Monday, August 8, 2011

Seeing the forest for the trees

Today marks three months since my surgery. It feels like a distant memory, however. I have healed completely and my scar has slowly begun to fade away with the help of an amazing scar cream. I can do just about anything without restriction and I feel basically back to normal. This is unfortunately the case for everything--including the pain.

I never believed surgery would heal me completely.

It just seemed too lofty a goal, which is exactly what I told the overly-chipper nurses who tried to convince me otherwise as they poked the back of my hand for an IV.

I never thought surgery would allow me to get pregnant.

All I wanted, truly, was to be rid of the pain. (Well, that and the large cyst on my ovary.) Today, months later--I'm still in the same pain. The stabbing pain of a large cyst is gone--it was removed along with four of its friends--but the monthly pain I have felt for well over a decade has actually gotten worse.

The body is a funny thing, you know. I sometimes wonder how it is possible for anyone to get pregnant based upon the overwhelming complexities of our body's inner workings. They call it "The Miracle of Life" for a reason, no?

I remember, quite clearly, that my doctor said surgery could help. Or, it could do nothing. There was just no way to know how cutting large chunks out of my lady parts was going to change anything--or nothing. With all the medical advances that exist in our world today, there are still a lot of mysteries and shrugged shoulders sent my way, unfortunately.

Looking back, I realize I had the right approach. I opted for the full-blown surgery, as truly horrified I was to make that choice. It wasn't as bad as I thought. (Is anything?) Likewise, I also chose to be realistic about what surgery meant, including understanding that it might not change anything. That's the thing about recurring disappointment: it prepares you for further disappointment. Gives you a realistic approach to anything that isn't a sure thing. I don't say this to be somber or negative--I say it because time has proven it to be my truth. A risk is just that--a risk.

You see, when you have been gravely disappointed, you protect your hope--and your heart--quite desperately. You quickly learn what things need to be hoped for, and what things will only ruin your spirit of hope permanently. You let certain hopes go, allowing them to leave you, in the interest of finding something else to hope for instead. Whatever it may be.

As for me, I don't mope. I do not dwell on all the things I don't have in my life. I do not believe the world is a terrible place. Really, I don't. I do not hate people who are very capable of giving birth to as many children as they choose. I do not despise pregnant women. But the truth is my feelings are tied up in a complicated knot that I have absolutely no idea how to untangle. Life is very complicated--and so is my heart.

I have come to understand that I will likely always battle those demons--the ones that make me angry, envious and bitter. That little jab in the stomach I feel when someone talks about babies and pregnancy. I'll spend years pushing them away, wishing I had the ability to turn off my ugly emotions with the flip of a switch. It's always going to be complicated.

I think that's why I have always found peace in the idea that we cannot see the forest for the trees. Sometimes, we are so caught up in the details that we forget there is a much bigger plan---one more beautiful and captivating than we ever imagined--waiting for us around the corner.

You can read more about the surgery experience here.

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