What I Want to Say to Any Teen Who May have to Deal with Surgery

Today's post is deeply personal. It will not feature any gifs or goofy pics. It will not be full of quips, and it may not seem very in character for me.

But it is something that's been on my heart for a long time, something that needs to be said. And I want to say it.

Earlier this year, I had to have a (cosmetic, mostly) surgery. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that it was mildly terrifying and definitely a bit more than any teen should have to go through. The thought that others will have to endure the same or similar situations hurts my heart. The number of moments I endured in the moments when I had no clue what was wrong with me, the breaking down in the doctor's office, the moments when I just wanted my mom to hold me while I cried, the times when I could do nothing more than hold my Bible open in my lap and cry-- all of this is part of me now. And it was excruciating. The aftermath has been rather stop-and-go, with moments where I feel like a new person and moments where someone says something that sends me plummeting back to the depths. But things are getting better.

And I want- no, I need -to share the things that I wish I'd known beforehand, the things that would have made it better. Some of them I knew. Some of them the doctors said, some of them my parents said, but always it would have been better to hear from someone who had been through it before, "It gets better. I promise. You're going to be okay. And you're okay now."

So, here it is. A list of things that I wish someone who'd walked the road had said to me, and that I want to say to you, girl or boy facing surgery, now.

It's okay to cry. A lot. People may look at you, but they are not judging you. 


Your parents have your best interests at heart. They want you to be better.

Even if you have the best doctor in the world, you will most likely be misdiagnosed at least once. 

They will tell you all of the options, from the most unlikely to the one that they suspect. Some of those options will be terrifying. Just because someone uses the word cancer doesn't mean that's what you have. 


Your friends, if they're real, true friends, will care about you. They want to know what you're going through. Talk to them about what's happening. 


If you can trust people, and know that they love you and care about you, don't go telling the whole word what's happening. If someone asks, tell them the bare minimum. Don't scream to the world that you're having surgery. 

Your Bible and prayer are your greatest companion in this time. Do not neglect them just because you're feeling dark.


Do things for you. Things that will make you feel better. Splurge on that movie you want to see. Not because of YOLO or anything like that. Spend time with your family. Go out with your friends, if you're not bedridden. This doesn't have to control your life.


When you have your surgery, you will not be able to eat. This will happen more than once, most likely. It will not be as bad as you think. 


Showing your body to doctors and nurses will always be uncomfortable, but it will get less so as time goes on. You won't want to do it, and it will be embarrassing and make you cry the first couple of times. But then it will grow easier. You might still hate it. But the mortification goes away. 

Your doctors want to help you. Trust them. 

Listen to uplifting music. 


Don't neglect your school work. 


That being said, your friends (the ones you can trust, the ones you're telling everything to) will understand if you just can't get out one day. If you need time to yourself. 


Hold on to hope.


NEVER LET GO OF HOPE.

You matter. And just because you have a medical problem does not make you any less valuable. 


no one thinks you're weird or gross or skipping school on purpose


Don't read Les Miserables at the same time as trying to diagnose your medical condition. Please. I beg you. Even if you considered it at one point. It's a great book, but it will not help.

It's okay to think about things that don't matter. Live your life, honey. Don't let this take over.


You're going to be okay. 



So, I hope this post wasn't too depressing/irrelevant. I don't usually ask for shares on my posts, but if you know someone this could be helpful to, or just feel like it would be helpful to someone in your life... please share. As I said, I want people to see this, and take encouragement from it. Thanks for reading :)

Comments

  1. I relate to this post. I didn't go through a surgery, exactly, but I went through a medical procedure because something was off (I can't really explain it because of privacy details) but I do agree that we need hope in these times and that you won't be able to eat certain times-- usually they'd let you eat after the procedure, though. Thank you for being strong enough to share this.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. Yeah. I was mostly referring to the part where you're not allowed to eat before the surgery when I said that, but there are also the times when you just kind of can't get the food down. I'm so sorry you had to go through that :(

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  2. I've had 2 oral surgeries, which are no picnic. The fears that you outlined in this post are real, even for minor surgeries like mine. I remember being terrified going into my first oral surgery - they had to put me under, which means I got the heart monitor and everything - the only thing that calmed me down was praying part of my Rosary and realizing that this surgery was necessary first step to correcting my teeth. If I had read something like this when I was going through that, I probably would've felt much calmer going into surgery.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. I actually have to have oral surgery in a couple months for the same reason, so this post and comment are very helpful. <3

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    2. Same here, Josie! I'm getting an oral surgery next month because I have an impacted molar.

