Recovering from Surgery | Personal

Recovering from Surgery

This Christmas was a strange one for me. The month of December was our busiest yet, but not because we agreed to lots of holiday parties and extra things that we regretted later. It was a series of unavoidable events, from a wedding to a trip to Texas and my sister's college graduation. While we loved each one for different reasons, it was all a little too much - especially with a 6-month old baby and the prospect of my tonsillectomy looming the day after Christmas.

Because I had surgery the next day, our holiday felt very short, but it was the best time to schedule what my surgeon told me would be 'two weeks of misery.' My mom and mother-in-law both had some time off, Nathan could take some vacation after the holidays, and my next wedding would happen just over a month later. I just knew I would be up and mostly back to normal in a week anyway, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal...

...little did I know just how arduous the recovery would be. My shoulder surgery a few years ago was a much harder procedure and derailed my life for months upon months, but I did not expect a 'simple' tonsillectomy to set me back as much as it did. I am used to going outside in cold weather, running 15-20 miles per week, and handling a baby along with a business, but all of that was cast aside in the weeks after surgery. The recovery was slow, incredibly painful, and seemed to go backward at times, which was more than frustrating.

The worst part of recovery was the unexpected pain. I knew my throat would hurt, but what I didn't know is that for some people (including myself!) referred pain in the ears is actually worse than what's in the throat, and can't be treated with medicine. This pain would wake me up all night, completely incapacitate me, and was totally unavoidable. Poor Nathan would sometimes open his eyes to see me holding my ears, trying not to sob, unable to answer even basic questions about how he could help me - because, really, he couldn't.

Coming out of the fog was slow, and there was nothing I could do to speed up my recovery. Thankfully this all landed during the two coldest weeks of the year and even if I had enough energy to go outside it would have been unpleasant for all of us. My mom and mother-in-law both sacrificed their precious time to help me out. Nathan was Superman, taking care of Willow and me at the same time, placing no expectations on me besides resting. I am forever grateful to each of them - and my community that brought me iced coffee, flowers, meals, and cheer - to get me through such a difficult time.

I have had this blog post scheduled for awhile, thinking that by the time I hit publish I would be 100% better. I can say with certainty that I am not - but I am getting there. If I have been silent on social media, if I have taken much longer than normal to answer emails and text messages, this is why. In the midst of it all, we have been packing up our house because - guess what?! - we are moving next week! To say this winter is insane is an understatement.

But, as always, I want to end with a note of gratitude. I am so thankful I was able to have this surgery and avoid more strep throat, which I consistently catch multiple times per year. I am grateful for insurance and the means to pay for it, and a job that lets me ease back into work as slowly as I need to. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am beyond thankful for each person who has helped with my recovery, whether in practical ways or prayer or both. And, in a few days or weeks - or however long it takes - I'll be ever so thankful to swallow without pain, sleep through the night, go on a run, and finally enjoy healing at 100%.

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.