“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.”
― Linda Hogan
There are many synonyms for the word heal. Recover, be out of the woods, get back on your feet, bounce back, feel oneself again, pull through, and restore, are some. I have felt wonder and gratitude for my body’s ability to heal. There is nothing better, after having a bought of illness, than to feel myself gaining strength and feeling good again.
I have had some major challenges to my health and had to undergo major surgery two times and literally gone off a cliff in a car. So I have some good examples of our body’s ability to heal. I feel vulnerable writing about this because I do not want to be seen as damaged. I know people turn away from those of us who have had cancer.
I underwent major surgery for lung cancer two times in a 4 year period. In between those times my husband and I were in a major car accident which could have easily killed us both. I was terribly wrenched and bruised with 3 broken ribs from that accident. Each time I underwent surgery I was very frightened. Even though or maybe because I was a Nurse my fears were magnified. One brother-in-law, who is a MD, told me after the first surgery that this type of surgery is one of the most brutal and worse than cardiac bypass because of what they do to the body during the surgery. I am glad he did not tell me this before I went into surgery. I remember asking one of my RN friends about how they operate on the lung when you are breathing. I was not familiar with how the surgery was done and she worked in ICU and knew about these surgeries. She told me they put a tube in your windpipe and collapse the lung before they start. The recovery from this type of surgery is rough. But even a few days after I felt my strength and would get up by myself in the hospital at night to go to the bathroom.
About 4 years later, after the second surgery, there were several wild fires in the LA area. The location of one of the fires was not too far from the hospital I was in. During the second night, after surgery, I could smell the smoke coming into my room through an air vent. I thought this is so great for someone who has just undergone lung cancer surgery. I asked if something could be done. They could not move me or get ahold of anyone in engineering. Hospital beds are on wheels. So I got up and moved my own bed away from the vent.
The recovery from the second surgery was harder as I had been told it would be. I think part of that was my stomach does not tolerate pain medication. I really needed the medication but it wrecked my stomach and I ended up with trouble sleeping not only because of pain but because of terrible heart burn.
But I did recover from both of these surgeries. My body healed.
I do not have to go through major surgery to appreciate my body’s ability to heal. I do appreciate it even when it heals from minor illnesses and injuries. It is a kind of miraculous thing this great strength and ability to heal with which we are born.
My husband has pointed out to me that the visible scars of my lung surgeries have faded quite a bit. Another demonstration of the body’s healing powers.