Sunday, April 25 (Happy Birthday, Stick)
When I was in the hospital, I told Dan (with great description) how poorly I was feeling after surgery. For 3 days he listened to me, held my hand, and told me how sorry he was. On day 3, the team came in to take off my bandages. You probably could hear Dan exclaim- no matter how far away you live- "Holy Crap! That thing is huge! No wonder you said you hurt so badly!"
** Side note: for those of you who I've not shown my war wound to- it's on my right side, kind of diagonal down my ribs, and is about 12 inches long. Yuck. **
Now, Dan- having gone through medical school, residency, and fellowship- should have had an idea what this thing on me would look like. He was (falsely) under the assumption it would be about 6 inches. Given the location of this tumor, we knew it wouldn't be able to be removed laparoscopically or orthoscopically. We knew that it would be invasive surgery, but apparently "we" (read: Dan) didn't know it would be THAT invasive.
As he looked at the wound and immediately responded with more compassion than he already had, I turned in my VERY kind and Godly manner and said: "Seriously? So, just because I told you that it hurt it took you seeing it for yourself to believe that it hurt? Nice."
After that, I have had many non-squeamish friends who have asked to see it. Those are the ones who take very seriously my recovery period. I've had several (family included) who want to never see it. And that's cool. But it's been amazing to me how quickly I'm ready to show it, with all it's nastiness, off to the world. (Just today at church I was talking with a friend who will have kidney surgery soon and when he told me where his incisions will be and asked how that compared to mine, he, too, got to see the scar in all it's glory. Let's just say I'm not sure he was aware our friendship was so deep that I'd show him my bare side in church.)
It's made me understand why people return home from war ready to tell their stories and show their wounds- so that those of us who weren't there have some access to what some of that experience was like.
I finished a great book this week (thanks, Jenn!) that described scars as 'beautiful' because they are reminders of what makes up our stories. I will now have a beautiful reminder of this season in my life. As I was sitting in church this morning, I became reminded of all that God did for me leading up to my surgery, and how He has been right with me during the recovery. And while it does still hurt... and I am still sore... and I get exhausted easily... I CHOOSE to say "Blessed be the Lord". This morning everyone who saw us said "How are you?" Before church, my response was "Well, I'm here. I'm glad to be out of the house. We'll see how this goes." After church, I was much more intentional to say "I'm thankful to be here." I've learned from Mary and Debbi that I need to remind myself it is well with my soul. Because it is.
And I've got the scar to prove it.
Wanna see it?