Tag Archives: surgery


How you do anything, is how you do everything.  I don’t know if that’s a direct quote, but the idea is from a Buddhist teacher who wrote a book with a similar title, which I also cannot remember exactly.  What I do remember is reading that idea and how it resonated.

So I had surgery on Wednesday, was home that night, was in a lot of pain Thursday, barely remember Friday, but know I felt much, much better and by Saturday was over it.  I don’t mean physically, I mean I was over it, as in – we did the whole surgery thing, now let’s get on with life, this has becoming tiresome.  When I woke up on Saturday and still felt like I’d been hit broadside by a semi, I thought –  I should feel well enough to get up and do things.  Then I had to remind myself, it had only been two full days since I woke from the anesthesia and that this was the third day and I would feel better, eventually.  With that thought in mind I wandered around and went back to bed.  Sunday I was more active and yesterday I was a whirlwind of activity, comparatively speaking.  But I did have to take a nap at one point and had a brutal headache.  Today, determined to just “act as if” all was well, I woke with everyone else, tried to do my part in getting the children ready for school, did a load of laundry, and now, sitting here, feel exhausted again, and, it must be said, tired of feeling tired.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

So the bad news is I’m impatient, but that’s also the good news because my impatience pushes me to be active, which is a good thing after surgery as the worst thing one can do is give in to the feeling of just wanting to stay in bed… forever.

Like so many things, emotions tend to seep into everything.  When I feel upbeat and full of energy everything takes on a brighter hue, people seem friendlier, minor delays and the vicissitudes of  life don’t have a lasting impact.  But the opposite is also true.  So this morning while getting Emma ready for her school bus she said she wanted to play a game.

“Okay.  What game do you want to play?” I asked.

“Imagine that game,” she answered.

“How do you play it?”  I asked.

She then began to sing an Elmo song entitled – “Imagine That” and began to script the dialogue between Zooey and another Sesame Street character.

“Now we know what the – imagine that – game is,” Richard remarked.

Yep.  And here’s the thing, this isn’t terrible.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with her choosing to do this during the ten minutes she had left before her school bus arrived.  But I felt disappointed.  I had hoped she wanted to play a game.  You know, a game where we actually interacted.  But that’s not what Emma had in mind.  And it’s okay.  She wanted to sing her song and so she did.

Impatience.  Acceptance.   Impatience.  Acceptance.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:   Emma’s Hope Book

Surgery & Emma

I’m back!   Most of me, except for the part that was left behind in the hospital.  When I came to, my husband was holding my hand.  “You look like you’re twenty years old,” he said, stroking my arm.  I was pretty sure that wasn’t possible as I had been hung upside down for the past four and a half hours and so my upper body and face were so swollen I could barely open my bloated eyes enough to see.  I had a moment of wondering whether we’d worked out some sort of agreement that he would say something ridiculous to make me laugh before I went under, but I don’t think so.  That’s just the way Richard is.  He came up with it all on his own.    And it worked.  I laughed.  But then it hurt to laugh, so I told him he had to stop saying things like that.

Along with my paranoia of hospitals stemming from childhood, I was focused on getting home.  Immediately.  While it wasn’t immediate, Richard did manage to get me into our own bed by 9:00PM that night.  When Emma bounced into our bedroom at 6:00AM the following morning she stopped, mid bounce and looked at me quizzically.  “It’s Mommy!”  she said, pointing at me and grinning.  “Mommy’s back!”  When she saw the four incisions in my abdomen, she said, “Mommy has boo-boos.  Mommy had to go to the hospital.   Mommy had to go to the hospital with Emma.  We have to go together.”

“No, Em.  You don’t have to go to the hospital.  I already went.  Just me.  Now I’m home and I’m going to be fine.”

“Just you and me go to the hospital,” Emma said, sitting carefully on the edge of the bed near me.  Then she began to cry.  I wasn’t sure exactly why she was crying, but I did my best to reassure her.  “It’s going to be okay,” she said, sniffling.  “Mommy’s back.”

There is one really annoying side effect from having had surgery, that is, evidently, inevitable.  Constipation.  For years, literally years Emma was plagued with gastro-intestinal problems, resulting in severe constipation.  I’ve written countless posts about it and our attempts to help her.  When I am feeling better and have the time, I plan to reorganize this blog into topics such as:  constipation, sensory issues, obsessions, etc.  I’m convinced Emma’s constipation was complicated by sensory issues and a whole host of other things I may never fully understand.  What I do know is that if you’ve never experienced  constipation, and I can gratefully say I never had until this surgery, it is not something that can be adequately described in all it’s horror.  However, I feel I have new insight into how awful it must have been for Emma, for all those years, unable to feel the need to go, yet trying, her sluggish intestines not able to do the work required, her sensory issues perhaps making it impossible for her to know what to do when she did feel any sensation that suggested a need to use the toilet.  The hours she would sit crying because no matter how hard she tried, nothing would come out, or if anything did it was so impacted and painful she wished it hadn’t.

In a moment of panic I decided that all I would eat were fresh fruits and yesterday I made a pot of brown rice with carrots, cauliflower and chicken broth.  Richard found some herbal tea with Senna that was the single best thing I’ve tried so far.  Knowing that the pain medication was contributing to the constipation, I stopped taking any pain meds after the first 24 hours.  I’m still taking a sleeping pill at night, but hopefully will be able to taper that off in the next few days.

One final word, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me over these past few days.  It has meant so much.  Richard is pampering me and making me laugh.  I’m not jewish, but I’ve picked up a couple of things in my life living in New York – in yiddish there’s a word for a man like Richard – mensch.  He’s a mensch.  I’m sure there’s an equivalent word for one’s children, I just don’t know what it is, in english it would be – blessings, they are blessings, and I am filled with gratitude.

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:  Emma’s Hope Book