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    3. Oral surgery is awful. I've had one, plus two tooth pullings, one of which involved four teeth out at once. Like you said, it's no picnic. :)

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  3. I've never had a big surgery. I had a cavity once and because of panic, I had to go to a different dentist. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink. I had to take some odd medicine, which I ended up throwing up and then had to be put on loopy gas. (The dentist was nice, though.)

    Second time was for tooth extractions. I needed braces and they needed to remove two teeth. I didn't go under, but it was still hard and scary.

    I don't know exactly why you needed surgery, but I pray everything is okay. This post is definitely important for those who are scared.

    God bless you!
    <3

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. Tooth extractions are the worst. I don't like loopy gas, they're awful.

      I'm doing so much better now. Thank you, Ivie. :)

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  4. This was beautiful and had heart, it was advice filled with care and love. I have never had a surgery but as a girl who has gone through scary medical situations and also one who struggles with anxiety this is like a requiem and a peaceful antidote to the thoughts that still continue to plague me. <3 Thank you Faith, never hesitate to ask for prayers if you need them..for any reason. I know it's tough to even ask or open up sometimes, but I would pray for you any day because I know how tough this is, I know that even though physically it may be resolved that inside those worries continue.
    God Bless Faith and thank you so much <3

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    1. I'm so sorry that you have anxiety :( Praying for you, Anna. It can be so hard, and I hate talking to people about it, but my goal is to help others in situations similar to mine.

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  5. As someone who had major eye problems as a kid leading to three eye surgeries and made me a bit behind in learning and hand-eye-coordination, I can completely relate to this post, thank you. I'm also getting surgery again next month, but this time an oral surgery because I have an impacted molar, I am at peace though, thankfully, and this post seconds my feelings of calmness.

    I don't know why you needed surgery, but I know it's tough recovering and feeling normal again and forgetting the less pleasant memories of it, and I'll be praying for you, my friend. You are so strong, and our Lord makes you even stronger. You aren't alone.

    Thank you from writing this post from your heart, I can't express how much this blessed me.

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    1. I'm glad you're calm. God will be with you, keeping you steady.
      <3
      God bless you!

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    2. If they put you under it may go better :P I've never actually gone under for an oral surgery, but the last time I had to get one it was terrible. The dentist didn't even tip my seat down all the way and I passed out twice. It was mildly awful.

      Thank you, Gray. :)

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  6. Sheesh. I've been terrified of ever having to have surgery or being hospitalized because of sickness. I dread the thought of ever having to be "put under". I really have never had to do that, but it still scares me.
    I don't know why you had to have surgery, but I'm praying that you'll never have to have another. I know God would be with me and he'll comfort me everywhere I go. I have no worries of being alone. I can't imagine having that stuff done without him.
    That terrified feeling of dread that forms when you start to think something is seriously wrong, is something that no one should have. It's a scary feeling.
    Whenever I start to feel scared about surgery or anything like that, I think of others have have had many surgeries. If they can do it, I can do it. Plus, I have a friend who will always be by my side if no one else is. :)

    John 14:27—Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

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    1. It's honestly not as bad as you might think, although I have needle phobia and that made things difficult :P

      I pray so too :) It stinks, it really does.

      Thanks for the verse. That's super comforting.

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    2. I hate needles with a passion. *cringe*
      Thanks for the encouragement. If I ever have to have surgery, I'll look back on this post. :) And, you're welcome for the verse. it comforts me as well. :)
      I saw what you said about coming closer to God because of the surgeries and everything. Even the roughest of problems, God works together for good. It's confusing at the time on why it's happening and why God would let you go through it, but later on, it all comes together. Depression was my problem for so long, but now I know how to fight it, and it's a fight I know I'm going to win. It may feel like it's overtaking me at times and those times will come, but I know how to stand against it now.

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  7. As someone, who had to have a surgery that is usually cosmetic, but I had to have it for medical reasons. This would've been such a helpful post at the time, when I was having it. I think this could really help someone.

