I can’t believe it’s been a month since we were up there. In some ways, it’s been a blink of an eye; in others ways, it’s like it’s been three years. I’m not going to lie – it’s kinda been a hard month. I really wish that I could’ve just gotten it over with when we were up there a month ago. Having four weeks to second guess my decision hasn’t really been fun. About two weeks after we got home, I had my big meltdown about it all. I sobbed on the phone to Simon that I just didn’t know if I could really do it, and he told me that I really needed to stop googling the heck out of things. He knows me so well – in my ever-present desire to be on top of information and well-informed, I was driving myself insane by googling the surgery and reading everybody’s random horror stories. I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I have taken a google hiatus! And it was the best thing I could’ve done for myself.
The other thing that I did for myself was go talk to a counselor about what I was thinking and feeling. When I was pregnant with Jude, I was struggling with anxiety big time. My OB gave me the name of a counselor to go talk to, and it was the best thing I could’ve ever done for myself. I went to see her several times after Jude was born, and occasionally from time to time when I need a neutral third party to bounce some ideas off of. I called her up and made an appointment, post-meltdown. I was struggling with having to be the one to make a decision about surgery – I mean, isn’t this just something that someone else should make the call on? I thought the only time someone actually wanted surgery was when they’re getting a tummy tuck. Or a nose job. In no way is this the same thing!
Anyway, my counselor asked me about how I felt about myself when I’m sick. I told her that I hate being on steroids, that I hate looking at pictures of myself when I’ve been on them, that I feel totally out of control of my body. And do you know what she said? It was golden, totally priceless — “Rachel, this disease is stealing your joy. And you have the opportunity to take it back.”
Whoah. That was totally worth the hourly fee right there! And she was so right! So even though I really didn’t want to be the one to make the decision to make surgery, I am the one making the decision. I am stepping up and taking my life back. And in that moment, I felt a joy about the entire situation that I had not felt before. My time of mourning about it was over. It was time to find the joy in the situation, and look forward to all the good changes coming.
The other awesome thing that happened was when I found Daniel over at the Real Estate Zebra. A few years ago, Daniel went to the Mayo Clinic because he had ulcerative colitis, and he ended up having the same surgery as I will. He was so encouraging – he called me up on the phone and was more than willing to share his experience with me. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. He struck me as a very charismatic, upbeat person, and the thing he kept saying was, “You will not regret this. You are going to feel so much better, you won’t even believe it.” Whew. Daniel, I am grateful for your input and how open you were in your experience! Thank you!
Finally, more than anything, I have a peace about this entire experience because I know that God is in control. I felt His presence when I sat in the office at the Mayo last month and told the doctor that I wanted the surgery. In my Bible study this semester, we were talking about Jesus when he heals the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda. He asks the man, “Do you want to be well?” What a question! I mean, wouldn’t you think that someone who had been sick for 38 years would want to be healed? But when you think about it, sometimes when you’ve been sick for so long, it’s just easier to stay in your sickness. You can’t remember what it was like to be normal, so it’s just easier to be how you are. Stuck. Because being well requires work, and taking on a whole new set of responsibility. But Jesus knew that – and He also wants us to take action. It means we have faith.
So there you have it. This week, I’m taking that step. I’m choosing to be well. I’m stepping out on faith. It doesn’t mean I’m not nervous or not scared. I am. But it’s going to be okay.
Now we just have to decide what The Last Supper is going to be. 🙂
I’m sure I’m going to pop back in and out over here and give updates as the week goes on. We fly out tomorrow, have a consult with the surgeon on Tuesday, and then go in Wednesday morning for the surgery. As of now, we’ll fly back home on the following Monday.
Thanks so much to everyone who’s followed us on this journey! Your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes here have meant the world to both Simon and I.