She Offered Me Grace

One of my friends, a mother my age from Malawi, asked me how I am. She always checks on me! If she doesn’t hear from me within a few hours, she panics! (That panicking makes me feel like a million dollars, by the way!) I told her that more than post op pain, I’m in that space where I’m tired of not being useful.

I’m tired of needing help. Tired of being a burden instead of relieving burdens. Funny how I felt I was a burden and that was between operations… It can indeed always get worse! I told her I was tired of not being able to care for the twins…

You know…

Mom guilt. (If you’re a good mom.)

And she sent a voice note back that was so simple yet got me out of my funk.

“It’s not your fault… You don’t WANT to be in this situation.. . You didn’t CHOOSE this… You WANT to be a good mother…”

I always tell ladies in the surgery group to not rush themselves, to view the weeks and months of enforced rest in light of the rest of their lives. Compared what is hopefully a long life, what’s two months or three of not being able to “do it all?”

I obviously am terrible at taking my own advice. I am impatient!

But, I need to drop the guilt. I would be up to my normal back ache self if I had a proper core. If I had muscle instead of “soft tissue.” I am not the one who made myself.

It is not my fault.

The dark pit lit up.

I always thank my children for helping me. My middle two think of it as a pleasure, actually. After helping me pick up things I dropped, helping me make up the bedding on my recliner, they cheerfully asked if there’s anything else they can do to help me.

So we went into the twins’ rooms and changed their sheets. Something I had been wanting to do but hadn’t wanted to overburden my teens with. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of my middle two. I suppose because while I was telling one to lift one side of the mattress so we could put a clean sheet in, the brother was leaning ON the mattress instead of lifting it. That kind of stuff -which you KNOW will happen- will indeed not cause you to think of him as a first choice helper😅

But yes, I am letting go of the guilt. I remind the teens that I appreciate their help. I tell them I’m counting down to being independent so they know I don’t enjoy using them to carry things, put my laundry in the washer etc.


I was too hard on myself. Made myself feel bad as if I was taking a voluntary extremely extended holiday. I’m not. I have a whole abdomen full of mesh. I’ve been sewn up on both sides and pulled so tight that my lungs were in trouble. I’m not lazy, I’m convalescing.

The pit is not so dark.

And I’ll keep exercising that grace till I’m able to be the me my children know.

Also, another measure of unmerited favour… Ever since May 24 when the second surgeon cut me along the same scar the first surgeon did, I’ve had pain on my left side. That surgeon sewed me up so tight and forced sideways to my right so can’t that I thought I’d never be able to stand straight again ever. When I tried, it felt as if the sutures above that right hip would tear apart.

I experienced excruciating pain That side. Unusual pain. I surmised it was nerve pain. I don’t know… As time went on, I could stand, but it came at a price. The side where I was pulled low, the scar stretched and looked almost like barbed wire instead of a single healing, flat scar.

When i had surgery in February, I was cut on the same line again. The pain and sensitivity remained. Clothing that touched my waist was painful. I’d throw it off as soon as possible, couldn’t stand my husband gently touching me on that side, sleeping on my right side was painful.

With this FOURTH opening up of the same incision, husband and I figured the pain might increase…

But it’s gone.

One year and a month of pain just gone.

I even thanked the surgeon for unplanned relief. He doesn’t know joy it happened, but he’s glad nonetheless!



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