The patient.

I had known for a while that I had fibroids. I found out quite by accident . . . well maybe an accident for me but perhaps the providence of God. My regular doctor was on annual leave so I went to a different physician. When I was leaving he asked me if I had fibroids. I was surprised by his question and answered that I wasn’t aware of having any. He asked if he could examine me. Naturally I agreed. After a quick examination he said he felt positive that I had them and asked that I follow up with a scan.

Not having any medical background, I did freak out! I called the one person I knew who would be able to tell me everything I needed to know. My bestie gave me the rundown of fibroids 101. I was happy that I wasn’t about to die! Due to the fact that they were not causing any havoc like it does with many women, I decided against surgery. This all took place way before I met him.

After trying for a baby for a few months we went to see a gynaecologist to determine what might be wrong. The problem was that by this time my fibroids were so huge that there just wasn’t enough space for them and a fetus to grow. The only option was surgery.

As the time drew nearer for surgery he changed. He was quite withdrawn. I had seen and was used to varying sides of him, but this was different. It puzzled me. One morning when we awoke I asked “Are you ok? What’s been on your mind lately?” He looked at me but seemed reluctant to answer. “Is it about my surgery? Are you worried?” He nodded in the affirmative. Well that was a surprise. I said there was no point worrying. Firstly, one of the best doctors would be performing the procedure but ultimately God was in control. I explained that it was pretty much a standard operation. He asked if I was afraid. I realised that what he really meant was if I was concerned about dying in theatre. “No.” I replied.

He said there was something else he was uneasy about . . . my after care. How was he supposed to look after me? Would I be expecting him to take time off work? I was such a fragile person that I would take longer than most women to recover and get back on my feet. When you are married to a toxic person you keep telling yourself that your defence wall is impenetrable. That’s probably the biggest myth. “Don’t worry about it. I have parents who are more than able and willing to look after me” I said. During the course of that week we went back and forth on the issue. He didn’t like the idea of having to care for me but equally hated the idea of my staying by my folks because it would reflect badly on him. I prayed. I told God I needed a miracle. I didn’t want to be at his mercy and I certainly didn’t want his pity.

I don’t remember much about the first two days after my op. I do remember when the nurse said I had to try walking. PANIC STATIONS, RED ALERT! Laying in bed had worked out fine so far. I wasn’t going anywhere. My hospital bed was my new best friend. The dilemma is you can’t disobey Mother Nature. She came calling. I really did try to ignore her, but she always wins! The embarrassment of having an accident on the bed overrode the fear of pain. The nurse returned. “We removed your catheter, so you have to get up at some point”. Did anyone ask me if I wanted it removed? Sigh. I followed her directions to shuffle a little further down the bed, sit up, then swing my legs over the ground. I looked up at her just before standing on my feet. Here goes nothing, ok God, let’s do this. I stood and straightened up. She smiled at me. I took a step. I smiled. Thank you God! All I felt was a little muscular ache such as you might have after resuming exercising after a while. He granted me my miracle!

Everyday I pushed myself (safely, Bestie had warned me about my recovery process) until I was completely independent again. Relying on people who love you is a humbling experience. Having to depend on your abuser is another matter altogether. It is very unsettling. I thanked God that though he voiced his reluctance and reservations about being my caregiver pre-surgery, post-surgery he did his duty and kept his toxicity to himself. I know he was incapable of the latter, I know it was all God. Healing after surgery is as much emotional as it is physical. God restored me, after all He is The Great Physician right? “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for you are my praise” Jeremiah 17:14 KJV.

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