Doctors give us tons of info about how to physically prepare for a surgery–don’t eat this, drink only that, don’t wear deodorant–but they don’t tell us how to prepare mentally or emotionally. This is quite unfortunate when one addresses their health holistically.
This, along with my Type-A tendencies, inspired me to create an action plan for my upcoming surgery. One week from today, I’ll have a large uterine fibroid removed and a hysterectomy. Naturally, I’ve been pretty busy getting prepared like cleaning the house and wondering just how much Jello can I tolerate. But I’ve been at a loss to how I could address what my mind and spirit needs through this journey. Then one day during yoga, it came to me. (Don’t ya love how good ideas just pop up like that?)
The action plan:
Surrender. I’ve done so much overthinking these last few weeks, from the ubiquitous “what if I don’t come out of surgery alive,” to hoping I get a private room, to wondering when I can work out again. I also worry about my old man helping me out when I first come home, and how hard it will be to relinquish control. That last part is the kicker, but what can I do? I’ve gotta suck it up. Accepting this is my fate will not only help me heal better, but also ease my mind before and after. “Surrender” will be my official mantra, and I’ll repeat this to myself as long as necessary.
Use humor. After my last surgery, my niece came to visit while I was in the hospital. She’s a hyper one, getting into things with a never-ending supply of energy. That day was no different when she grabbed a bucket from my room and placed it on her head, being the silly child she’s known for. Little did she know, that bucket was used for my post-anesthesia vomiting. It was quite the experience laughing at her, then trying not to laugh because it hurt my incision, and then trying to make her get it off her head.
I won’t ever forget that memory, nor will I fail to remind her of it. (It’s the perks of being an aunt.) Maybe she was just being her usual rambunctious self, or maybe she sensed I needed a good laugh. Either way, it spoke volumes of how powerful humor can be. I’ve found myself making jokes in dire times, just to change the energy in myself and others. Since humor is mandatory for my healing, I’ll stock up on funny movies, OD on sitcoms, and master the art of self-deprecation.
Give thanks. If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m a bit neurotic, although very content with my life. These days though, I’ve had more neurotic moments than George Costanza. When I’m feeling down or anxious, reminding myself everything I’m thankful for helps shift my perspective. It takes me out of anxiety-land and back to planet Earth. Additionally, I believe positivity and gratitude creates a better energy field in our bodies, which is perfect for healing.
Embrace the journey. Some perceptions of the fibroids are that they are evil beings that don’t belong in our bodies. While it’s true that fibroids cause many of us health issues, I challenge our perception of them. I very much look forward to the day I can fully bend over without feeling winded, or can stop considering the bathroom my second home. But I do believe that this challenge can be used for learning. Adversity can be our friend, if we let it. So whatever this hunk of tissue has to teach me, I’m ready.
What have you found to help when faced with a major health issue like surgery? Have you utilized any of these concepts for healing? What’s your favorite flavor of Jello when you’re sick?