Transforming surgery – close to home…
I haven’t written for a while, I’ve been helping my mother prepare for and recover from triple bypass surgery. Helping people prepare for surgery, using guided imagery and energy work or my CDs/mp3s Transforming Surgery and Transforming Cancer Surgery has been one of my sidelines for many years, but this was a little too close to home.
What did I learn from the experience? I learned the sweetness of sitting by her bed all night in the Intensive Care unit and holding her hand, tapping on her when she was scared and disoriented, holding an energetic space of love and safety around the person who did that for me when I was young. That the human body, even at her age, is still capable of miraculous healing. And that our hearts are so much bigger and stronger and more resilient than we think.
What does it mean to prepare for surgery? I always look at things from the four levels – body, heart, mind and spirit – so for me, preparation is a fourfold process. As a nutritionist, I look at how to support the body for the trauma of surgery. Support the liver with liver protecting herbs like milk thistle to help it efficiently process and detoxify anesthesia and other medications. Fortify the body with antioxidants to counteract the free radical onslaught that surgery creates. Arnica formulations like Traumeel to minimize inflammation, swelling and bruising. Plenty of protein to re-build tissue, plenty of water to help your system flush out all the toxins.
But there is so much more to surgery than the physical. Mentally, emotionally we all have images of what it will be; usually images of wounding and invasion and trauma. And that’s where guided imagery can be so helpful – helping us to re-frame and transform our images and expectations and create a healing experience for ourselves.
Spiritually, any experience can be a powerful lesson, an opportunity for growth and healing on unexpected levels and surgery is no exception. One of my clients who worked with me before a mastectomy for breast cancer said of our work “… In our first meeting, my sense of dread was completely transformed, so that I now faced my surgery with a sense of adventure, embracing the opportunity for growth. The meditation and visualization work I did with Carol allowed me to tap into a core of strength and balance which continues to support me.” That is the transformational potential of surgery!
My mother came through her surgery and is recovering beautifully. At 85 years old, I am impressed with her spunk. I have been involved in many surgeries, many with clients, several of my own. This was a special experience, one that I was honored to be a part of.