They say 46 is the new 26…so they say! But I’m smart enough to know that I’d better not treat my 46 year old body like anything other than what it is. Yes, I speak the Word over my body, but even God expects us to put works with our faith! Besides, if I’ve learned anything from the untimely deaths of my mother and mother-in-law, its that the enemy desires for us to be lacking in our lives where our health is concerned. I mentioned in my last post that I would tell you about my ever-so-lovely surgery. But don’t worry, I’ll spare you the gory details.
Here I am almost 7 weeks post-op from having major surgery for something that should have been done over 7 years ago! And what has kept me from taking control of my health until now you ask? Fear of course! Fear has crippled us in ways we don’t even realize. It has kept us from living the abundant life God has called us to! Until we conquer it, we’ll always stay at a level that is sub par to what our God has planned for our lives! God desires that we experience heaven here on earth BEFORE we get there; and included in the “heaven on earth experience”... is our health! I’m so glad I had my surgery, because life on the “other” side is so much sweeter! But the practical lessons I learned from my surgery(pre-op and post-op) are invaluable…here are a few…
Make sure you know everything there is about the kind of surgery you’re having. Research, research, research! You know the saying, what you don’t know "won't" hurt you? Ummm, yes it can! You wouldn't believe how many people go into surgery NOT prepared and not knowing what’s going to take place. Never be afraid to ask questions! Remember, it's your body, and besides...you're paying the bill! And by all means, if you're having surgery by a surgeon you’re unfamiliar with…get references, find out their background! Know your surgery AND your surgeon! I mean seriously, it’s your body…if no one else does, you should at least care enough about your well being to know everything that is going to take place. Google can be your best friend!!
Whatever you do, DON’T over pack for your hospital stay. I should have really listened to my inner voice when it told me that I probably wouldn’t be in any condition to get on my laptop, let alone get it out of my overnight bag. I mean really, who do you know who actually feels up to doing anything after four hours of surgery, grogginess from all the anesthesia that's been pumped into their body AND having a catheter attached to them! I practically slept the entire time I was there. A make-up kit, a novel, a suduko book AND a laptop. Where did I think I was going…on a cruise to the Bahamas? I promise, the only items you'll probably need are a robe, some slippers or socks, a change of clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush and deoderant. When it was time to leave and go home, I was one step away from telling them to just throw a sheet over my head, roll me to the car and keep it movin’!
When knowing you’ve got upcoming surgery, plus a long recovery; you’d better clean your house from top to bottom *or at best give the impression that you’ve cleaned your house from top to bottom*. You know - the junk drawer, the junk closet! But seriously, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE or you’ll pay for it later. So glad I heeded my own advice. I’m a clean freak, so the idea of having an unkempt house while I’m unable to do anything would have driven me crazy. And y’all know that dust comes back within 24 hours, so you can imagine if you don’t tackle it beforehand, you’ll come out of your recovery to a house full of dust, knee-high deep. Besides, do you really think you’ll be up to cleaning anything, let alone your house while you’re laid up somewhere recouping? Not even you believe that one!
When you’re recovering, vulnerability is inevitable. It’s one thing to depend on people, but when you’re recovering from major surgery, it goes to another level. Yeah, you may be use to doing everything for yourself, but believe me…you’ll learn to drop that “one-man show” gig real quick! When you must rely and wait on others to drive for you, help you get in and out of the car/up and down the stairs, get your food, carry things for you, etc., etc., it leaves you in a place of humility. There you are, out of sorts; not even yourself. You’re not able to do what you want, when you want to. More than anyone else, you’ll become more dependent on God than ever before!
You will learn that patience is more than a virtue…it’ll become a way of life! Not only waiting on others, but waiting on your body to get in line with what it was created to do...heal itself. When you progress with your recovery one week and encounter a setback the next week, it can really put a damper on your spirit. If your faith isn’t built up, you best believe, the enemy WILL take shots at you! Let me tell you…you’ll even need patience where television is concerned. I mean, I love my 80’s and 90’s sitcoms, but if I see another episode of “The Golden Girls”......
