How this Canberra woman is flipping the script on five Open-Heart Surgeries | HerCanberra

Everything you need to know about canberra. ONE DESTINATION.

How this Canberra woman is flipping the script on five Open-Heart Surgeries

Posted on

I couldn’t believe it. I was utterly numb and shell-shocked. It was 2016 and I was barely holding onto my phone staring at an email.

I needed my fifth open heart surgery at 33 years old.

Then came the flood of memories of the four other surgeries, the umpteen catheters, the hospital stays, and the recovery. I collapsed into a sobbing mess.

Logically, I knew I needed the surgery to stay alive and have any kind of life. But I couldn’t bear the thought of what I’d have to go through to get there, yet again.

I remembered all too vividly the long dark days waiting for my last surgery at 21. I remembered being overwhelmed trying to figure out how I was going to pay my bills. Fumbling my way through sorting my leave and uni, not knowing what I was even entitled to.

I remembered waking up after surgery and being so disorientated that I told my family to ‘piss off’. The distress continued when I got home and realised we’d forgotten some of the medication, spending hours to get it sorted. I was so confused about what I could and couldn’t do – like driving, chores and even sex.

Safe to say I was overwhelmed and thoroughly terrified. I never wanted another surgery. Ever!

But that wasn’t the reality I lived in.

After I really wallowed and swam around in my feelings, I gathered whatever crumbs of courage I had and scoured the internet desperately for a guide, for help, for something. Anything, that would give me inspiration and practical ways to tackle this.

After days of going round in circles not finding anything that resonated, it finally dawned on me. I already knew way more than all these fact sheets combined! I had already lived it. I had already survived it four times over!

I knew exactly what to expect. I knew all the aspects of my life that this surgery would impact. I knew I’d done it four other times and my life was better after each one.

So, I dug deep and decided to approach this surgery with practicality and purpose to make it my best surgery ever.

I made my mindset my number one priority, connecting with a mental health professional who really understood. My family pitched in without a fuss­ – it wasn’t their first surgery either. But for my husband and me, it was our first, so heartfelt discussions united us.

I made the tough call and put my health first, taking a break from my dream job. I researched and planned for everything. When I walked into the hospital, I was scared, but ready to face surgery.

Elle in 2016, Post Open-Heart Surgery number five. Image supplied.

When I woke up from surgery my prep helped me cope better. I’m proud to say that I didn’t tell my family to piss-off. And as soon as I could, I played my favourite songs and let my mind wander with meditation.

When it was time to leave, I had my questions ready – including the sex question. I left with clarity, but still managed to forget one pain med (oops!). Rehab was also game-changer at Canberra Hospital.

All my planning paid off. Within six months, I was hiking in Hawaii, working back in my dream job, and living my best life. I had succeeded in having my best surgery ever.

It proved to me that by shifting your mindset and being super practical you can do ANYTHING.

Post-surgery, I thought about how fortunate I was to have my experience to lean on to make my surgery so successful. I then became determined to make sure no one ever had to go through major surgery without a guide – so determined that I wrote the blog ‘Open Heart Surgery – Tips n tricks from a pro’ which went viral, helping thousands. But as I spoke to the hundreds of people who reached out, I realised that it just touched the tip of the iceberg.

So, once again, I decided to do it myself and penned a book – ‘Your Ultimate Surgery Success Guide’.

It’s by far the most comprehensive, practical, and relatable resource package ever made for Aussies – a must-have for anyone having major surgery and it’s available now.

I hope that for everyone, their next surgery is their best surgery.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

© 2024 HerCanberra. All rights reserved. Legal.
Site by Coordinate.