Sunday, November 29, 2015

Post Op Revelations

Okay, I'm going to try to keep from getting too sappy and emotional - but no guarantees....

First of all, I feel it's really important to point out that years and years of watching Grey's Anatomy and ER did not prepare me AT ALL for this experience.  Like, at all. 

First revelation:  This is the most vulnerable I have felt in my life.   I really (really) like to be in control, and in this particular situation I had no control at all.  Looking back, I honestly do not know what kept me from running from the operating room (it might have had something to do with the hospital gown...) but I actually felt calm going in.  The room was cold.  The table was small.  The faces were unfamiliar.  I had only met the surgeon once before for a total of 20 minutes, and here I was trusting her to cut me open, take out an organ, and sew me back up.  And I get that nurses do what they do every single day, but for me it was all completely new so it would have been nice if one or two of them laughed at my stupid jokes to ease the awkwardness...

My mom tells me I have been saying *me do myself* since I was two years old.  So this was really an exercise in trusting and relying on others to help me do what I could not do sit up and walk. 

I also felt completely vulnerable trusting that my body would do what it needed to do in order to heal.  For me, this was terrifying.  Would it fight off infection?  Would the stitches take?  Would it know how to mend itself back together?  Thankfully, the answer is YES, but it was anxiety provoking, to say the least.  For those of you following, the deets:  My tumor was benign, no cancer or precancerous cells found, and approximately the size of a 18-19 week fetus.  I have a 5 1/2 inch scar that is healing awesomely.

There is nothing like something like this to make you realize how completely um...fragile...we all are.  Driving home from the hospital, I was conscious of every single car, every single red light, every single speed limit.  Like, OMG people....slow down....don't you know we could all die?!?!?!  Do you want to die!?!

Revelation #2:  I have to say that I have a HUGE appreciation for women who have C-sections (read: more than one...)  I mean, recovering from major surgery and looking after a new born baby?!?!?!?!  And doing this more than once!?!?!?!?!  Seriously blows my mind.  Women are power houses.  And the resiliency of people who have gone through horrible things like cancer, multiple and/or invasive surgeries, or extreme pain absolutely ASTOUNDS me.  Humans are amazing creatures and capable of enduring so much.  Like, two of the three people I shared the hospital room with who SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT, despite the guy in the bed beside me who cried all night long, and the incessant beeping of the nurse call button or the monitors.  Who sleeps with all that going on?  Obviously someone with good sleep meds.  But in all seriousness, to anyone who has ever gone through something outside of the norm, you have my admiration. 

Revelation #3:  I HATE being stoned.  I don't need to spend much time on this point.  Just that I would rather be in a bit more pain and be able to finish my sentence coherently than being higher than a kite.  This is a bit upsetting for me because I was looking forward to legitimately and legally being high on Percocet. I mean, I didn't even have enough of an attention span to play Candy Crush.  This must be a Type A quality...

Revelation #4: Attitude is everything.  I don't miss my uterus.  At least not yet.  I think if it were my arm or a leg that was missing and I could actually see it was gone then I would maybe grieve it a little more.  But I can't see that it's missing.  I don't miss it.  And at the end of the day, it wasn't really a choice.  It had to come out.  I come from three generations (at least) of Miller women who have had the same thing.  I am grateful.  Grateful that we found it so quickly, grateful that I am healing well, grateful that there were no major complications, grateful that I am still ALIVE.  I have a beautiful son (who....well, let's face it....everything is riding on him now as my only biological heir.  He has a lot to live up to...I hope he doesn't crack under pressure...hahahaha, just joking....he's doing pretty well, so far....). 

Revelation #5:  Single parenting SUCKS.  For the first 10 days I had a difficult time even looking after myself, so Q stayed with his dad.  He would come and visit for a few hours.  It made me realize this:  It is impossible to be a *parent* every other Wednesday and Sunday.  When Q came over for a *visit*, he was shy,quiet and things were awkward for the first little while.  I had things planned out so that we could make the most of the time we spent together.  We played board games and worked on some homework and had a cuddle session on the couch.  And then he would leave.  I didn't feel like a parent.  I felt like a friend of the family.  My opinion on co-parenting: Unless a parent is physically or emotionally abusive or there are extreme circumstances, parents should be allowed to parent their child equally - regardless of how inconvenient it might be for the other parent.  It was the worst, most helpless I've ever felt as a parent.  You cannot establish a strong relationship once a week.  It is impossible. 

Revelation #6:  I have amazing people in my life.  I'm not going to lie - I was feeling a little sorry for myself when this all first happened.  Because if you're married and something like this happens, you have someone to bounce things off of, someone to help you make decisions, someone to wake up in the middle of the night and say *What if...* or *Will you still love me if...* and I didn't have that.  I had to make decisions on my own and then deal with the repercussions...on my own.  What I will say is that I have an amazing group of friends and family who have totally rallied around me.  From my brother and sis-in-law who would FaceTime with my niece after afternoon naps to my mom who came to stay with me for two weeks and did everything for me to my BFF who dropped everything to come and stay with me for a week less than a month away from Christmas to those who checked in with me daily just to see how I was doing.  I know these people all had things to do, commitments to keep, lives to live, and they put it all aside to be with me.  It means so much more to me than I could ever say. 

Revelation  #7:  Faith is an amazing thing.  Faith is hard.  It's trusting in something and Someone you cannot see.  But I can honestly say that I would not have been able to get through this without faith. Faith that there is something bigger than me and a plan that I cannot see.  I find comfort in knowing that God's hand is in everything.  It has united me with people from all ages, races, and walks of life.  I have had people praying for me and we've been brought together by our belief that The Big Guy Upstairs has the final say - not some dumb tumor.  While I certainly don't feel invincible, I know Someone who is, and He's got His eye on me.  I'd seriously recommend this faith thing to everyone and anyone who is searching for something more. 

Those are my main revelations.  The Type A, OCD'er in me would really like there to be an even number of revelations, but what are you gonna do about it, right? 

Seven is my lucky number, so I guess it all works out in the end. 

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