If you read these articles with the same fervor that I write them, then you will not be surprised to know that being both relevant and personal “each week” is a delicate dilemma. For the past few weeks, while recuperating from my hip replacement surgery, I have been doing some comparison reading. Reflecting on my previous neck surgery of over almost 20 years ago, I have sought parallels in the healing process.
This week as I prepared to move from past reflections to present realities, well, reality got too real. My youngest sister, Chandra, passed away in her sleep Monday night and while I will need to write about this experience (it is part of my grieving), frankly, right now it is too fresh. So, I offer another peek into my past healing.
After a week at home, filled with daily doses of progress called pain, I found myself giddy about seeing the wizard (my surgeon). Like a well-studied student going to the class of his favorite teacher, I wanted to impress the wizard with my post-surgery education. While not anywhere near graduation, I was doing the work and, at least as far as I could see, making the grades. But it was time for a new word from the wizard!
This trip to the waiting room was different. While I was looking and listening the first time, this time I found myself scanning and planning. I was scanning the room for rookies and planning my “post-op” answers to their “pre-op” questions. Fortunately for all involved, my waiting time was brief and my story of the “yellow brick road” delayed. My name called, I entered the wizard’s world.
He entered with a smile, immediately reaching for that now sacred place on the back of my neck. Pulling the bandage off, he remarked not only about the healing progress of the wound, but also about the length of the scar. It was small, straight and hardly noticeable. He asked if I would like to get the staples out and I almost hugged him.
Then I blurted it all out! I spoke as a man who had been saving his words. Pain management will do that to a person. It drains you and fills you all at the same time. You look closely for healing and relief and while both came early and often for me, I was a “trader man” bartering my old pain for a newer version. The old pain was debilitating and demeaning. The new pain was heavy but strengthening.
With all the fervor of a stray dog finding food and safety, I feasted on the opportunity to ask questions and offer my now experienced view of the way home. The wizard enjoyed hearing about life on the other side of the scalpel.
What I learned is simple and true. Healing begins with a journey of trust and ends with a declaration of hope. Healing starts by trusting the healer and concludes with an understanding of pain. Healing happens when minds are submitted to knowledge and practice and hearts are surrendered to hope and wholeness. Healing happens. Yes it does!