Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Getting Sick Again Helped Me Heal from My C-section

This month has been harder for me than I thought it would be. My son's first birthday is coming up and all of the depression from his birth is bubbling up fresh. So, this week I will share two parts of my healing process. For background info, you can look at my first Ignitum Today article here.

Even a routine surgery makes one think about death. Two months after James was born, I was scheduled to have surgery once again. This time it was my gallbladder. As I was growing up, both of my parents had to have theirs removed. My mom had hers removed shortly after my brother was born. My dad's was removed in an emergency as he had waited to the last minute to go to the hospital and his gallstones snowballed into much more serious problems. So, when I had my first attack while I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy, my family knew exactly what it was. Some people will have one attack and never have troubles again. I waited for a second attack before I did anything. When that second attack came, I found a doctor, I walked into the office, and I requested to have the thing removed. Within a month, I was on the operating table again.

The thing that bugged me most this time was going under general anesthesia. But I did my research and asked my questions and what it boiled down to is: the gallbladder is too close to the diaphragm. Local anesthesia would be more dangerous than general simply because of the gallbladder's location.

So, okay...I endured a month of eating like I was vegan again. I was blessed by the fact I had been vegan before so I knew all the tricks. I just used this as an excuse to buy all that really expensive but really good vegan food that I wouldn't be able to talk my husband into buying normally.  

Aww yeah! This is where this pic comes from, but there is some awesome expensive food on this table. Cuties are da bomb! 
But, back to death: I made sure I got to confession before the surgery. I said my prayers. And as I stared at the ceiling at 3 in the morning hyperventilating thinking about going to surgery again, I thought about my priorities.

What if I did die on the table? I had met patients in the hospital who had issues with the most basic of surgeries. I had even met someone who had a heart attack during a gallbladder removal surgery. What if that was me? What if I were living in my last days?

The first thing that struck me was a flood of overwhelming love for my husband and my son. Here I was in bed, my son laying on top of me (because he wouldn't sleep in his own bed...again) and my husband beside me. All I could think about was how much I was completely and madly in love with them both. I would do anything for them. They were (and are) my world.

I imagined myself in bed in a nursing home surrounded by family. I saw how James would look and I imagined his future brothers. What would matter to me then? That my eldest wasn't born the natural way? That I felt as if I had adopted my eldest son, as if he wasn't of my flesh? No, all that would matter to me was that he is my son. That all these grown men were my sons.* I would be going to meet our Maker and spend time with Him waiting for all my boys to arrive.

In the end, not even this writing would mean much to me. I have always wanted to be a writer and I'm still working on building a career, but what is a job? You can't take it with you. What would matter to me would be family and God. And maybe that order isn't right. We are told God should come before family (Luke 14:26). Hopefully I have a nice long life ahead of me to figure that out.

I came out of that surgery with a new appreciation for what I went through when James was born. Yes, it sucked. It still sucks a year later. I thinking about it right now makes my scar hurt. But in the end, it really isn't going to matter. When I'm dying, a lot of this stuff in life isn't going to matter.   

*Given my husband's family, I really, really doubt there will be any girls.  


  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comOctober 9, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Hi Bethanie,

    Healthline.com recently launched a free interactive "Human Body Maps" tool. I thought your readers would be interested in our body map of the Gallbladder: http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/gallbladder

    It would be much appreciated if you could include this tool on http://syrophoenicianwoman.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-getting-sick-again-helped-me-heal.html and / or share with friends and followers. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you in advance.
    Warm Regards,

    Maggie Danhakl- Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline Networks, Inc. * Connect to Better Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 www.healthline.com


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