You are your best advocate! Know your body. Sometimes we must follow our own instinct. Just because it’s written in stone, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily our cup of tea. Everyone’s body is different. Because I have a very low tolerance for pain, I assumed that I would need to be drugged up the entire time. But after reading what narcotics does to your body, I decided to quit my pain meds cold turkey two days into my recovery. And you know what? I didn’t have pain that I couldn’t manage. As a matter of fact, surprisingly, I was pretty much pain-free! I’m glad I decided to follow my faith!
Sleep will become your best friend! Where else can a grown adult sleep all day like a four week old baby and NOT get called a lazy bum? Lounging around in your pajamas and robe AND not having to make your bed "cause you’re gonna get right back in it anyway"! Having a food tray that stays attached to your bed for six weeks, considering you’re eating all day…because of course, you need ALL the calories you can get for energy, so that your body will heal properly. Having an excuse to go out and buy a brand new ensemble for your bed because the old one just doesn’t “set the atmosphere” for you to relax. I mean yeah, cabin fever eventually sets in, BUT those first two weeks tho...makes you feel like a 5th grader two weeks into summer break.
If you’ve never eaten correctly before, you’ll learn quickly to do it. We don’t realize that our bodies go through trauma when we have an operation. Depending on what type of surgery and anesthesia you receive, pretty much all of your organs go into a sluggish state and will need time to “wake up”. Your body will need every bit of nutrition in order for it to recover properly to get it back to its optimal state. I can’t tell you how important it is to have a natural, organic, plant-based diet before and after surgery. Drinking plenty of water and staying away from artificial sweeteners - y'all should really research what that stuff does to your body! Let’s use common sense here. If junk food, carbonated drinks and tons of sugar runs your body down and add no nutritional value when your body isn’t traumatized…then what do you think it does for your body when it is? You got it! Absolutely nothing! As a matter of fact, eating wrong does more harm than anything. Trust me when I tell you…when you put the right things in your body, your digestive system will thank you! As the saying goes…”if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it”.
Make sure you surround yourself with a good support system! If there’s a support/recovery group for the type of surgery you’re having, by all means join it! The information you learn is invaluable!! It’s therapeutic having a group of people who know and “get it” concerning what you’re going through. It goes without saying that my family went above and beyond to see that I had everything I needed to make my recovery a pleasant one! I don’t know how they did it! I mean how many times can a woman send someone to the store, because she forgot to put something on the first list. I tell you…they are priceless! I’m also thankful for my siblings and my church family…who text, called, visited and made food! HA…I’m sure glad I didn’t burn my bridges or threw any of them to the curb…just kidding! But seriously, without the love and support of each of them, I wouldn’t have had the stress-free recovery that I had! So a big ole “THANK YOU” to mi familia!!
Last, but certainly not least! As hard as it may be, keep a good attitude! Yeah, I know it’s hard to put a smile on your face when your body feels like it’s been ran over by a mack truck, but studies prove that a stressed out body is the perfect breeding ground for sickness and disease. But it’s something you must will yourself to do. Remember our words are powerful! They set our atmosphere. The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it. So make sure you're speaking the right things...words of faith! And it doesn't hurt while you're recovering to keep the "Debbie Downers" out of your life either. The last thing you need are people who are chomping at the bit to tell you their "horror" surgery story. Ummm, excuse me ma'am or sir...but no thanks!
If God gives you another chance to get your health in order, like He did for me...take advantage of it. You only get one chance to heal properly from surgery, so do it right! Take your time and listen to your body. He expects us to take every opportunity to make sure we’re doing all we can to allow that to come to past. Not everyone is afforded that chance, so I’m so grateful He’s allowing me to live my second half of life to the fullest! And I promise…I won’t let Him down! Proverbs 17:22, Psalm 41:3, John 10:10b(Amp)
*Any tips you've learned that you'd like to share?*