What I’ve learnt from going through scoliosis surgery
It’s been 2 weeks since I woke up warm and high on anaesthetics in a white post op room. Some of you might have received my ultra high, packed with anaesthetic and pain killers voice messages. Oh, those are fun to listen to now! It felt as if no time has passed and nothing happened. Yet I was connected to oxygen and tubes were coming in and out of me. Compared to my initial scoliosis surgery 10 years ago this has been a piece of cake.
As you may know by now, I’ve prepared mentally and physically for this surgery for the past 4-5 years and I knew everything would be ok. I’m in awe of how amazing the human body is. It’s not like I didn’t know that already, but seeing it change, strengthen and recover every day is somewhat of an amazing thing. Having prepared for so long for this, it went down a treat and took care of itself impeccably. On the other side, I am compelled to share my emotional lessons which were so much more stronger than the physical ones this time. And there were a lot of tears…
Here are my 3 most important lessons I’ve learnt in the past 2 weeks:
1. I learnt to receive
The hardest thing I had to do post-surgery, especially in the first week, was to let others fully take care of me. When was the last time you let someone else take care of you? Without doing anything! Not even lifting a finger 🙂 That level of being taken care of. All I wanted to do was show how speedy I am, how high can I arrange my pillow or drink water holding the cup and straw by myself. We’re talking back to basics here. For someone like me who’s used only to give, give, give and naturally take care of others this has been my biggest challenge.
Allowing to receive…
I’ve thought about it many times and probably this was one of my lessons overall in the pre-surgery months. How many of us are scared of receiving? Why is it so hard to let your loved ones pamper and comfort you? I’ve finally made peace with it, but I’m also almost completely independent now so it’s a different story. I have mellowed down a bit though. It started with the amazing group of people who’ve contributed to my fundraising in ways I never expected. That was a hard one to open up and accept. But you’ve all been amazing – for showing support in all ways and made this possible! There so many people to mention here and I have all of you in my prayers and gratitude.
Now, I’d like to ask you when was the last time you surrendered into being taken care of? If the answer goes back to your childhood, it’s time to book a pamper day! Massage and all that jazz. You deserve it!
New mantra: “I allow myself to receive”
Which brings me back to my second lesson: rest!
2. I learnt to rest
I knew from the beginning the recovery time would be in between 4 to 8 weeks. Here I am in my second week not knowing how to make use of myself. I was out of the hospital for 1 day and I was organising my better half’s birthday surprise. With help, of course! But still, what needs to happen for us to actually stop?! I am now indulging and enjoying my time off as I know it’s a privilege. I should sleep a lot and eat well, and let my body recover and repair the bone and muscle tissue affected. Then again this little voice in my mind comes up with crazy ideas every day of what I could do for dinner or lunch and where I could go for longer walks.
We always need to feel useful, I guess that’s embedded in our code, however, down time is extraordinary for allowing yourself to be with yourself in a balanced, contemplative way. This space appears only after we finish looking for ways to keep ourselves entertained. Writing this piece is almost a testimony against what I say, but I found that if I don’t write these thoughts now, if I don’t put on paper my experiences with recovery and the harder timers, they will soon be forgotten. It’s part of my allowance to be…
With the holidays coming, and the end of a full year, I encourage you to take your rest time seriously and do nothing but allow. If the thought itself makes you panic of all the zillion things you have to do, it’s even more imperative.
New mantra: “I allow myself to rest”
3. I learnt to accept frustration and pain
This one is unexpected! When it came to the first two above, I’ve met a lot of resistance. With that resistance came frustration, tears, emotions and pain (this one might have been more physical than emotional). I don’t know whether it was purely because of all the drugs I was on, but it was definitely part of the healing. My scoliosis, initially as it appeared, and after the first surgery, had an emotional cause.
While working on my physical body for over 4 years, I have also done emotional and energetic healing. I looked for the source of it in the first place. I won’t be sharing it here as it’s deeply personal, but one thing I can say is that as I grew up I thought that I needed to hold the weight of the world and the issues of the adults around me on my shoulders. Funny coincidence how my spine curved like an accordion as if there was a heavy weight on top. Rings a bell on why I couldn’t allow others to take care of me?! I can see the dots lining up…
What is it that you’re always struggling with in your health? Why does it come up over and over again? The only way to deal with it is to go to the source – both physically and emotionally. When did it first appear? What’s your first memory of it? If you were to close your eyes and be transported to the moment it first appeared, where would that be?
Obviously, this is the type of work that needs more than what I can share here with you from my experiences, but if you’re ready to work on it the method will appear. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”. I can say this is a never-ending process, we go from lessons to lessons, healing one at a time and progressing in our journey on this planet. But it’s exciting and enjoyable!
New mantra: “I allow myself to experience all my feelings and let them heal”
It took some energy to get these experiences out on paper/screen, but I hope it inspires you to take a moment; rest, be, receive and watch the sunset, as I doing now while typing. Life is beautiful! No matter what it brings us, there’s always a bigger lesson to learn from it.