A Hope Chest of Light Keeping

My Madeline Moment

I never understood the phrase “Your body is smarter than your brain” until I became an adult. In the past five years alone I have learned that lesson hundreds of times over. How sleep and rest are different. How hunger and loneliness can feel like the same thing and are somehow tied. How joy and tears link. How heartbreak makes you sick. How new love makes you manic. How death and moving literally and physically can make you ill in turn.

Last week I had my appendix out. I awoke at 12:00am on Tuesday to a tightness in my belly that moved to the right side of my body over a few hours, like a belt tightening slowly against my organs. I was admitted to the ER at 5:30am after moaning the whole way in the car as my parents sped me the 10 minutes to the hospital. I was surprised at how delicate and strong my body was. I was surprised at how quickly morphine worked. At how the port in my arm to hold my IV hurt. How the nurses literally made me feel better. How the iodine for the CTscan was cold. How the doctor’s firm gaze made me feel safe.

I had never been under anesthesia before. I have always been afraid of ‘going under’ and I am grateful and happy to say it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure the surgery was laparoscopic and on the scale of fear-this one was not life threatening. But when they are strapping you down to the table with your arms apart, christ like, it’s hard not to feel a little like a lab rat.

In that moment, staring up at the operating lamps above me (and wow were they holographic and beautiful), with four nurses and an anesthesiologist at my side; I couldn’t help but give myself over completely to the experience and hope for the best. There was no fear in that moment, no hesitation about what to do, or how to do it. I just opened my arms and trusted that I would be ok, if that wasn’t in the cards that was out of my hands anyway. So I just closed my eyes and leap (figuratively).

So much of this year has been about trusting the leap. So much of this year has been about trusting my body. So much of this year has been learning to give over to goodness and fear. And listening, so much listening.

(P.S. I am sore but that’s all. Medicine is magic.)

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