Surgery Morning

from Jeremy

One of the key components of being Comfy is the ability to be comfortable in normally very uncomfortable situations. For me, one of the most uncomfortable potential situations is the morning of an operation. In my case, it’s the fusion of L4-L5 to join with the already fused L5-S1. Having a family has heightened the potential for discomfort going into surgery, but I’ve set up a system I believe helps me maintain comfort in the face of a major event to my body. 

First, even though I can’t eat, I love making my family breakfast. Therefore, today, I made them a special kind of Cinnimon Pancake. It was a big hit with everyone. The making of food helps me focus on something creative. Satisfying my family one more time before I go under the knife helps me feel like I’m contributing, even when I’m not quite up to par. I loved it. They loved it. Who doesn’t love Cinimmon? 

Second, I started the day with my morning ritual, learned from Tony Robbins. It’s my 10 minutes of me, and on days like today, it really helps. This morning’s ten minutes consisted of: 

  • Expressions of gratitude for Joshua, Joy and Jan 

  • Requests for every experience to be greeted as a blessing for me, Jan, Joshua, Joy, our families, and the world. 

  • Envisioning myself, my family, and my life in one year 

It’s a simple ritual, and I can do it from bed, or in a chair as Tony Robbins recommends, but the key is doing it every day, and sincrerly expressing, requesting, and envisioning. 

Following that, I spent some time internalizing my thoughts about the events of the day. I thought through the operation, envisioning it in my mind. I let the sense of the operation; the fact I will be put to sleep, cut open, pieces of my spine removed, and other pieces fused together flow through my body, particularly to my spine. I wanted to share the day’s expectations with all of my body, specifically those parts most likely to experience disruption.  

My mind is ready. My body is ready. Now my family.    

Finally, I answered questions. Lots of questions, in fact. Joshua was full of wonderfully thoughtful questions this morning. 

  • When will you be back? 

  • Will you stay in a hotel? 

  • When will you get to eat? 

  • When can I see you? 

  • Who will take care of you? 

  • When will you be back? 

  • How are you going to get home? 

  • Can I see you? 

  • When will you feel better? 

  • When will you be back? 

I answered each and every one lovingly. I doubt I settled his mind, as how could I settle the mind of a 5-year-old facing his first family surgery? Yet, I did offer him comfort as I was comfortable with what we were talking about. Seeing that comfort in me allowed him to feel a little better about what is going on. 

I gave such big hugs to Joshua and Joy as they left for school this morning. Oh, those felt so good! 

Finally, and for me, most importantly, I have someone I love escorting me today. Jan will be by my side as I go into pre-op. She’ll be there as they put me under. And, she’ll be there when I wake. Knowing this loving person is there for me instills confidence within me. Confidence it would be much harder to muster without her by my side. 

When I do my morning ritual tomorrow I’ll express such gratitude for my awesome family, for those who helped make my body work again, and for a world in which I can be lucky enough to be blessed with these expressions of love. 

How do you make yourself feel ok about pending traumatic events? 

May some of my practices help you as you face anything the world offers. May you consider everything the world offers as a blessing, helping you move closer to peace.