While I’m waiting

I have been very disappointed recently. Disappointed in myself, not anyone else. I had myself elevated to overcome almost every obstacle, and I hit a brick wall with my recent surgery. It wasn’t due to poor medical help, family assistance, supportive friends. My disappointment came simply because I had unrealistic expectations about my recovery.

The short version of what happened is this: I had an emergency laparoscopic surgery of my gallbladder eleven days ago. The surgeon made four simple incisions. The medical tape did not hold – at all – and I had quite a few staples in my stomach. One of the other incisions became infected. I joked that my bikini modeling days were behind me.

My surgeon said it would require a full two weeks to recover. Here is where my downfall happened. I heard two weeks and determined it would be five days. At day five, I was still sleeping most of the day. At day seven, I finally felt well enough to go for a car ride.

If I were being truthful with myself, I am making great progress.

  • Yes, the main incision really does look as bad as I think. It doesn’t extend across the entire stomach.
  • Yes, I have been slow to get out. I have made significant progress every single day.
  • Yes, I still need help. I am returning back to my normal routine.

I had unrealistic expectations because I ignored the truth.

I am often encouraged by Donald Miller, who said “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” . I need to apply this truth to myself.

Today I woke up with a renewed attitude.

  • I will set achievable goals.
  • I will accept that I am not perfect and learn to appreciate both my strengths and weaknesses.
  • I will stop criticizing myself.

Which side do you fall on? Do you expect others to be perfect, or do you put that burden on yourself? Who needs your forgiveness today?

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43 thoughts on “While I’m waiting

  1. jenniburkeyoga October 22, 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

    I copied down that affirmation- thank you for sharing! I have had two surgeries of my own and I still struggle with small limitations that I often get upset about.

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  2. Clanmother October 22, 2012 at 10:23 am Reply

    Excellent post!

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  3. The Verdant Home October 22, 2012 at 10:24 am Reply

    Of course, this is exactly the hardest thing for me to do! Be nice to others? Sure! Be nice to myself? Uh….what?

    Thank you for the gentle reminder and I hope you feel better soon!

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm Reply

      I am probably going to be working on it for the rest of my life! Thank you for the well wishes!

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  4. suchwildlove October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am Reply

    Love that Miller quote! Thank you!

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  5. applepieandnapalm October 22, 2012 at 11:32 am Reply

    I’m the toughest on myself and the most understanding of others.

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  6. Pat October 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm Reply

    Excellent post, but you need to take very great care.
    Takes time for tissues to heal. How much time? Don’t know but do know internal tissues are not necessarily healed when outer ones are. And you risk adhesions if you do too much too soon.
    Can take nearly a year for anaesthetic to leave you body. Might feel ropey for quite a bit of that. Day 11? Give yourself a break.
    Healing is better/quicker/easier if you’re not stressed while you’re trying to do it.
    Just be kind to yourself.
    As kind as you would be if you were looking after someone else.

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm Reply

      That is very true. I was able to go on a short walk today. My incisions didn’t hurt, but I could feel some strain internally. I appreciate your words of wisdom!

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      • Pat October 23, 2012 at 2:58 am

        Had a hysterectomy some years ago and a guy who used to be a nurse warned me that you can’t see how your inside is healing. He said take three months off and take it easy.
        I know people who had simpler operations than mine who have terrible problems now, so I’m sure he was right.
        Hope all goes well for you. 🙂

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy November 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

        Now I know why I needed to get back to my blog ~ to ease my guilt from the recovery time by reading comments like yours! It has been much more challenging than any of my other surgeries, and really caught me off-guard. I think I am finally headed in the right direction!

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  7. tchistorygal October 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Surgery is frustrating, but just think where we would be without it! Maybe we’d be ok, but the majority of times, we’d be a mess. Take care and don’t give up on yourself. Enjoy the rest! 🙂

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm Reply

      What great insight! They actually have detected a heart condition that has the potential to be serious, so I have been very grateful that it was detected by the surgery. I honestly hadn’t thought about the complications if my gallbladder had never been removed. Thanks!

