Friday, January 21, 2011

Recovering, Recounting, and Renewing

I had surgery on Wednesday for two things. The deeds have been done.
1) I can no longer have children.
2) I hope I can go longer between potty stops.

That's as detailed as I'm gonna get online.

What I found in the hospital were many reasons to force myself to be thankful when I felt like complaining or caving into my emotions. Most of the time I succeeded, but sometimes I realized I'd already messed up and then had to refocus.

I had complete peace going into the hospital, but during the pre-op stuff when a less-than-gentle tech was having trouble finding not just one vein but two, I got queasy (went "vago" from sudden drop in blood pressure) I had "a moment." I asked aloud, "Do I have to go through with this?" I was asking myself, really. Do I really want to keep suffering for more years with my problems, knowing well we have no desire for more children? Or do I want to subject myself to a temporary trial so that my future is almost certainly one with increased iron, energy, and fervor? I prayed for peace, gave thanks that I was surrounded by a team of great doctors and nurses, and that was about the last thing I remember before "going under."

When I was in a lot of pain, morphine helped immediately. But I had to give thanks for it, because it also made me immediately nauseated, and when the puking was over, the morphine still touched my belly pain. It made me wonder how people going through chemo treatments get the will to continue. I felt my temporary suffering could not compare, but it heightened my awareness, for in that very same hospital, a teenage friend of mine is undergoing chemo each week.

Another complaint I had to turn to thanks was about the sleeping conditions. I am very sensitive to light and noise. The hospital was fairly quiet, but occasionally nurses would laugh out loud (and the nurses' station was just outside my door) at the very moment I was about to drift off to Slumberland. On my bed were LED lights illuminating my up/down arrows. I had to be thankful for the ability to reposition my head and feet. I could have been lying on a cot in a third world country. But I wasn't. Even though the bed wasn't super comfy, it nevertheless provided me what I mostly needed.

I also realized a big difference between the level of care I got when I came out of the OR versus the way I felt essentially a DIY gal the next day. Even though I called for help, the nurse would take too long. (I know they had 10 patients each.) So I pushed myself to the limits of pain to get out of bed, unplug the IV machine, drag it with me to the bathroom, take care of myself, get the machine replugged, get myself back in bed. (This was all before Paul showed up because I didn't want him sitting around bored.) But I gave thanks for the stamina and the mental ability to process what needed to be done--and also thankful that being a mom taught me to push beyond the limits of what I knew to do--especially one-handed!

So recovering is an ongoing exercise for me, in recounting God's faithfulness, and renewing my mind. In my flesh I want to be selfish and picky and painfree. But what I want more is to somehow glorify God in this trial, to minimize the demands on other people who didn't ask to
be part of my surgery or recovery, and to continue giving thanks. I fail miserably at times. I whine and complain and cry, but I don't think I'm as miserable a patient as I could be!


Jessi said...

Praying for a quick and grace-drenched recovery!!

Laurie said...

I'm so glad you are done with the dreaded surgery!
I'm thankful that God often uses our painful, uncomfortable and irritating circumstances to teach us about our (and others') imperfections while highlighting His own perfection! Blessings as you recover!

Anonymous said...

Praying for a full recovery. It is hard to not complain about things, even when we know we have it so much easier than so many others. I was reminded of this when my daughter's memory verse for the week was, "Do all things without complaining and disputing." Oh boy, gotta teach by example sometimes. =p Anyhow, rest up and enjoy your weekend!

Danielle said...

So glad everything went okay!