I think any surgery may have four parts to it. The first is the surprise, or maybe the disappointment, when one finds that an operation is necessary. Nobody ever wants to have to go through such experiences and often it is even stunning when you are given this verdict.
The second aspect is the preparation and anxiety. Often there are additional tests that must be done. Pages of instructions are usually provided and then there are the dear friends who share all their experiences, at least the bad ones, about their past surgeries. Many folks will say "I am praying" or "if I can do anything, please let me know." If only all of these were true. And then time usually begins to slow down as you count the days remaining until the surgery begins. You just want it to get there so you can get it over. And, fortunately, for the Child of God, this is where His special peace begins to take hold in your life.
Then, of course there is the surgery itself. The good part is that you are suddenly asleep and miss most of the action. Finally you may hear them calling your name and you begin to wake up. Then the "fun" begins - the time usually called recovery. It's the time that you realize how well you were feeling the last time you were talking to someone and how miserable you now feel. You also know that you may not feel much better for hours, or days, or weeks or maybe even months.
This thing called recovery happens in many ways. For my gall bladder surgery I was quickly out of the hospital and was back to normal very quickly. Nice! For my cataract surgeries, no pain, but a period of adjustment until I finally got my new glasses. I recovered very quickly from my thumb/wrist surgery except for the huge cast I had to wear for months. My surgery for my torn patella and quads was much different. They rushed to dismiss me from the surgery center and I got very ill from the anesthesia that night. Then I had to keep my leg in a straight cast for six weeks - no bends allowed. Then it was months of physical therapy. While those first six weeks went slowly, except for not being very mobile, I was able to still do many of the normal things that I enjoyed, with the help of my wife.
But my latest surgery, on my cervical spine, appears to be a different animal. I am still taking pain pills every four hours and don't see an end to that at this point. And the pills are also causing new problems for me with my diabetes and constipation. But the pain and the fusion are putting a real strain on things that I love to do. For example, it is almost impossible to keep up with my computer work. Since I have two blogs and a webpage this has been very difficult. PTL I did write many entries well in advance. I have had trouble maintaining our church prayer chain and especially doing the church financial work. I am keeping individual gift records for 41 of our folks who are going on mission trips and have already prepared and sent about 175 receipts to their supporters. Now I am almost two weeks behind in doing this and not sure when I can begin again. That is frustrating.
One of the side effects of my surgery is the sore throat and voice issues that accompany it. And while I am not a telephone person, this limits my ability to communicate with folks. And, very unfortunately, the neck limitations prevent me from working on my puzzles and that is a hardship for me. This is all in addition to not being able to drive, not being able to read, cut grass, pay bills, etc. I can watch TV, but have you looked lately at what is being broadcast? How many times can you watch the news, Law and Order, Judge Shows, reruns of Castle, or, ... even worse ... the Phillies? And the more naps one takes, the less one sleeps at night ... I'm still in my La-Z-Boy. I do have a wonderful nurse to care for me. But I feel so guilty leaving her with everything to do and I long for the days when I can back to doing my share once again. I have learned to relax, a little, by listening to WDAC all night until morning breakfast. And I am enjoying Comcast's Easy Lightening Music throughout much of the days. But even that has its limits. And, even worse, I'm beginning to use a word that I told my boys never to use ... BORING! But it is! And it is only ten days since surgery!
But as I attempt to "recover" I do have much to thank the Lord for. He has been good and has brought me through this major surgery with the prospect that someday I may feel better. And, of course, there will be a day when all of us will be completed healed - no more recovery periods then.