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      • tchistorygal October 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        That ALWAYS happened to my mom. She went in for a sprained ankle, and came out with heart medication which saved her life. She lived to be 80 with 5% of her heart still functioning, one kidney lost to cancer, the other just deformed, bladder cancer, and numerous other aches and pains. She had a great attitude, and I loved the surgeons – even Dr. Gloom who told me she had 3 months to live when she was 60. We made him do the surgery! 🙂

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

        What an example of encouragement! Thank you for sharing that. Dr Gloom. . . we all know one or two of them, don’t we?

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      • tchistorygal October 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

        They are definitely there. They just aren’t used to reckoning with the positive attitudes that we can bring with us! I’m wishing you a speedy (and thorough) recovery.

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  8. Cara Olsen October 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Recovering gracefully, especially for driven, productive, energetic people, is not something we do well. We live in a day an age where everything should happen and come quickly, and somehow we put timetables on things that don’t have any right having one. Your reaction to the quoted healing estimate is identical to the one I would have had. And when I didn’t arrive at a full-recovery by the time I had envisioned I would, I likely would have taken a slump, too.

    I am relived to hear that you are offering yourself grace, and focusing on the Good. Negative thoughts and criticism will only slow you down. I pray that during this time you are surprised by things that normally couldn’t have happened, had you met your expectations. Those are my favorite moments.

    Blessings,

    ~ Cara

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm Reply

      Thank you, that is so true about being surprised during this time. I was able to go on a walk for the first time, and met a neighbor on the way. I blogged about this about a month ago, the result being that her house burned to the ground in just a few hours. She was such a reminder of grace in the midst of a trial.

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  9. ME and the Boss 2012 October 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Awesome….keep on keeping on..”Perfectionism”
    http://asadrunkseesit.blogspot.com

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  10. intheAMDay October 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Take care and remember, we can feel great after 5 days instead of 14. But it usually catches up to us. Same thing goes for the way we treat ourselves. Awesome reminder of our human side. Thanks for sharing.
    ~ A.M. Day

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  11. Carol O. October 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Omg, I am sorry to hear you’ve had to have surgery on top of everything else!! Indeed, cut yourself some slack. Hang in there! Keeping you in prayer.

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm Reply

      I do need to cut myself some slack. I just can’t help being so honest. More health issues rose to the top today. I appreciate your prayers greatly!

      Like

  12. jackiebelle October 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm Reply

    I love your up beat blog. It is like a ray of sumshine. You have been taking care of so many people, literally and with this blog. You need to take care of your amazing and wonderfully imperfect self. warm wishes.

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  13. efthyc October 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm Reply

    thanks for this post! I too went through something similar at this time last year – it will get better, but you will likely never have this much free time on your hands so enjoy it!

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  14. transformedbythejourney October 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm Reply

    Sounds like great advise and needed “self-talk”. I love Don Miller. I went to the Storyline Conference in Nashville and have since purchased the study materials. My “dashboard” is still blank but I highly recommend the resource!

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  15. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman October 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm Reply

    I am sorry you had such a difficult time – it is ok to feel unhappy when your expectations were not what you had hoped for and hit a brick wall, the important thing is to pick yourself up and move forward. I pray you continue to heal and that there are no more setbacks. Patty

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  16. ahelpingofhope October 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm Reply

    I may have a surgery in my near future, and this is very encouraging. Healing can take longer than we thought it would whether it is an incision, a marriage, or a mindset… Thanks for your inspirational (and honest) post!

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  17. sagescenery October 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm Reply

    I think it is hard for women to have to face that at times, they can’t even try to “do it all” I know that when I’m sick, that’s when I really, really want to clean the house..it’s crazy, and we do need to stop doing that to ourselves! Amen!

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  18. rachelmeeks October 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm Reply

    I know that feeling all too well. I hope you were able to be more realistic with yourself! Be sure to drink lots of water, take your vitamins, and, yes, take it easy. 🙂

    Like

  19. msherice November 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm Reply

    I’m way too hard on myself, but grateful that God’s still working on me. Thanks for sharing and keeping me honest with me. 🙂 Happy healing! God Bless!

    Like

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