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    1. The same thing happened to me - normally the surgery I got would have been elective and cosmetic, but I had a real problem that prompted me to have to get it. That was my goal in writing it :)

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  8. Faith, this is just...such a touching post. I am SO sorry you had to go through something like this! That absolutely breaks my heart. But it's so precious how you're using your experiences to help others!

    I've actually had major open heart surgery, but I was literally only one years old, so I of course have no memory of it. But it was pretty traumatic for my parents. BUT, what I do experience now and always have and always will is health problems. I have a leak in my heart and will just never be as healthy as the average human. And I have to go to the doctor a lot, and just deal with things. So I felt like I could somewhat relate to this post because I know what it's like to feel different and have to take it easy and be kind to myself, even when a lot of people may not understand WHY. Having health problems can be a lonely life sometimes. But then there are people like you who encourage and support everyone, and it's such a beautiful thing.

    So all that babbling to say, THANK YOU for this post. It is a much needed one for so many I know.

    I do so hope you're doing well. *HUGS*

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    1. Aw, I'll be praying for you, Christine. <3 I'm sorry you have that problem. :\
      I'm confused on why these things happen to people, but I have to remind myself that God's thoughts are greater than my own. He lets things happen sometimes, but some of that is a result of free will. (Things like murders, etc.) Anyway, I just want you to know that I'm praying for you. *hugs*

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    2. That means so much to me! THANK YOU! *hugs back*

      And yes, sometimes it's hard to understand why these things happen. But I've grown SO much in Christ because of my health issues that, honestly, I don't think I'd have it any other way. Yes, I often wish I was healthy, but I don't know if I'd want to trade that for the things I've learned through the struggles. Hardships can often be beautiful. ^_^

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    3. You're welcome! <3

      "Hardships can often be beautiful."—Yes! I know that this year's been pretty rough, but I've grown closer to Christ than I ever have. I've learned so much. So, yes, hardships can be beautiful AND life changing.

      Romans 8:28— And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

      I know, I'll pray that you won't be hurting and that you'll get closer to God through this. ;) God bless you, Christine!

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    4. CHRISTINE. I knew you had health issues, but... wow. I'm definitely praying for you. That's huge. I'm so sorry :(

      But as you said, I wouldn't trade away having to have this surgery now that I look back on it. If you'd asked me in the middle of it, I would so totally have given it up in a heartbeat, but when I look at how much closer I am to God because of it... I wouldn't lose that. It hurts, but it's worth it.

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  9. I'm so sorry that you had to got through that! I've never had a major surgery, but I've had some teeth taken out before. (Because of crowding - NOT because of cavities or anything.) I've also had blood drawn, and just THAT made me freak out a little.

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    1. Yeah- I have needle phobia, and that made getting my blood drawn and getting IVs and stuff like that a nightmare. :( Thanks :)

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    2. I kind of wondered if I did because I was breathing heavily and got really sick to my stomach when I saw the needle. My older cousin has needle phobia, as well.
      You're welcome! <3

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  10. I haven't gone through anything horrible like surgery. The most I've gone through is getting braces put on. It's a silly thing compared to what you went through. This post...so encouraging. I have no words. I hope someone who really needs this, finds it. Thank you for sharing this. <3

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    1. I had braces too, and they're no picnic XD The spacers... agony.

      I hope so too.

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  11. Thanks for sharing. You're very brave to put your emotions out there like this. Full disclosure: I started tearing up while reading (very rare!) I'll be praying that this post will reach the people it needs to.
    God Bless!
    Brianna Adara

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    1. Oh, Brianna. That makes me simultaneously sad and happy. I'm glad it was encouraging to you.

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  12. Aw, surgery can be a really scary thing. Thank you for sharing this! :)

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  13. Good post! This is something that people don't really talk about but is definitely important. I had surgery on my thumb two years ago because I tore a ligament, and that wasn't so bad... it didn't really bother me because I had spent a lot of time in hospitals growing up because of problems with my eyes and my stomach. But after my thumb surgery, I was diagnosed--well, more accurately, I WASN'T diagnosed except for some fake diagnoses, but I got very sick and I still am sick. The doctor visits and x-rays and brain MRI's have thankfully slowed down this summer, but it was hard. So thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. I'm so glad this helped you, Hailey :) that's my goal with this post. I'm so sorry for the misdiagnoses. They're the worst. I'll be praying for you.

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