I thought it would be better by now.
The seven-and-a-half months leading up to December 12…. Wearying. That’s the best word I’ve got for it. I knew that surgery would be hard. I knew that recovery would be tough. I guess I just didn’t know how tough. I didn’t know that my incision would start hurting just when that place on my side stopped. I didn’t know that the swelling would wax and wane repeatedly. I didn’t know that one night I would sleep for 12 hours and the next night I wouldn’t sleep at all. I didn’t know how completely freaked out I would get by the numbness in my torso.
I thought I was coming to the end of the long road, and I know that I am in some ways. But in others I see it stretching out before me, unending, into the horizon. I have to avoid close contact with kids because major surgery, especially liver surgery, really knocks down the immune system. So that means stepping away from the mid-week kid’s class at church. I can expect pain in my abdomen for weeks. The ugly black dog of post-surgery depression nips at my heels. I wake up in an anxious sweat in the middle of the night.
My heart swells with compassion for those who have been through this. My brother…I admire him. He’s been through three surgeries in the last two years and is facing another. It takes a lot of heart, a lot of faith, a lot of sheer grit to go through this.
So be tender. Be gentle with those who walk the long road.