Why is it that pants are the most tangible representation of victory? At least in my world, this is the case. Not stretchy pants or leggings, because those are frenemies. They are liars. They want me to think I look good because they still slide on over the extra ten pounds (if you love me, you won’t question that) but just ask my freshly washed skinny jeans what they think and they’ll give an honest answer. They either fit just right, or they DO. NOT. I would say, “Boycott all the pants!” but I don’t think HR would approve of my new dress code.
My relationship with my pants is love-hate at best. There is no better feeling than putting on a fresh pair of jeans that flat-button perfectly without anything having to be sucked or tucked. Ladies, I know you hear me on this. There are some mornings when the music is bumping in my bathroom and I am dancing around because, damn! I feel good and my jeans look fabulous! Praise Jesus, I know the angel chorus is singing and dancing with me too. There are other mornings where I am stretched back on my bed, hoisting up my jeans, and crying out to Jesus, “Lord, I know no man knows the day or the hour, but right about now is looking pretty good. I am ready for my glorified body! This earthly shell is rebellious and I rebuke it in Your name!!”
Raging or rejoicing. This is a concise idea of what the past few weeks have been like. Since I last wrote about Spring Break, I’ve been working out like a fiend and trying to equate my eating habits to those of a functioning human being. Meaning: not eating so little that I want to pass out nor eating so much that I want to pass out. (We’re trying to avoid passing out on all fronts here.) And there have been days to rage and days to rejoice. I was working on a pretty steady cycle and making some solid headway up until about 10 days ago.
On Friday, April 20th, I went to church to see Lisa Bevere speak at our annual Girls Night Out conference. If you ever have the opportunity to see her speak, go. I actually attended the event alone and was going to write a whole post about how God takes us out of our comfort zones and makes us uncomfortable to strengthen the weakness we have in order to use them for His kingdom, but that is not today’s post. After I left the event, I was fired up. I was empowered to take on the world, and that empowerment did not include cooking dinner late Friday night. So I picked up some pizza and headed home. Before you clutch your pearls, pizza is not a sin, nor will having it for dinner one night kill you or your diet… unless perhaps you have gallstones.
Around midnight, Michael went to sleep and I stayed up, as I often do, to read or watch a little TV. I started to feel a little discomfort in my upper right abdomen and I recognized the pain right away. I knew I was having a gallbladder attack because I’ve had them twice before. I was also a little sad because I knew it would be so long until I ever got to eat pizza again and I never thought it would betray me like this. I took some ibuprofen and turned on the heating pad hoping that the pain would pass relatively quickly. (Quickly meaning less than eight hours.) I tried to lay down for a while but when that pain hits there isn’t really a comfortable position to be in other than standing, so I got up and started cleaning the living room and kitchen. I obviously wasn’t going to to be sleeping, so I might as well get something done.
I know some of you are reading this and wondering why in the world I would start cleaning but I come from a long line of crazy, praying cleaners and this is just what we do. Mad at someone? Pray for understanding and windex the mirrors. Anxious about work? Pray for peace and wash the dishes. In an ungodly amount of pain? Pray for healing and dust the shelves. Cleaning makes the time go by. And like Jesus, clean things, always make you feel better.
By the time 5AM rolled around, the kitchen and living room were tidy but I was still experiencing a world of hurt so I took a shower, got myself ready, and woke up Michael to take me to the emergency room. I spent the next four days at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. The team of people that worked with me were undoubtedly God-ordained. Every person I came into contact with was kind and knowledgeable, I never got the run-around for any questions I had, and everything went smoothly. I mention this because I have heard horror stories of people’s experiences in hospitals and I am blessed to have had a good one.
Another lesson I’ve learned from the crazy, praying cleaners in my family is that we don’t go anywhere dirty. I woke up each morning and immediately asked to be unhooked so I could shower. Then I would blowdry my hair and put on a little makeup. One nurse jokingly asked me where I was going and I laughed and said, “Just because I’m having surgery, doesn’t mean I have to be ugly.” I had a cholecystectomy on Monday morning and was home by Tuesday afternoon.
Another major factor in the ease of this process was that my mom was able to drive up before the surgery and spend the next few days with me helping me convalesce while Michael was at work. There is nothing like having your momma by your side when you are feeling sick. It’s the best medicine of them all. Michael and Riggins have also been extra wonderful at home. Riggins has been the best little caretaker. He sleeps soundly by my side every night and makes sure I don’t move too much (because he hogs the entire bed). Overall I had a very good experience and other than soreness and major bloating post surgery (I felt like a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade) I had nothing to complain about.
This only throws one little wrench in my plans. I can’t work out. Surgery, however small, requires me to slow down for a while. It’s been about a week since I last worked out and I am itching to get back in the gym, but I can’t lift anything over five pounds and I’m only allowed to take short walks. Next week, I’ll meet with the surgeon for a follow-up appointment and hopefully he’ll let me start doing some easy exercise. Until I hear otherwise, I’m out of any heavy lifting or strenuous cardio for about six weeks.
I can choose to rage about this or rejoice. I choose the latter. I’m rejoicing because I had the operation before my situation got any worse. I’m rejoicing because I have a little more time to rest and recuperate. I’m rejoicing because I’m going to let my body heal properly and then come back stronger than ever. I’m rejoicing because God’s plan is always better than my own.
Side note: The cutest little souvenir arrived at my door on Friday. Michael ordered me my very own gallbladder. A company called I Heart Guts makes precious little plush organs, each with its own little tag line and info card. There is just about every organ you can think of available… yep, even that one. These are a great gift for kids or anyone with a fun sense of humor.
I hope you have a wonderful week and are choosing to rejoice rather than rage even in the midst of chaos.
See you soon!