Saturday, June 21, 2014

Time is the Healer


Ever since having my colostomy reversed in January, I’ve had significant upper abdominal pain. At times it takes my breath away. I was referred to a surgeon to get his input. However, rather than getting a game plan, I was instead given a prognosis with only time as my healer. The pain I’ve been experiencing is a result of nerves being held hostage by scar tissue in my abdomen. He said it could take years for the pain to subside. Tears in my eyes, I thanked the surgeon, and my mom and I walked to the car where I dissolved into sobs.

It wasn’t that I wanted surgery. I’ve had more surgeries than jobs, and with every operation the danger and damage go up. Last summer was the perfect example. I went in for gastrointestinal surgery, came through it just fine until late the next day when I went into septic shock, ended up in the ICU, required another operation where they found my bowel had been perforated, 8 inches of my intestines had to be removed, and I was left with a colostomy for six months, which were easily the most difficult six months of my life.

The thought of living for years at the mercy of scar tissue and damaged nerves was rather unsettling.  My mind wandered as I watched the clouds go by on the ride home. I thought how we’re all sort of like scar tissue. We each have our war wounds from life’s ups and downs. And there are those horrible pains that seem to stick to our hearts, breaking them into little pieces like shards of glass that chink together every step we take.

Whatever the cause, we all have those parts of our history that are like raw nerves, electrocuting us with memories of our worst nightmares. We’ve all got scars. Some are just more visible than others. We can be immobilized by our scars, or we can move forward, allowing them to teach us rather than deter us.

No matter how wounded, God is always there to help us deal with our pain. No life is completely free of damaging experiences.  All of us have scar tissue. We walk around with hurts that have built up over the years, pain from different experiences remaining in our hearts and minds.   We’re all scarred individuals just trying to get by doing the best we can in a scary world. That makes us human. The more scars we have, the more scarred we are, the more life we’ve lived.

The hardest part of living with pain is having the patience and understanding that everything that happens does so for a reason. We have to put our trust in the divine and know that God’s will shall be done in the time and manner in which He sees fit. I am hopeful that one day sooner than later my pain shall subside. I have that hope for you, too.