Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here we go again

If all goes as planned, my three-month journey as a colostomate ends tomorrow

It's been quite the adventure since the emergency surgery Jan. 8 in which a portion of my colon was removed. I remember that on Jan. 6, I was feeling healthy and hopeful, and my husband and I had quite a lot of plans and goals emerging for 2016. But that pretty much changed the next evening. 

Overall, my surgery and recovery -- including the colostomy that allowed parts of my body to heal and rest -- have gone very well. The surgeons and other specialists say I was healthy going in and am still healthy. I have no cancer or other chronic impairment. I have so much to be grateful for and truly am. 

It's probably a good thing I don't have a chronic condition, because one thing I learned is that processes health professionals seem to think should be simple or at least become routine sure did not for me in three months. On the other hand, three months is just getting started for someone in a situation in which the colostomy would be permanent. I knew the plan was for mine to be temporary, so I was always aware I did not want to get too comfortable with it. 

My main regret is that I let it interfere with my life more than I would have preferred. About the only thing I did consistently was work -- and that ended up mostly being from home, which I am grateful was possible.  A conversation at church today reminded me that many people in much worse health situations find ways to keep doing the things that matter most to them. Of course, even before my health setback, I let all kinds of things distract me from my good intentions. So why would I expect this not to just add to that problem? But it sure helped me see again that I want to quit letting that happen. When will I actually put into practice my desire for NO MORE EXCUSES?!?!?!?

And I have to confess: I still feel unworthy of how easy my path keeps being.  During these three months, my heart and prayers have gone out to people facing aggressive treatment for cancer; a baby's cystic fibrosis diagnosis and related surgeries; and heartbreaking deaths, including the suicide of friends' 16-year-old daughter; among other major prayer concerns. How dare I even ask for prayers for my minor malady? But God wants me to ask, too.  And friends and family are gracious to support me with their prayers. 

My biggest obstacle to a sane, efficient, productive, caring, compassionate and holy lifestyle is my own mind. It requires a one-day-at-a-time approach for me to overcome that obstacle. One day at a time: Pray. Trust. Obey. Love. Praise. Give thanks. 

And so I will continue to. 

(I had hoped by attempting to write about this, I would find some wisdom and insights and sure signs of learning and purpose and meaning. But I guess it's not time. It makes it hard to keep posting to the blog when I am unable to wrap up my thoughts in a pretty package. But I never know until I try. And if I wait until I find that wisdom and those insights and sure signs of learning and purpose and meaning, I likely never will. So here I go again.)

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