Friday, August 10, 2007

Me and My Dramatic Life

The latest gap in my writing is because I had surgery. In the grand scheme of things, it was minor surgery -- "ambulatory surgery" as they say, which means you can walk out afterwards. In the small scheme of my own tiny life, it was a Great Big Deal because I've never had anything medically this dramatic in my whole entire life (which makes me very fortunate, actually)! What it was was that I had a lump removed from my back -- they thought it was likely to be harmless, but it had been slowly growing over the years and they wanted to test it to be sure. And, happily, there are no signs of cancer or anything else scary.

They put me under general anesthesia for this -- also something I have never experienced before. So, I was nervous enough before all of this, but also the recovery process was stranger and more difficult than I expected it to be. Especially hard has been trying to hold my arms, shoulder, and back in optimal positions for the scar to heal well. What with flute playing and liking to pull books off shelves and cart them to and fro, this has been harder for me than I thought. It's even hard to find the right position for sleeping! But the healing is finally well enough underway that I no longer have to be quite as painstakingly careful, though I still must be somewhat careful.

So, what has all of this taught me spiritually?

It taught me about trust: trusting other people (especially the anesthesiologist and the surgeon, and the rest of the medical staff); trusting the natural healing process; trusting the friends who helped me afterwards; trusting myself; trusting God in and through, and above and beyond, all of these other kinds of trust.

It brought home to me in an especially vivid way that people around us can look perfectly okay, but may be nursing hidden wounds that require loving care. One day, too soon after the surgery, actually, I went to a play, and as we all filed out at the end, I was keenly aware of jostling and was especially sensitive to people not holding doors open for me. I could not reach out quickly to catch heavy doors that were about to slam onto me. None of those doors came at me quite quickly enough to cause me to pull all of my stitches out, and I knew that I looked reasonably young and healthy and perfectly capable of managing heavy doors by myself, so I didn't take it personally. But it gave me pause. The rules of etiquette are in place for a reason: you should be kind and thoughtful towards those around you because you just never know what hidden wounds they may be nursing.

On a funny note, I could not watch some of the actors doing acrobatics on stage without wincing. I couldn't help but project how my own body felt onto them as I was watching! This has spiritual significance too: in this, I realized how we project a lot more than we may realize we do (physically as well as psychologically)!

And especially I appreciated my general good health. I have not had to suffer something like this very often. Even with this, my general good health has enabled me to recover quickly. It is a miraculous feeling to experience oneself feeling noticeably better every day. Truly the body's healing power is a kind of magic. This too is why I believe in God. To think that living things have this inherent power to mend themselves -- how amazing!


  1. CS,

    Hope your are back to normal again soon. Keep us posted.


  2. Thanks, Richard!

    I'm almost back to normal now, but letting myself take it easy until the new academic year begins again (very soon!).

    Overall, I am finding that this summer of taking care of myself in various ways has been very good for me. I find myself actually looking forward to the start of a new school year!