A few days ago I underwent surgery to repair a hernia. I bounced back and forth on whether I really needed the surgery or not. Now most ailments I normally can just mind my “p”s and “q”s when it comes to nourishment and self-care and turn to my collection of holistic remedies. Unfortunately, there is not any healthy eating, nor any holistic remedy that will repair a hernia. Having Ehlers-Danlos, the risk of it worsening is greatly increased as well.
I still wavered. I am a big ol’ weeny when it comes to surgeries. I firmly believe the body is a self-contained unit for a reason and anything to contradict that just gives me heebie jeebies and makes me a little queasy.
When I had my emergency C-section with my son, immediately after they strapped me to the table I threw up and then passed out, waking up three hours later. I was not put under, I had an run of the mill epidural, I just passed out missing my son’s birth.
When I had my gallbladder removed. (Which I now wonder if that was even necessary in the first place) They made me walk into the operating room where I made the mistake of letting my gaze wander. I saw a bowl and different torture devices (err… I mean surgical tools) and lost my shit. I vaguely remember them putting the oxygen mask on my tear soaked, snot streaked mess of a face, before being put under.
So I am not exaggerating when I say that I do not do well directly prior to surgery.
This time was a much different experience. Much different. I had to discontinue any medications, supplements, and natural ways I support my health a week prior to surgery as to not interfere with the anesthesia. That was by far the worst part of the whole process. I have been blessed that I have my EDS, POTS, and other dysautonomic dysfunctions managed so well holistically that I have taken for granted just how sick I really am.
I forgot what it is like to shake so bad that people around you wonder what drugs you are on (which of course I wasn’t). I forgot the complete lack of coordination at times, how at one point it was so bad I couldn’t even feed myself with a fork. I forgot the sharp abdominal pains that come when my intestines don’t function correctly and food just sits for extended periods in one spot. I forgot the spasms, the random muscle burning and failure, the accidental burns from not feeling my hands, the frustration when my body won’t cooperate with me, just how bad and frequent the cold spells used to be, how putting on more clothing and blankets was absolutely futile, like insulating an ice cube. I forgot what it was like to be in bed 14-18 hours a day, needing to lay down every couple hours. The intense mental fatigue, you know, the kind where your comprehension of your native language is lacking, where your processor just isn’t quite running right. I still have a lot of these symptoms from time to time, but the week without my natural means of support made it so clear just how much they do help.
The day of the surgery the surgical staff before the surgery was amazing, absolutely amazing. They let my husband and mom stay with me until I was wheeled off for the procedure. The were understanding of my admitted weenieness. One of the staff members even got a couple pictures with me wearing different masks. Oh, and the bair hugger. The bair hugger was AMAZING! This thing blew warm air into a blow up blanket to keep you warm. For someone with nasty cold spells like me, I wanted to take it home and never ever let it go!
Stepping up in your own abilities to manage your health can impact your quality of life in BIG ways @ashliepappas
I am really grateful that I went through with the procedure, especially since they found a second hernia. I had joked around and told them that if they wanted, they didn’t have to put my belly button back on, it would make a great conversation piece during the summer. Luckily they didn’t take me seriously.
The recovery has been up and down. The first thing I did when I got home was get on top of my natural maintenance routine. I didn’t have narcotic pain killers post surgery and the pain was bad enough that eating made me sick. I ended up taking melatonin and sleeping as much as I could, especially since rest and sleep promote healing anyways. The pain hasn’t held a candle to the yuck from last week. I am still a little out of it and a little sore still, but overall, I am on my way.
This whole experience just reiterates how much holistic healing and stepping up in my own abilities to manage my health has impacted my quality of life, but yet how modern medicine still has it’s place. It’s funny how sometimes unexpected bumps in the road help you recenter and remember just how lucky you really are.
Do you utilize any forms of natural healing in your home? I’d love to hear about them!
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