Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Tightrope

As many of my readers know, I had major abdominal surgery in September. It was my fourth surgery in thirteen months, and needless to say, I was a wee bit nervous. Third only to my love and faith in the Divine, and the unconditional love of my family and friends was my trust in my amazing surgeon, Dr. Steven Steinberg.  He operated on me in 2010, and my surgery was very complicated, but he did an amazing job repairing a huge hernia; one that no other doctor wanted to touch.

After a dangerous bowel obstruction this summer, Dr. Steinberg went into my abdomen to see what was causing my issues. I went into surgery shaking, but I came out feeling at peace with the world. My mom even commented on it. I looked serene, even with over 40 staples in my abdomen. I could feel divine love and healing flowing through my body, healing all of the parts of me that had broken for so long. I had faith and I had hope, and God did the rest.

As I've continued to heal from my September surgery, I've noticed that not only is the surgical pain healing, but the pain that the surgery was meant to correct is healing, too. It's not gone, and in truth, I've been told I'll likely never be completely out of pain. I prayed and prayed to get through surgery without any crazy complications like last summer's surgical debacle, and I made it through. So I have been praying and praying for my pain to ease, and it has healed enough to go significantly down on my pain medications. It's precious to be in less pain! What a gift!

The process of reducing pain meds can be a long and arduous process, and it can make even the most chipper person feel gloomy. This week was a very dark one as I've started feeling the negative effects of a process that I'm ecstatic to be in a position to go through. If surgery hadn't helped, I would have needed more of these medicines that are a great help, but huge hindrance at the same time. They may free you from some of the pain, but you pay a price. It's a prison, in truth, making many things impossible.  So I suppose you could say I'm breaking out of prison with the guidance of my doctor. It's time for my version of "The Shawshank Redemption".

Withdrawal can be demoralizing. Some of the side-effects are depression, anxiety, insomnia, and those are some of the tolerable ones. This week I took a big step down on my dose of one of my pain medications, and I took a big emotional step into a ditch of depression. I was too nauseous to do much of anything. In my mind, I was walking a tightrope. If I fell to either side, it was a drop back into the day to day numbness that kept my world in a haze. The alternative is to focus on walking the line on this gradual healing. Life changes from one day to the next, and all I can do is put one foot in front of another. I'm on a voyage to clarity and liberation.

I feel like my capacity for joy has been infinitely increased by my capacity for hurt. I find radiance in simple things that others might find insignificant. Love is even better on this side of illness. I feel so much more of myself to share now that I don't have to focus everything into coping with pain. It isn't gone, but it is SO much better. That's worth a celebration. Hell, it's worth a parade! When I feel frustrated, I remember that feeling of peace I experienced right after surgery, and I know THIS TOO SHALL PASS!