God in our heart as it is then that nothing will defeat us, no matter what the struggle is.