I had surgery at the beginning of September. I am calling this “part one” because I am having another more major surgery on Halloween and I am sure there will be more lessons learned with that one. My recovery was about three weeks with this past surgery, and the next one will be about eight weeks. I’m hoping a longer recovery means more growth and a deeper restoration of my spirit. I am also hoping that having the minor surgery first will mean that I am more prepared going into the next one. There’s a lot to hope for right now. Although, as someone reminded me, I need to change “hope” to “faith” that everything will be ok. I’m working on that.
I had laprosopic surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst and a fibroid tumor. I actually have five large fibroids ranging from 5-7cm, however we were attempting to remove the one believed to be causing the most trouble first, in order to prevent a more major surgery. However, once my doctor was able to see inside and take pictures, she determined that the size and position of the fibroids meant they all had to come out, no question. And so, I will be having the other surgery on Halloween, an abdominal myomectomy, despite my efforts at a conservative approach and a belief in mind/body healing.
And so what I’m learning is that in these types of situations, surrender is best. My attempts to control this situation won’t work at this point and all I can do is trust. My main themes have been: surrender, trust, let go….again and again and again. I realize these lessons extend to so many areas beyond health and into my life, and so as other issues present themselves, again I practice those same concepts. I still need a lot of work in this area and plan to keep going with it as I grow. I am excited to see how my life (and art) opens up even more with this practice.
Another lesson I am learning is much more focused self care. Now, I am already someone who believes in taking breaks, “spoiling myself” with small gifts, delicious treats, monthly massages and so on, but my belief in this area has changed dramatically with the experience of having health challenges and being forced to take better care of myself. It’s pretty amusing that it has to come to force. My usual “self care” routine is to stress, obsess, push myself (or worry myself) to exhaustion, check out, and eventually get around to a massage or meal out with a friend to refuel.
I see it much differently now. With being forced into constant self care with my recovery, I realized that true self care is checking in with yourself moment to moment and bringing an awareness with you as you go. During my recovery, I had to let my expectations for the day go, and say to myself “what do I need most right now?” “There is no way everything will be getting done today, so what is most important right now?” During that time, my self care had to be 95% of my time with 5% left for daily responsibilities, so my perspective had to shift. I became more gentle with myself and accepting of my limitations. I discovered true care for myself and the concept of nurturing the nurturer. Now I make my bed in the morning because I enjoy coming home to it that way rather than doing it out of some drive for things to be “perfect.” I no longer berate myself for what doesn’t get done and bring gratitude to what I can do.
There is much more to these lessons that is still swirling about inside of me, planting seeds, deepening and growing. I look forward to more growth and life changing perspectives along this journey, and hope….I mean, have faith that everything will turn out more than ok.