I was reminded recently that so many people say they totally understand what you’re going through, or know exactly how you feel, but as they’ve never ‘walked in my shoes’, they can’t possibly really understand how I feel.
I was reminded of this when someone who had the same major heart surgery as I had 15 months ago, shared their experience in a forum I follow. Here’s what they had to say.
Several years ago I had a lumpectomy. It was terrifying but all turned out fine. A few years later I had a dear friend that went for a biopsy. We were talking and I said, “I know it is scary but try to stay calm until you know you have something to really worry about”. She turned and said, “easy for you to say, you have never been through this” I replied, “yes I went through all of this, and had open heart surgery to replace my valve”. “When did you have that, why don’t I remember it” she asked – “Well my friend, you don’t remember because it was my heart and not yours. And because everything turned out ok, and I’m now feeling and looking better than I have in years”.
I’m reminded that until someone walks in your shoes they will never completely understand.
Open heart surgery may be “textbook” but for those of us that has experienced it, it is definitely NOT textbook. There are days I don’t even feel like getting out of bed because of the side effects of meds, I put on so much fakeness it’s not even funny! And the stuff with people I use to could tolerate, I just can’t anymore. I just think folks are scared to talk about it.
Open heart surgery may be routine these days, in terms of how often surgeons performs these operations, but to the person who goes through it, I can confirm it is definitely not routine!
It’s now over 15 months since I had open heart surgery to fix one of the heart issues I was born with, but my life has never been he same since my op. Yes I now feel much better than I did prior to my op, but life is very different now both physically and emotionally. For that reason, unless you’ve actually had this surgery you cannot possibly understand what I’ve been through and what I continue to go through. Just as the person who post edthe above quote said, I too find that just because I’ve had my op and am back at work and trying to get on with life again, many seems to have completely forgotten what I’ve been through as it’s now in the past.
The op itself may be in my past but I will forever have to deal with the ongoing physical and emotional affects of both the surgery, and congenital heart problems.