Preparing for surgery, for me, was to run around as fast as I could and do everything possible to not have to think about the nightmare I was living and how afraid I was. From diagnoses to surgery was a 2 1/2 week span during the Christmas holidays and I was trying to forget and go on autopilot by “distractions.”
A dear friend of mine asked me if she could come over and explain how to calm down before surgery. She had been faced with a rare nonmalignant tumor and had her share of adversity. I was bitter, angry, terrified and closed hearted! But she was persistent, patient, and I am sooooo thankful she was both!
This is what she introduced to me. Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston. I remember sitting on a bean-bag chair with J, in our family’s play room. I was uninterested,bored and couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could distract myself some more. I hated sitting quiet!
But I changed in those few moments. A change that I needed to experience, which pioneered the beginning of being open to many many more changes to come. As I sat and listened to a tape of how this book came to be, and why it was important, I felt this feeling that I NEEDED to hear this. Without going into too much detail, here are the steps that saved me not only through surgery, but many terrifying procedures that I needed to face that I was unaware at the time.
1. Your mind is a powerful part of healing and how you think of things will determine how you will heal. I HAD to change my rage and anger statements to positive statements that were less fearful because I was pumping those negative feelings into my body to feed my anxiety. Things like “I am so thankful for modern medicine to help me heal.” or “I will be comfortable and heal well,” were more healthy than, “I hate this experience and it is all bad for me!”
2. Emotions and attitudes lesson pain and anxiety. That is a powerful thought and I wanted to believe it.
3. The book explains that you can hear during surgery and that it is important to be in a relaxed state for your body to respond at its best. Dr. Huddleston explains to have positive statement told to you during surgery, that you bring to your anesthesiologist to read to you while you are asleep.
4. She has a 3 step process that helped me so much.
a. Anchor to peace by listening to a relaxation tape to learn how to calm yourself. This was difficult for me as I was not “in” to yoga and mediation at this time. Peace speeds recovery and allows for less medications. I liked this statement because I was not a pill taker.
b. Think of someone you love and get heart centered. This brought good feelings of comfort and warmth to your body.
c. (My favorite) Call on some special people to be your “Pink blanket of Love” and ask them to think or pray for you at the exact time you will be having surgery, a procedure, chemo or radiation. Tell them it will be at 9:30 a.m. on this date. As you are there ready to go into surgery at that very moment, think about that support group sending powerful positive messages to you or praying for you. As Peggy puts it, it will feel “utterly delicious and peaceful.” I have done this and it works! I testify of the power of prayer!
d. Tell your doctor and anesthesiologist to say positive healing statements during surgery because you can hear them! You are the consumer and you have the right to say what happens to you.
5. Patients who feel empowered by being involved in how they heal do better as they heal.
My friend J gave me a gift that day that I didn’t know I needed. I am posting it because often, in our fear we stay closed to things that may be the very thing we need. For me, it was these wellness ideas. I have passed them along to others. If you have something that helped you, don’t hesitate but pass it forward. We need each other.