WHAT WOULD I KNOW ABOUT SURGERY & HOW CAN I POSSIBLY HELP YOU?
They say that on average, every person will undergo 6 surgical procedures during their lifetime.
If that’s the case, then I have lived many lifetimes here in this incarnation!
Last weeks count brings me to 34 surgeries, 32 throughout my endometriosis, multiple miscarriages & cervical cancer journey & in this past week gallbladder / abdominal surgery & previous to this my 2 knee surgeries that coloured my days when I thought I was an awesome snow skii’er 😉
And that’s just surgery – that doesn’t even take into consideration the years spent through my teens, hospitalised up to 3 months of the year with acute asthma attacks, carrying with them their own sense of stress, medication, treatment & the constant struggle to connect with an efficient breath.
And as most of you know, my 8 year journey with cancer & all that goes along with that.
So, as I’ve been laying here in a haze of pain this past week finding myself yet again digging deep through the pain to acceptance & pure surrender, and even with so many things still left unanswered & yet to be conquered on this current journey, the whispers & voices (maybe due to the morphine or other forms of heavy analgesia) have been tapping away at my soul.
Voices & words flying around in the vortex of my mind as I bring them all into one message, capturing them in fleeting moments of lucid times.
The message is clear.
Each of my traumas have always lead to tremendous revelations & healing in order to re-write beliefs I hold & to rewire what is pure.
Bringing many gifts in the form of further adjustments & tweaks that allow me to let go of how I think it needs to be & accepting it’s all part of my own best life blueprint.
Which I’ve so often found in these places of complete surrender.
I’ve also heard in this past week that although my immediate traumas have appeared to predominantly be experienced in the physical body, they most certainly have had their own significant dance & impact with the mind & the spirit.
Bringing the constant lesson that there truly is no separation of these when you become focused on a life of union & bringing all these parts of yourself into being fully connected, fully embodied & fully expressed.
What has further emerged from these whispers & voices is the trusting & knowing that I must listen to my own soul’s wisdom.
Up-levelling who I am in this world & the gifts I can share to assist others.
It’s been whalloping me over the head for years & years…
However this time, it appears to have grabbed my attention like never before.
Crystal clear clarity…
The gift of healing…
That my soul is in control…that I am not.
Which makes sense right?
Who would ever conscisouly choose 34 surgeries?
I assure you emergency surgery in Week 2 of 2021 most certainly wasn’t something I actively intended to manifest on this years vision board!
Yet it comes beckoning me to a place of supporting others to heal, to nurture, that their wounds are all part of it.
Still bringing with it the essence of who I truly am.
If I’m honest with myself, my soul has known this since I was 15 years old.
Talk about years of denial…
Ignoring the truth on my heart…
All I have ever seen myself being from this age is the conduit to people finding within them their sense of wholeness…of oneness.
Where peace & calm can be accessed, along with a deeper understanding that our suffering is also a place to find this.
That energy, health & vitality surges through our veins & is at the core of who we are within each cell that circulates within our bodies & that each life force takes on many forms, yet always finds a way.
Renewing, recycling, rebirthing – constantly…
Since I was 15 I have always seen myself running my own Wellbeing Retreat/Clinic/Space & assisting people to heal – physical, mental, spiritual.
People from all walks of life..
Being welcomed, received, healing & then sent on their journey…
My life’s other gifts & talents in Business all merging into one existence bringing together all of the pieces of ones wheel of life so that they no longer feel segregated & compartmentalised.
I’m way more than a Business Coach / Consultant – I always have been more than this – that is just something I am good at & have found much joy in supporting others in business.
Yet no matter who I’ve supported, I have found that when we focus on the soul & each unique person & how they are living their best life we bring all areas into alignment – business, career, relationships, spirit etc etc
To coach or work with any business, we always have to work with the leader of that business.
What runs in the business, runs in the leader of that business.
For who we are being when we are living dictates all that we experience in our realm of reality – it’s as if everything else doesn’t exist until now.
We all have past traumas…
We all have to heal..
Brining union therefore is essential to our own unique best life formula – one of wholeness, one of completeness.
A life pattern & recurring dance continues to unfold for me this week.
From darkness to light…
What if this has been my soul’s purpose all along, to truly assist people to live their best life & what if I’ve been gifted 34 surgeries & a lot of past traumas so that I can wake up & realise this at an even deeper level?
In round about ways I have done this through our many programs, retreats & offerings at LYBL – Live Your Best Life no matter what ‘niche’ people have found us through on their wheel of life & their own unique journey.
