It’s been two weeks since my surgery, and I’m so thankful for all that God has done to bring me this far in the recovery process. Thank you everyone for all your encouraging notes and the constant stream of prayer that was sent heavenward on my behalf. You’ll never fully know how much it helped, but I hope to give you some idea of ways it made my life much better during this time.
Starting the night before the surgery, I had an overwhelming sense of peace about the whole thing. I can’t explain it outside of God’s grace. Normally, I’d be flipping out, up late stressing with insomnia, tossing and turning, thinking, “what if?” But, there was none of that. Dan and I prayed before we went to sleep, I read for a little while (as usual), and I went to bed at a very normal time.
The things that I’d feared ahead of time didn’t even scare me, when it came time for the surgery. The moment where I got onto the hospital bed and had to say goodbye to my husband wasn’t as painful as I’d expected it to be. I was very comforted, beyond my own reasoning and understanding. I think that more than ever, I understood God’s promise from Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The fact that the nurse couldn’t find a vein to insert my I.V. normally would have caused me a bit of distress, but I didn’t worry. She found one eventually (even though my arms are still bruised from the war with the needles).
I had very kind and competent caretakers who got me prepped for surgery, but they left me alone for what seemed like an eternity. While I was waiting, with nothing to do but stare at the nature poster above my bed, I started reciting James, from verse one, all the way through verse 15. When I’d finished, I did it again, until I was in the operating room, and they’d put the oxygen mask on me. I think I zoned out somewhere after verse two.
In post-op, I woke up groggy with an oxygen tube sticking out of me. They’d had me on a ventilator during the procedure, and breathing was very difficult. I wasn’t prepared for this, but I was also doped up. So, I handled it very well. I couldn’t speak well for the first couple days because of what the ventilator did to my throat, but the nurse heard me asking for my husband, and they allowed him back to visit me (against protocol). I was very blessed to have him stay with me all through the night, since I miraculously didn’t get a roommate, even though I was scheduled to have one. It was comforting to have my own personal on-call doctor at my bedside, and he monitored my vital signs and helped to get me up if I needed it.
The hospital discharged me the next day, and I went home to begin my recovery. Since then, I’ve been camping out on our couch, sleeping lots, drinking liquids, watching movies, and recently, I’ve started reading again. One annoying side affect of the medicines was that for the first week, I couldn’t read because they affected my close up vision. Dan was reading me all my e-mails and all your wonderful comments.
I’ve been learning a lot, mainly lessons about patience and God’s faithfulness. I still have a long road ahead of me for recovery, since I can’t do much activity for the first six weeks to two months after the surgery. I’m discovering all the different liquids that one can drink as part of a balanced diet. A few days ago, I branched out into the world of baby food, and although it’s a bit embarrassing to be eating out of a Gerber jar at my age, beef and chicken never tasted so good.
Everything takes far longer than it did before, but I’m hoping to get back into posting again. Thank you all, once again, for your prayers on my behalf. I’m overwhelmed, blessed, and encouraged.