Pinch of Faith: Last item on my surgery checklist: Get well soon

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The definition of the difference between major surgery and minor surgery is that minor surgery is done on others, but major surgery is done on the person who is having it.     

As I write this, I am preparing for my own major surgery. The pre-op has been done and all the tests performed, my bag is packed, and copies of necessary legal documents are with family for safekeeping should the unlikely need for them arise. 

The clean laundry is folded, fresh sheets are on the bed, my legs are shaved, the pantry and refrigerator are stocked with essentials and the bills are all up to date.  

The daily to-do lists have been endless, but as I check off the last item, I feel satisfied that I have done all I can to prepare my house and my body for what is to come. I have been weighed and had my height recorded at the hospital but fail to understand why the anesthesiologist refused to take my word that I was 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 165 pounds.

After meeting with my surgeon and discussing more than I ever wanted to know about breast cancer and the necessary steps to eradicate it, I feel confident that she is well qualified and will perform the procedure to the best of her ability, taking every precaution to protect my life and my body. Even though she will be removing a diseased portion of this body that has been with me since birth in order to preserve the rest of me, I assured her of my prayers.

While doing the prescribed steps prior to surgery, I purchased the over-the-counter pain medications to help ease my post-surgery discomfort and I also bought a bar of antibacterial soap. I have to use it for three days prior to the operation, in addition to some stronger hospital grade scrub that is designed to kill any bacteria on my skin and thereby eliminate any source of infection. 

My instructions also tell me that I cannot wear any makeup, lotions, hair spray, nail polish, or even deodorant. Hopefully, I won’t scare anyone too badly or stink up the OR I’m in.  

I am battling unseen enemies in the form of germs and bacteria, but they seem to multiply into veritable invisible armies, ever ready to stage an invasion. “Jesus and germs are everywhere” for sure.

The hospital stay itself is only scheduled to be for one night. When I was born, I believe that my mother qualified as a short term resident of the hospital where she wandered the halls for about two weeks in her burgundy satin robe and matching slippers. Now they deem many surgeries as same day procedures, releasing the patients as quickly as the anesthesia wears off.  

At the rate things are going, I would not at all be surprised to see drive throughs at some hospitals. One might even be able to “super size” their order for an additional dollar.

As soon as I am able to sit at the computer again and translate my thoughts into words, I will bore all my readers with details of my convalescence, so prepare yourselves for what is to come. Because I am limited to “lifting nothing heavier than a coffee cup” for a while, I intend to adhere to that and catch up on a lot of reading, binge watch some mindless television shows, start some needlework projects, and become a bona fide couch potato while my body heals.

Knowing there will be more doctor visits, follow up tests, and all that might be involved in this entire process, I am ready to do whatever it takes to resume my life once more with a newfound admiration for all who have undergone any form of surgery. I’m so grateful for the assurance of many healing prayers.

Copyright © 2023 Mary Margaret Lambert

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