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Electing for surgery during Covid-19

It may seem totally insane to be looking forward to having surgery in the middle of a pandemic, but here I am completely aligned with the idea of going under the knife today.

You may be wondering if it’s medically necessary. Yes, it is, although I suspect that I would be fine waiting a few more months for when, or if, the pandemic is a little less worrisome.

So why then, am I okay with undergoing anesthesia, slicing, and stitches during a time when everyone else is afraid to even step foot into a hospital parking lot? Why would I want to leave with the scars?

Because I need a break... and somehow it feels safer to take a break for the scars that are visible than it is for the ones no one can see.

These last couple of months of sheltering-in-place, while working from home with two young children, balancing a job, and processing all the ‘what-ifs’ from deadly virus (but perhaps not as deadly as we thought depending upon which news channel you follow) to the economic crisis, I am exhausted. My heart hurts and when my heart hurts the pain in the rest of my body seems to amplify.

Am I somewhat nervous about putting myself in a situation in which I could ultimately bring home a deadly virus? To some degree, yes. But honestly, the thought of someone else taking care of me for a few days seems worth the risk. To lay it all down and just rest for a day or two, feels worth it.

Grinding through, day after day while delicately balancing my professionalism with my mental health is overwhelming. I feel we are all of the edge of something extraordinary, cracking open to something new, but this breaking open to leave behind what once was and step into something new can sometimes feel draining.

I'm not sure about other corporate environments, but it seems we pretend as if everything is just business as usual in most corporate environments. But in one-on-one conversations, it’s a different story. I am hearing the deepest fears and heartbreak that each person is feeling. At the end of every conversation, I am told: “please don’t share this with anyone else at work.”

Why? When will we show vulnerability in the workforce? When will we begin to bring our whole selves to work? If we can’t be honest about how we are feeling during a pandemic that impacts us all in one way or another, then when?

I am asking myself that as much as I am anyone else. I mean, here I am, willing to be hospitalized and enduring weeks of recovery so that the break is well justified, instead of simply standing up for my mental well-being. The story I am telling myself is that surgery feels safer but saying that I feel like I am emotionally struggling doesn't feel like a viable option. Especially when so many people are desperate for work right now.

So why share this story? I want others out there to know if you are nervous to stand up for your mental health you’re not alone. Maybe now is the perfect time to begin these conversations. Just because the scars you bear can’t be seen it doesn’t imply they don’t matter. They matter oftentimes more than the visible ones. And YOU matter. So, as I venture into surgery now, I am breathing deeply for all women… breathing in wholeness, love, and compassion… and exhaling all that no longer serves any of us.



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