Thursday, July 10, 2014

Surgery, talks with God and gratitude

Hi friends and family (warning this looks to be lengthy)

Since I last wrote...I have one less organ. It was a very emotional few days leading up to surgery and after.  Lots of fear, lots of fear. And pain. And prayers....lots of those, too, thankfully.

To say it's been a roller coaster, would be an understatement.
The day of surgery (now a week ago and one day) was actually calm. I did cry all the way to the hospital, but that's kinda typical Halley. I am, what most would call, emotional and overly sensitive. My sensitive-side really took shape post-parenthood. I cry at everything. So, I rolled down the windows in my car letting the morning air blow on my face, Justin drove and I listened to Oceans on repeat. It calmed me. Tremendously. That and I also was permitted one xanax beforehand...which also helped some.

I have to say, Seton hospital was nice. I am only experienced in St. David's. But, Seton was nice.
My anesthesiologist was so very kind. She was tender and sensitive with me and I appreciated her so much. Her name is Holly. I do recall that. Also, her nurse anesthetist (am I spelling this right?) was named Molly, was also so kind and tender to me. I remember before the surgery I was like, 'Oh so it's Holly, Molly and Halley.' Probably the only joke I cracked pre-surgery.

I do know post surgery I tried being best friends with all the nurses, because--as I know being REAL best friends with nurses, that those ladies (and men) have the hardest jobs. I am always nice to nurses because I love them. The ones that aren't so nice, well I tried to be extra nice and crack jokes. I don't know why I think I am good at jokes because I am actually really bad at jokes but alas, I try.
And, well pain meds make anyone extra loopy.

So, fast forward to a few days post op (surgery was a day surgery and I came home around 5pm and slept the rest of the day from what I remember) but anyway, fast forward to a few days later and I wasn't doing well. Healing was EXTRA slow. And it didn't help that it was the *one* week I look forward to all year, our annual beach vacay. All my family was going and I was praying I was going to be doing cartwheels post surgery.

But, since I hadn't been eating (well) in weeks, healing has been slow. Really, really slow. Until, Allison came over the other day and asked point blank if I had been eating protein. (Btw, 15lbs down in two weeks...normally I'd love to lose weight but this weight loss kinda freaks me out.)

My brain has been nutritionally challenged for awhile and so realizing protein was probably a key element I needed in my diet to heal didn't even occur to me. So, a big thanks to Allison for letting me cry, getting me healthy protein packed smoothies--and just in general being a great friend.

So, yes...depression quickly came over me. I was missing the beach, I was missing my mom (who left to go to the beach) I was wondering why I wasn't healing fast, I couldn't and didn't want to eat much and I generally just felt...bad. And I felt sorry for myself.

Pity party for one?

I also want to say though, that Justin has been a saint. I know I say this a lot and I don't mean to go around 'tooting' my horn...but, that man is a saint.

Sure, he may not write me love poems and he doesn't like it when I put my feet on him at he isn't perfect BUT, he has been so, so, so patient with me during this.

He has this week off, since we were suppose to be at the beach and he has taken so good care of me. He feeds me, cleans the house, does all the laundry, keeps the kids, plays with them, maintains not only the home but the yard, bathes the kids, holds me when I need to be held, cooks dinner, makes me fresh fruit and protein shakes, takes me to my Dr. appointments, runs all the errands, gets me my meds, does the dishes and I could just keep going on and on.

He hasn't complained once. In fact, he said he rather be here then be at the beach. Which, I think is a lie...but he did say that.

If anything, I have learned to count my blessings and to praise God for putting Justin and my beautiful babies, friends and family in my life.

Ok, so to update to life now...
I am now 8 days post op and I am healing better, thankfully. I am eating better but, has it turns out my issues weren't just my gallbladder.  I am still in pain but it isn't my gallbladder.

It is still a mystery. The pain I was experiencing pre-surgery is the pain I am still having and so, I have spent the majority of my morning in the clinic hashing out medical history and will spend some more time tomorrow with doctors...running even more tests.

Next week I see my surgeon and maybe he can shed some more light on to my on-going pain. And more than likely, I will be seeing a GI specialist.

My gallbladder was failing so it is good that it is gone because it was probably also one of the elements of pain I was experiencing....but it wasn't, unfortunately, the only one.

So, that's where I am. Like I said, I am battling with depression because my body isn't feeling amazing...but, I am also feeling grateful and more at peace right now. And my depression isn't as constant and drowning as it has felt.

My peace is definitely from my Savior.  I feel He has been telling me a lot through the Holy Spirit while praying. I also got to see one of my church counselors today and he also shed some light on my spiritual lows and struggles.

I have tried to stay close with God during this, but I must admit, when I wasn't feeling amazing after surgery, I didn't want to talk to God.

I was upset because this was suppose to be it.
I was suppose to be DONE with the pain.
I was suppose to be at the beach now.
My test was over.

Right, God?

But, it wasn't and it isn't.

I am still being tested...and that's ok. Because, I am back with Him and He has always been with me.
He has me.

He has you, if you let Him.

I don't know what's wrong or what the pain is...and I may not be totally pain-free for awhile or ever.....but, I gotta stop looking at myself (hard as it is) and start looking to Him.

I do know I gotta regain my strength so I can be a good mom again. I also want to be a good wife again and I gotta keep my head up, looking to Him.

God is going to use me. Somehow, someway because that's my prayer.
If anything, this pain and these hard days have shown me that I really need to pray to fulfill HIS will for me.

Because, to be dead honest, I didn't want to pray that. You know why? Because, praying that prayer meant I would be challenged.  I know following Him isn't easy. It wasn't easy for Jesus. It wasn't easy for His disciples.  We are going to be challenged.  And Halley, a few days and weeks ago didn't want to pray for God's will because I didn't want to be challenged. I didn't want to get uncomfortable.

And now, here I am. Not really comfortable. And on shaky ground. And I don't know what the next hour or day holds, but I do know who holds Me.

So, my prayer to be used. To fulfill His Plan for His Kingdom.

And my next prayer is that my boys and my Husband will also fall in love with Jesus---to fulfill His plan for their lives....

I give everything I have, right back to Him. That's where I am.

What was important before....isn't now.

I am not sure what is store for me next, but I don't need to.

Anyway, like always---I must say thanks again to everyone who has been checking in on me.
Some of you may catch the depressed Halley...who cries and seems hopeless. For that, I am sorry. I am only human, and this human sometimes just feels bad and cries...a lot.

If you can love me through this,, seriously you deserve like a million food and fruit baskets and Starbucks gift cards...and a couple days at the spa. And I wish I could give yall all that....

But, do know...I do thank God for you. Every one of yall.
I am so grateful for amazing friends and family. You lift me up. And I love you.

* "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:10

*That Bible verse I got from my Pastor's's my wish. That I find contentment through the hard times. Also, thanks for reading all of this.

Yours in HIM,


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