And it is gone. (I still feel like I should have given it some kind of name…it has been with me for so many years!)
It’s been a long couple of days for me.
About 15 years ago, I developed a lipoma right across the middle of my back. (It was a little closer to the right side than the left.) (Lipomas are common in people with lipedema and lymphedema.)
In those earlier years, it wasn’t painful, just more irritating- I looked like I had a weird lump under my clothing. I can’t tell you how many folks would place their hand on my back, feel it and ask what it was.
It grew to the current size within that first year. Various doctors would see it and tell me I could have it removed if it became problematic.
Over time, it did become sore. This last few years, I have had a weird tingling in my arms and hands. It actually felt like it had become so large, I could feel it through the wall of my chest.
If I was stressed, it would become hard and stand off my back even more! It would make my shoulders and my entire back hurt.
Being that I have spent 2017 taking care of myself a little better and saying goodbye to so many things that were just not good for me, it was definitely time to visit a surgeon.
Fast forwarding to the fall of this year, I couldn’t seem to find time. I did have the surgery scheduled once. Paul ended up having to travel, which worked out since Courtney also ended up needing me that week, (the Lord’s timing is always *SO* perfect since if I had had the surgery then, I couldn’t have been available for Courtney).
I ended up scheduling for the day after Christmas. That was the only time Paul would be home for a few days to help (try changing the dressing on a surgical site that is on your back by yourself!). Besides, with the Christmas holidays, my mind was definitely more focused on other things, which was nice.
What is it about an impending procedure like this that makes you think through your entire life? There are so many things I want those I love to know, things I want to say, questions I want to ask- I don’t know, surgery is a big deal. I guess I was feeling stressed over leaving so many things undone.
I didn’t sleep the night before my surgery. I actually ended up getting sick in the middle of the night and then found it difficult to go back to sleep. When I did eventually drift off, I dreamed Paul had woke me up at 10 am apologizing for his alarm having not gone off. It was a crazy rush to jump up, get dressed and call the doctor.
In the end, I realized it was a dream and finally fell back asleep. Paul woke me up abruptly at 4:30! I had to be at the hospital at 5 and they had given me clear instructions to shower before I came. That is probably one of the speediest showers I have ever taken! We were only about 4 minutes late. Paul realized at some point he had his alarm set for Wednesday morning, instead of Tuesday. Maybe the Lord was trying to prompt me so that I wouldn’t oversleep and miss the date?
The surgery center was great. We used a small local hospital. It has honestly been a great experience every time we have gone. After a small wait, we were taken over to my room. Paul stayed outside while I changed, they started my IV and I spoke with anesthesia. It was only about a half hour afterward that they rolled me into surgery and I don’t remember a whole lot after that.
My back has been hurting quite a bit and the medication they sent me home on has been stronger than I can tolerate. I’m back to Motrin and resting.
Courtney brought potato soup for dinner that first night which felt so good on this *very* sore throat (breathing tubes are no fun!).
This morning was my first dressing change. They sent me home with a pressure dressing. Paul said the incision site looks good, from what he can tell. I’m supposed to go back to the doctor on January 2nd.
I can immediately tell I’m not experiencing the pain in my chest or arms. I can breathe better when I’m lying down. My chest feels so odd and light- almost like I can feel the vacancy in my back through my chest?
The surgeon told us that the tumor he removed as almost 4” across. It was more slightly more vascular than he was expecting.
So that is my surgery story for 2017. The Lord willing, this will just be a very distant memory in the months to come.
Today I Am Thankful For:
- Not having to think about this lipoma ever again.
- Some of my older children who have shown me so much love while I have most needed it.
- My husband who absolutely blesses me each and every day by working hard to support our family and take care of me. He is my best friend. He stands by me when I need him most.
- Friends who have reached out to see how they can help while I’m recovering (I can lift nothing for the next couple of months which is interesting for a momma with this many littles!)
- My Lord who comforts hurting hearts and encourages those who are weary. I’m thankful for the path I’m walking. I’m thankful for the places He is leading.