One Year Post-Op

hospitalIf you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might recall that I was eating a very peculiar diet this time last year.  In fact, February 26th marked the one year anniversary of my surgery on my esophagus.  I thought I’d give you all a little update on how I’m doing, since so many of you were praying for me during that time and witnessed my trials and tribulations during the recovery process.

For those of you new(er) to the blog, I’ll give you a little history.  A year ago, I had surgery on my esophagus to repair a hernia that had caused me a great deal of pain for several years. After a couple years of looking, we found a surgeon who had experience with my kind of problem and had a good plan for fixing it, but the surgery still was a big deal.

You, my blog readers, prayed me right through that surgery, and it was the best experience possible for me.  Here’s Dan’s report after the surgery.

I spent the first week lying on the couch at home, drinking liquid and barely moving.  After two weeks, I was finally able to focus on the computer screen and post.

In the first month, I learned lots of lessons about accepting help from others and giving up control.  I wasn’t recovering as quickly as I’d hoped, and I was stuck eating a baby food diet.  People reached out to help me from all sorts of unexpected places. The challenge was accepting their generosity.

For the first couple months, I couldn’t walk very far, so I struggled with contentment.  But I also learned to laugh at the funny side of the situation, when I found creative new ways to be mobile.

Several months in, I still struggled to feel “normal.” I still wasn’t eating a regular diet.  I couldn’t walk for very long.  I still relied on people to help me out more than I wanted.  And I faced more, unexpected trials on top of it all.

But I learned that God was there, seeing me through it.  He was sanctifying me through the entire process, teaching me valuable lessons on how to be more content, how to turn to him for my joy, how to accept help for others, to relinquish my control of my life, and to recognize his providential wisdom in organizing the details in my life.  I can’t imagine other circumstances that would teach me these lessons so well.

So in truth, I can say, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sure, it was hard, and at the time, it wasn’t exactly fun.  But I needed these trials to learn these lessons.

And I consider the surgery a success in other ways as well. I don’t have that constant pain that I used to live with, and now that I’m back to eating “normal food” (it took about 8 months). I can finally eat all sorts of food that I couldn’t have ever eaten before the surgery (yea for chocolate, deep fried food, carbonated drinks, tomatoes, citrus, mint, and red wine!).  I’m also finally back to running, which is great, since I really missed that.

For those of you interested in learning more about this uniquely Christian concept of Godly suffering which leads to sanctification (personal growth, becoming more like Jesus), my pastor preached a great sermon on this topic last week in his series appropriately named “Trial.”  The sermon is called “Submission to UnGodly Authority,” and you can find it online here in both video and audio formats.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support during my recovery. I couldn’t have done this without you.


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It was a rough spring last year- I still feel badly that pneumonia kept me from helping you during your recovery. That motherly instinct to ‘be there’ had to be replaced with prayers for you, so we were all learning God’s plan in different ways. I thank God for the excellent outcome of your surgery and your courage to be faithful during the slow healing process. For some reason, right now, I know quite a few people who are very sick , some who won’t be getting better, and the Evil One temps me to question God’s role in their fight to live. Your testimony on your recovery was a good thing for me to re-read today. Thanks for the spiritual nudge- it was perfect timing.

    AL: Awww, thanks mom! I’m glad that I could be an encouragement to you. It’s hard to see others’ suffering, isn’t it, especially when there’s really nothing we can do to help. But that’s where we have to trust that God knows what he’s doing, and we can at least pray that God is using that suffering to bring about good. I catch myself praying that God will take away all my suffering, when instead, I need to recall that some of my greatest times of growth have been during my greatest suffering. I just need to ask more that God helps me through it, not around it. Easier said than done.

  2. Wow, i’ve never heard of a hernia in the esophagus! I can’t imagine how painful that must have been, given how many times a day a person swallows. I am so glad you came through ok and that God blessed you with the lessons.


    AL: Thank you!

  3. Amy, thank you so much for sharing. I agree with your Mom, it was perfect timing. I just found out that my thyroid cancer returned, and I am facing another surgery and another year of recovery. I liked hearing the OTHER side, to give me that hope, that promise, that He will see me through. Praising God for your recovery!

    AL: Wow, Mindy, I’m so sorry to hear you have to go through that, again. Nobody wishes to suffer, for sure. And nobody wishes to see their friends suffer either. I’ll be praying that God would take this burden from you, but if he chooses not to, that He’ll be with you as you go through this, that God will comfort you and give you that hope you need. You’re getting a big hug the next time I see you..=)

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