Healing Hurts

Healing Hurts (part 1 of 2)

Healing hurts! On June 11, 2020, my body celebrated 58 years of breathing on my own. In all that time, no surgeon had cut into me. Seven days later, I stared into the eyes of my anesthesiologist, asking for verification of her intention to wake me up in a few hours. Originally my surgery was March 26. However, our Governor deemed it non-essential, so I was issued a 12-week reprieve.

It was in January that I had my initial conversation with my Surgeon. After numbing my nostrils, she told me, “this will be uncomfortable” and proceeded to slide a thin scope up and down my nasal cavity. Uncomfortable was an understatement. She determined I had a broken deviated septum. I wasn’t breathing freely through my nose.

She gave me two options: 1) I could spray stuff in my nose, then proceed to flush my nose 2-3 times a day for the rest of my life; or, 2) I could be surgically operated on and breathe freely, thereby increasing my quality of life. I would be able to breathe, smell, and taste all from the result of a 75-minute procedure. What a deal!

The Recovery

Of course, there was a recovery to consider. Talk about letting the wind out of my already air deprived lungs. For seven days and nights after the surgery, I would have to sleep in a chair. What followed was much worse. My doctor told me I could not sleep with my c-pap machine (I have sleep apnea). It doesn’t matter if I am standing, sitting, or lying: without my mask, I am not sleeping. I thought, “What good is quality of life if after seven days I have no life?” I’m pretty sure sleep is required for the perpetuation of life. Also, I would not be able to bend over and lift over 5lbs for 14 days and would not be able to fly for at least 21 days. There was no doubt the healing process would hurt.

But, if I survived the 7-14 days, I could experience a “quality of life” not experienced for many years. Those words kept going through my head: “Quality of Life.”

The surgeon was speaking my language. I have told many couples at the onset of counseling: “This is going to get worse before it gets better!” It will get better for sure. I can paint some beautiful mind pictures, most of which are not initially believed but ultimately experienced. However, before that happens, before the quality of marriage life desired kicks in, there is going to be some agony, some discomfort, questions of whether they made the right decision by getting involved with this ‘soul surgeon.’

Without exception, I have been right. It always got worse before it got better. Remember, healing hurts.

On this positive note, I will pause and complete this column in the next issue. In the meantime, let me know if I can help in any way.

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