All I know is that my purest intention for 2021 was strong & clear – to get off the merry-go-round of almost being there with great health & once & for all bring alignment & integration to this area of my life & get on top of all of the niggles & do what’s required to be free.
Literally one week later, a stone lodged itself in my long standing chronic gallbladder journey of 19 years that I seemingly thought I was ‘managing’ & ‘on top of’.
This knocked me off my feet on the 27th December with me passing it off as ‘food poisoning’ (of which I’ve never had before, so why on earth I would think it’s that is beyond me!) to find out a week later it was life threatening.
What are you not getting or missing Michele?
You have to wait until it’s that close?
Gall bladders are linked to people pleasing & also are associated with storing resentment – hhhmmmm – no coincidences here!
Then hello to emergency surgery…and here I lay recovering & healing yet again, but with a different knowing that this was definitely a major missing piece of my puzzle that has actually been tapping away inside me for quite some time.
I’ve had these signs & messages before & the knowing I am speaking of – I’ve listened & then seemingly ‘gotten on with things’.
But somehow this time there is a sense of peace & steadfastness – a gentle yet powerful knowing – that this has been the message all along that I just need to keep hearing.
And that now has to be the time to truly express what’s inside me & the work that my soul came here to do.
Either that or maybe I’m not the fast learner I thought I was after all? LOL
So as I continue to heal & reflect on this clear message, I thought how could I get started with sharing something of value with you all today that may assist you in some way?
Every surgery that I have experienced as a result of the body being in dis-ease has been such a personal journey, not one surgery has been the same, and the more I’ve had the more painful they’ve seemingly become.
Is that age I wonder or simply a tolerance related thing due to the memory of the body holding all of our trauma?
What I do know, no matter the surgery, as they’re all so unique & different, is that when I look beyond the darkness into the light there always seems to emerge some clear logical & tangible steps that can’t be a fluke after so many surgeries.
When applied, my healing is amplified & the path illuminated.
When I haven’t, my suffering continues & the road ahead becomes unclear.
I truly believe, as I have heard others say that dis-ease is nothing but a sign that our bodies are not willing to carry around the burdens of our neglected souls.
So say, thank YOU & get to work – you’re soul is waiting!
This week, I feel called to share them with you.
Perhaps these may also serve you?
Now, given, they are no magic pill to how to blitz your way through surgery, nor are they ground breaking & revolutionary, however, just because you may know something, it doesn’t always mean it’s easy to apply or implement.
I encourage you to explore these if you are headed in for surgery or perhaps are faced with unexpected surgery as they most certainly do lead to better outcomes based on my experiences of facing surgery having not done them & having done them – my recovery & outcomes have varied dramatically.
Implemented – heal quicker & move through.
Not implemented – continue the suffering & it never seems to move on.
We’ve all heard of rehabilitation after surgery, but prehabilitation is preparing your body to better handle a major trauma, like surgery. I recently read in Yoga Medicine that new research has demonstrated that patients can, and should, actively participate in their recovery starting before they have their operation (if of course they’re fortunate to have this lead in time). Prehab can help avoid de-conditioning and can leader to better outcomes and a faster recovery.
The key here is 15-30 mins of moderate intensity exercise every day to the point that you break a sweat.
I have found walking & yoga asana practice a great way to combat the upcoming effects of surgery and lying in bed as you recover.
Gentle twists and upper back openers are excellent poses to incorporate.
The real focus here is on self care & self love so that you send clear messages to yourself that you are supported, able & ready.
That you are putting yourself first & you can calm down the nervous system so it feels ready.
2. MEDITATION / PRANAYAMA
Before the physical benefits of a prehab routine, practices like meditation and pranayama before surgery will help you cope with the extra mental stress of surgery.
All of my surgeries have required hospitalisation which have brought with them their own experience of interruption to my usual routines, along with unfamiliar experiences of intense pain, sleeplessness, loss of concept of time, and not to mention frequent interruptions from medical staff tasked with my care.
Meditation and pranayama have helped ease these stressors, and my experience has been to help enhance the parasympathetic nervous system which aids in recovery.
The quicker I learnt to tap into that, the quicker my body responded to healing – to stop fighting, to let go & surrender sooner.
Fear & logic dissipate when you allow yourself to be.
If you don’t have an active meditation practice, explore it before your operation if you’re gifted the luxury of time.
In hospital, I’ve also found that meditation apps can also be helpful because my ability to think clearly often disappears, so I’m not as resourceful as I would like to be in the initial stages of pain & recovery.
