I was surprised to find myself in the position of needing surgery this past winter. I had tried several, non-surgical approaches, but slowly I came to realize that surgery would be my best option. I can sincerely say that this has been one of the most powerful healing journeys I have ever walked because of the opportunity to fully lean into an integrative approach.
First and foremost, I am grateful for the amazing technology and expertise that even allowed me to have access to surgery. It’s quite a miracle when you consider what surgery looked like even just 100 years ago.
While essential in this case, cutting out the disease was only part of the healing process. I could have left it at that, but I would have missed out on the richness of growing as a person and probably would have healed more slowly. I spent a lot of time examining what my body was trying to tell me. The answer led me through my family history, my personal history, and sitting with Divine Love. I sat with what it meant to be female through the many layers of our culture. I sorted through all the stuff I had been emotionally holding onto and decided a lot of it wasn’t mine to hold. And, I got a lot of practice resting and receiving help from others. Wise and loving women guided me through this journey.
I lost a sacred part of my body and the rhythms that went with it, so I worked with an artist to honor that part of me and process the loss. This piece of art is helping me heal and still honors the cycles in my life as I adjust to this new normal.
I’ll admit that going through the experience of the conventional medical system as a patient feels daunting to me. I feel rushed to say everything succinctly in my appointments. I have a lot of seemingly peculiar questions for them from a different paradigm. Most importantly, I’m giving up control and trusting them with my life. I needed help to find and use my voice effectively in these situations. I also used a book called “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster.” It is an evidence-based, mind-body approach, and the techniques really helped me to be calm and at deep peace as I prepared for surgery.
This process has taught me that no one system has all the answers for healing, and I get the most benefit when I integrate them all together. For example, my skin tore during the surgery. I made a calendula preparation and used it to help heal the tear. Upon application, it immediately felt better. While conventional medicine has pain relievers I could take, I can’t think of a medication that would heal and soothe the tissue like calendula would. I’ll be working with gifted practitioners in the months to come to help reduce scar tissue and rebuild physical integrity in my body. I have been making sure I have the nutrition I need to heal well, such as increasing my protein intake and drinking lots of homemade, farm-raised bone broth.
With so much preparation, I feel I might have been trying to bring some sense of control to the situation. In the end, one of the greatest “gifts” was a side effect of the surgery I hadn’t planned or prepared for. It taught me to literally let go and to accept not being in control.
I sit in wonder and amazement in how my body is healing. It is simply miraculous. I don’t quite have all my stamina back, but I feel quite good otherwise. I am doing my best to honor the concept of convalescence and rest. My body will continue to heal and rebuild for the months to come, and I am here sorting through the deeper lessons this process is teaching me.
Although surgery would not have been my first choice, I’m grateful for what I am learning and see it benefiting the people I continue to serve.