Saturday, January 5, 2008

post op part two

a couple of days after I came home from the hospital, my friend laura came to visit me. she arrived bearing gifts--sorbetto from her husband's store, a cd of Buddhist chants, a candle from another friend. we sat drinking ginger ale and chatted in the living room beside the lighted christmas tree. after a while, she asked whether I wanted some reiki and of course I said yes. she trained me in the healing art and I know her energy is powerful and her intuition deep.

I first met laura at the Miami Book fair five years ago--she had won that year's Iowa Fiction Award for her collection of stories and we were each reading from our books on the same program. that night at a party (as richard bausch exclaimed "fiction is my religion!" and connie mae fowler told me about her divorce), laura casually read my palm and told me I would soon start a relationship with a writer. I didn't know jim at the time, barely knew of him, and had no idea that in a few months I would move from Atlanta and he from New York to be together in Savannah! nor did laura know she would be moving to Savannah from Miami the same week as jim and I, where she would meet and marry her soul mate, joel.

after surgery, I knew I needed reiki, and laura's hands were soothing as ever. but I wasn't quite prepared for what she told me when the session was over. she said she had found a hollow emptiness, almost a deadness in the area of my second and third chakras. that my crown was buzzing with chaotic energy and my middle was bereft--as though I were completely drained of will. as though I had given up entirely. she had tried to balance my energy. we talked a bit about what else I could do to help myself regain some balance.

it made sense that the place where I'd had an organ cut out would be traumatized, but what she had said about my will reverberated in me.

the next day I decided I wanted to see a gallstone. I wish I'd asked my surgeon to show me mine, but I hadn't had the chance. so I did some internet research about gallbladders. although I am the first one to run to google anybody else's health concerns, I hadn't done much research before the surgery. for one thing, preparing my school lessons for my absence and getting ready for christmas had taken up most of my time and energy. but also, a part of me had not wanted to know and therefore have to think too much about my disease. I had made up my mind to do the surgery, mostly for practical reasons (my deductible for 2007 had been met; doing the surgery over christmas meant less time out of school), and so I guess I didn't want to open up possibilities.

but now, the more I read, the sadder I became. I'd allowed a part of my body to be cut out without even thinking about alternatives, and I could never get it back. there would be permanent physical ramifications of that decision. although the surgeon said "no dietary restrictions," I discovered that really, I SHOULD be concerned about my diet. should have been before, but especially should now. my liver will continue to produce bile that, without a gallbladder to regulate it, will be too much for when I have not eaten fat and too little when I have. I learned about gallstone cleanses I might have done. I hadn't even tried one. nor had I tried acupuncture before surgery.

I became deeply distressed. I realized how typical of me it was to just not allow myself to think about a problem until there was no turning back. was that what laura meant about my giving up my will? I grieved. grieved for the gallbladder I'd allowed to be taken from me without ever seeing it or trying to care for it. grieved for my tendency to give up, to close my eyes and let other people decide for me. grieved for the rest of my body which would have to work harder from now on.

and it has made me very tired. but I think it was necessary for me to acknowledge this. thanks, laura. xxx


Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Wow, Maryanne. All I can say is that this post really touched me, and I feel your grief.

Maryanne said...

thanks for reading, dear jordan.