And you also have your own wisdom here to tune into if you’re in a place to be able to do this.
You & your body do already know & hold the answers.
You can also try a simple mantra based meditation using a phrase such as, “Balance & strength” or “I am whole”.
Practicing ‘chandra bhedana’ (left sided nostril breathing) can help to counter the inflammation & heat produced by surgery.
Additionally ‘nadi shodhana’ (alternate nostril breathing) is a great way to balance the body after any major stress.
In the past it’s been my mindset that has let me down the most, so over the years I’ve learn that a positive mental attitude & one of gratitude paves the road for a much speedier recovery.
Conscious awareness & choices here are essential to strip away any darkness & arrive almost to a place of blissed out nothingness.
Back to basics without any drama & that feeling of ‘it’s all going to be okay’ – trust this process.
No single diet plan has been shown to be the best as I’ve found the body will require different things to bring it back to great health & its own sense of balance.
However, a well-balanced wholefood diet with good sources of vitamins & minerals really does matter – they’re not just making this up when they say this!
I’ve personally found that vegetarian & even vegan diets are a lot safer around the time of surgery & a lot more gentle on the body – they are also less acidic bringing the body into a more alkaline state.
As long as I’ve had an adequate supply of protein which carry the amino acid fuel for rebuilding tissue after surgery, along with forming antibodies to fight infections & not to mention allowing synthesis of collagen which is necessary for scar formation, I’ve compounded my physical bodies ability to heal & when it’s happy alignment flows with so much ease.
Gone are the days as a teenager that the first thing I craved as soon as I was able to eat post surgery was hot chips & sauce!
Good protein sources include lean poultry, fish, seafood, nuts, legumes & seeds – not to mention a high quality plant based protein powder & bone broth.
No matter your food beliefs & what you eat, I believe a well-balanced diet featuring healthy foods should be the focus (and not just prior to or due to surgery), my experience with food is to let it by thy medicine.
Additionally, if you smoke, quit right now. Smoking significantly increases complications and impairs wound healing; quitting has huge positive benefits for recovery.
And yes, I know this because I did used to be a smoker!
And as obvious as it sounds, cut back on alcohol consumption, it tends to dramatically suppress the immune system – it slows things down & also from my experience simply gets in the way of all the good work.
Instead, try drinking purified water, hot lemon water, herbal teas, fresh vegetable juices or smoothies for additional micronutrients and an immunity boost.
I know, sounds boring to some of you right? But you’re body will honestly thank you for it – you will feel the difference.
4. MOVE – YET DON’T BE A MARTYR
My biggest yet less obvious tip after the operation that leads to recovery is to get moving.
Regular & consistent activity after surgery is important – even when your body is saying – ‘I’m in pain’, ‘I’m sore’ – if you are able to move then do it.
It helps strengthen your immune system, minimises further complications & definitely speeds up recovery.
I have learnt this when in a dazed state no matter what surgery procedure I’ve had, as most surgeons will always ask you to take a small walk the same day of my operation, there is a reason for this & no matter how many times I have believed I can’t, the benefits have far outweighed my thoughts.
Even if you’re unable to move start with meditation, pranayama & gentle restorative poses in your hospital bed right away.
Even simple movements such as circular movements of the ankle, arm, and neck will improve blood flow & jump-start the healing process.
The best movement of all post surgery however is bowel movement & I’ve learnt that if you’re not moving, then it ain’t moving!
My husband always says that if you’re not pooping than you’re dying anyhow!
In saying this though, I am a big believer that it’s important that you listen to your own body & gradually increase the level of activity that you can tolerate.
There is a time to be in complete surrender for healing to take place & a time to know what our bodies really need.
We’re way more resilient than we often realise, especially when we’re dealing with the pain of surgery & recovery as so much of it is attached to past trauma that hasn’t be released & mental conditioning that we’ve attached ourselves to.
I have learnt even when you think you can’t move, there is always a body part you can move – even if it’s your little finger or toe or even as simple yet powerful as our breath.
Allow your body to express movement – our bodies were designed to move.
I’ve also learnt that no surgeon can entirely erase the pain, not even with good pain meds or a PCA (patient-conrolled analgesia) pump machine!
So allow yourself the acceptance & knowing that coping with some pain is part of the healing process, but you want to minimise it as much as you can so that it doesn’t inhibit the healing process.
