Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Control...Or Not

I guess if we let it, life can be an on-going lesson about something, can't it?  I had an interesting learning experience following my appendectomy (see previous post) that was rather revealing to me--about myself.

First of all, the somewhat-emergency appendectomy was the first surgery I've ever had--except for the tonsillectomy I had at age 3, and needless to say, I don't remember much about that experience.  (Though I do have a few very vivd memories that would make a good post for another day...)  Throw in a couple of dental procedures that involved that nasty gas, and that is the sum total of my experience with anesthesia.

After I came home from the hospital and slowly turned back into a person again, I began to realize there were many holes in my memory from the experience that began in the emergency room and ended in the operating room and later, a hospital room.  For beginners, I didn't know what took place in my home not long after the adventure all began.  When I began getting sick that Friday evening, we didn't know how serious an issue we were dealing with, so I started out by going to our after-hours clinic at the hospital.  Mark didn't want me driving myself, so he and the kids dropped me off, and he returned home with the kids--to either await my call to return and pick me up, or make arrangements for someone to stay with the kids so he could join me at the clinic.  One exam led to another, and one test led to another, and following a few text messages and phone conversations, I was moved from the clinic to the ER and then Mark was by my side.  After that, things got a bit crazy as we were told I needed my appendix removed, and we needed to decide what hospital we would go to (our small town hospital doesn't do appendectomies and such), and here, we'll give you some medicine that will make your transport more comfortable, and...what about my kids?  Who will take care of my kids?  (insert dreamy music as my head begins floating through La La Land as the drugs take effect)

As I began replaying all of this in my head while recovering, more holes became apparent.  Did I say goodbye to Mark and my parents as they wheeled me into surgery?  For that matter, when did they even put me to sleep?  I didn't even remember the trip down hall, much less going into surgery.  What did Mark do/think while I was in surgery?  What about after the surgery--when did Mark first get to see me?  Was I in recovery or back in my room?  It began to really bother me when I couldn't remember what had happened or realized that things happened as I was under the influence of anesthesia and other drugs that I was not aware of.  I felt a need to get answers and fill in these holes before I could be at peace with the whole experience.  I needed to get all the pieces to this puzzle in front of me so I could get it all put together and be able to take in the whole experience.

That was such an odd thing for me--to have so many things that were involved with that weekend that I did not remember or know what had gone on.  And that doesn't even take into account the time I was away from my kids and they were in the care of hands besides mine.  What were they thinking during all of this?  Were they ever scared?  (There isn't much that hurts my heart more than to think or know that one of my kids is scared.)  What did they eat?  Who did they play with?

For several days that following week, I was constantly asking Mark and the kids questions so I could get this all figured out.  I finally realized...this is the controlling part of me!  I don't like to admit that!!  But I really like it when I know what is going on now and what is going to go on in the future and how it is going to go on and...I just like to have a sense of control.

I've grown a lot in this area over the past few years, and I really do believe I have a healthy desire for control and order combined with an intense trust in the One who is really in control of it all.  I wasn't frantic about figuring everything out...but I certainly wanted to learn what I didn't remember or know about all that had taken place.

When it was all said and done, I came to terms with the fact that I may not have been prepared for all that went on, and I was in control of very little of what went on.  But NONE of it was out of the control of the One who has EVERYTHING under control, all of the time.

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