Depending on the surgery you have, you may have a specific rehab routine prescribed to you. However, many operations don’t come with a handbook of rehabilitation exercises & I’ve learnt that most surgeons don’t usually even take the time to explain them to you if they do.
Listen to your body & then listen again…it will guide you & tell you.
If you are having abdominal surgery with a traditional open incision, you’ll want to be especially careful. No deep twisting, large backbends, or focused core work for at least 4 weeks. If you have laparoscopic or robotic surgery, you may be able to restart your full practice sooner but talk to your surgeon & again always listen to your own bodies wisdom.
If you have joint or orthopaedic surgery, your rehabilitation plan and exercises should be prescribed. Make sure you get clearance from your surgeon before you commence your regular practices or go back to a group class, especially if it’s a more strenuous style.
If you practice yoga, your yoga teacher is also a great resource for ideas about safe poses and modifications for specific sequences. You might consider putting your yoga teacher and doctor in touch to consult each other on your surgery and a safe exercise plan.
Seek out the answers if you are unsure – they are always there for you.
But most of all, don’t be a martyr, life around you will go on, surrender, give yourself persmission to slow down.
Find new ways, it doesn’t have to be how you think it needs to be.
Stay connected to yourself first & foremost, you come first.
Stay connected to what speaks to your soul…your soul already knows.
Stay connected to your environment…stay grounded & present where you are.
Stay connected to your community that want to offer you love & support – allow them to.
I have done it all of the ways – ignoring my wisdom, ignoring my soul, wishing I was somewhere else, alone & as the martyr & also in complete opposite ways by staying connected to myself, my soul, my environment & to my tribe & community.
Stay connected…I urge you.
And if you can’t do any of those things for yourself then allow the power of community that stands beside you to shine a light for you.
So much more to be said about this one, but will perhaps reserve this for another time.
Let’s sum some of these up!
MY GENERAL BEST LIFE SURGICAL HACKS TO FOLLOW ARE:
- If it hurts, don’t do it (a little soreness is OK, pain is not)
- You’ll have some ups and downs, but should generally keep improving after surgery. If you’re not improving overall, this could be the first sign that something isn’t quite right & may be a little off which means you should talk to your surgeon as soon as you can – even if just to express your concerns so that all things are considered
- Don’t over exert yourself, but don’t be a sloth. Now is NOT a good time to binge on anything other than sleep or unless your body or soul asks for it – binge-eating or binge-watching Netflix I’ve learnt is not the best road to recovery. Trash in will always equal trash out. If you can’t do anything else to serve you, as at times I’ve felt fed up with myself in this state, then a gentle walk is still my greatest solution after any operation – energy creates energy.
- Nutrition matters…a lot…way more than most people think. Eating nutritious foods helps your body heal and improves your immune system as your body recovers – it also acts as fuel for a clearer mind – clearer mind leads to more empowering, clearer & healing thoughts
- Everyone’s recovery is different – be kind to yourself & find your way – plus every form of activity or exercise has its own risks. Listen to your body and respect the healing process. Personalised advice from your medical & health professionals/team is a great way to ensure you’re on the right path & again, pause & tap into your own wisdom – you’ll be surprised as to what you already know to be true
- If it doesn’t feel right – it most probably isn’t
- And over time, I have learnt…when you’re not moving, then be sleeping & also allow your community to support you in all the ways they desire as I used to push this away Thank YOU so much to those beautiful souls who have journeyed with me & blessed my recovery path – I will always be grateful to you
I have approached each of my surgeries in so many different ways given my level of knowledge, experience & wisdom at the time – which has allowed me to truly assess the outcome of each decision I’ve made.
Common sense does go a long way, but I’ve learnt that unless you stay tuned in to your wisdom (which is not always easy when you are in pain or you are facing something for the first time) then you can find yourself sometimes way off track.
This year, as I feel so compelled to do, I will be sharing more on best life health & wellbeing hacks, because I truly believe that it’s the key to the quality of best life living we will live – no matter who we are, or what we do.
I also now know that after 34 times under the knife that this is what I’m meant to do.
Please know that you might not seemingly consciously choose your surgery, but I believe it chooses you, and generally for some very good reason.
May some of what I shared assist you to speed your recovery, heal well & reduce any complications, and always stay alert to the gift within the storm – I’ve learnt that it’s always there, even if it appears to be hiding.
Or perhaps its been there all along simply waiting for us to awaken?
With eyes wide open, heart expanded & my soul happy dancing…
I continue to heal…
Let’s continue this dance together…
Yours in BEST LIFE LIVING…