Secrets we don’t share…

Poinsettia re-planted in snow

I have been thinking about the things we don’t share.

We all know what we share.

We share about good things, happy things, pondering things, challenging things…but what don’t we share?

More patterns. Who knows what this is?

It’s always interesting to look at what we don’t share.  To look more closely and determine why we’re not sharing.  Do we think it’s no one’s business?  Do we want to keep certain parts of our life private?  Are we ashamed?  Guilty?  Protective of boundaries?  Wise?  Astute? 

I haven’t been perfectly honest with all of you blog readers this month. 

Time for confession. 

Lean close.

I shall tell a secret.  A secret that I really haven’t shared with too many folks this month.

Tiny shrew in snow...munching bird seed beneath the feeder

I really haven’t felt well this month.  Not well at all.  You know how so many people recover from laparoscopic gall bladder surgery without any challenges?  You know how they’re up and healthy and smiling after two weeks without any major discomfort or repercussions?  You know how they’re tooting that this surgery is “nothing”–everybody should do it!

Well, dear reader, that was not my experience.

I did recover from the knife within two weeks.  But then…the discomfort started, and elevated, and refused to disappear.  It was not pleasant.  It felt like someone placed a belt around this waist and pulled tight…no, tighter….no, tighter! The discomfort was worse than before surgery. 

Who knew what this was?  The surgeon made it perfectly clear that he would not see anyone until one to two months after surgery.  So you had to…lie on the couch.  Maintain a stiff upper lip.  Learn to live with pain.  Learn to live with something that felt like a constant irritating tooth-ache.

Remember when I came back early from my blogging sabbatical?  It was because the discomfort was so challenging that I finally decided, “Heck, I need to have some fun!”  I need to start blogging again just to distract from this relentless discomfort…

Remember the “Gratitude Challenge?”  It was because my gall bladder-less discomfort was so challenging that perhaps gratitude was the only antidote to ease the challenge of the days!  (And do you want to know something miraculous, dear reader?  The day I started the Gratitude Challenge, the pain finally, blessedly, stopped for a full twenty-four hours.)

Yet another finch in the spruce tree

The reason I am finally sharing this with you is that–finally, blessedly, the pain has ceased.  Not 100%.  But at least 90%.  For five days now.

Who knows what it was?  It might have been gallstones trapped in the liver duct with nowhere to go.  Those stones have been known to dissolve after surgery.  Sometimes the surgeon needs to go in with a scope and physically remove leftover gallstones.  Sometimes infection sets in.   It could have been the after-effects of surgery.  Who knows?

I have just been contemplating why we reveal certain things–and keep certain secrets to ourselves.  I kept this secret in an effort to keep the pain inward, trying to send energy for its healing.  It felt necessary. 

I want to express gratitude today for healing.  For the easing of discomfort.  For energy returning.  Thank you, dear God, dear Sacred Universe!   It’s good to feel good again.  And not keep this a secret.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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55 Responses to Secrets we don’t share…

  1. Fountainpen says:

    Hooray for Resurrection!!!!!!


  2. SNOOPY HAPPY DANCING for you, Kathy!

  3. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – There is no space more glorious than that empty space after pain has left it. I have always said that pain is a very lonely place. It isn’t something we want to share so we hold it in, packing it down and making it worse. It’s kind of like being in an ear splitting rock concert and stepping out into a quiet, peaceful night. NOTHING is more wonderful than release of pain. I am so glad you are on the other side of it and finally mending for real.

    Thank you for the lovely chickadee. That is my symbol. Like me, it does everything upside down and sideways but makes up for it in resilience. Your bird pictures really touch my heart.

    • Kathy says:

      The space after the pain has left…yes. Yes, Susan. Nothing is more wonderful than this. Nothing. Thank you, sweetheart. I am glad the chickadee spoke to you. So glad.

  4. Lissa says:

    Loved your little shrew at the bird seed and just posted it on my groups’ Facebook page for Lake Superior! Thanks for your amazing photos and news!

  5. Emma says:

    I’m so glad you’re really starting to feel better! I hope that continues and increases.

    And beautiful chickadee photo!

  6. Dawn says:

    That is terrific news. *hugs*

  7. Susan D says:

    I’m glad today is the day that is perfect for “coming out” about the pain this past month. Really love what the other Susan D. said about it! Lovely. Another enchanting bird! Somehow reflects the tone of your post. May the pain remain at bay, and your joy – no matter what – continue to flourish.

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Susan D, you knew about my pain…cuz I blabbed about it to you. Gosh, this does feel like a “coming out.” I am glad you like the birds. Aren’t they sweet? even though they’re through the window? I love this long lens. Love it, love it. Did I tell you how much I love it? lol!

  8. Karma says:

    So glad you are feeling better. Poor hubs still has pain from time to time too, but it is usually diet-related for him.
    My guess for your pattern picture: an old-fashioned top-of-the-house antenna?
    Must tell you how much I LOVE your chicadee-dee-dee picture. He/she is beautifully sharp and defined while looking soft at the same time. Lovely!

    • Kathy says:

      I’ve had the diet-related pains, too, but this felt like something different. You are so right, Karma! Right on! An old fashioned antenna. Took the chickadee picture a couple days ago and almost forgot about it tucked safely away in its folder. Am enjoying being able to use the long lens to get closer to the birds this year.

  9. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy I am so relieved to hear that the pain is finally subsiding…enjoy the very liberating sensation of being pain-free…even if it isn’t totally gone…just remember to take good good care of yourself in order to get completely well. Thank you for sharing your private struggle…I understand the need to push the pain inward…it was a pain of a different sort for me but I did that just the same…for years and years I suffered in silence. And when God graced me enough to have the strength to let go of that “control” (that’s what I tricked myself into believing it was) only then did I begin my journey to wellness. It took a very long time and much hard work but today I can say I am free of that pain…so I understand exactly what you have been experiencing and I am celebrating with you…even from afar! God Bless You and may He fill your heart, soul and body with a deep comfort. My prayers are always with you!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Brenda, my new Facebook friend! It was very, very important for me to go inward with this discomfort for awhile. Don’t know if I could have done it for years, though. Glad God directed you when it was time to let go of your control. It is so important that we listen deeply, deeply. Sometimes we need silence and other times we need to share. It’s always so important that we discern the Greater Good. Thank you for your prayers.

  10. barb says:

    Pain wants to move in and be your only concern – luckily, something has (mostly) banished it. (Maybe just time?) I’m glad you’re feeling more loose and free now. I bet you’re smiling a lot! Here – I’m sending you a smile and a hug from CO.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, pain is a strange creature. We certainly became aquainted this past month. I have been smiling a lot this week! And returning that hug…

  11. Dawn says:

    I’m so sorry the surgery didn’t go as well as everyone promised you it would. And that your surgeon wouldn’t see you for a month! What’s up with THAT?? And sorry that you felt you had to hide it. Because you KNOW we’d have sent you so many cyber hugs your mind would have been filled with all that love and maybe that pain would have moved out of the way sooner. Never know….

    Glad you’re feeling so much better now. Hope the rest of it disappears this weekend!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Dawn. There is a complicated reason why the surgeon won’t see you for a month. It has to do with liver enzymes. When they do the gall bladder surgery, they cauterize the liver ducts (which is, in effect, burning your liver.) So you can’t have the liver enzyme test done until your liver heals up. They don’t want to put the scope down until they know for sure that’s the problem.

      As for not sharing–you may have been totally right! However, my inner guidance seemed to say “be quiet, now” and I try really hard to listen to what it says. yesterday it said “OK, you can share” and I did!

  12. john says:

    That doctor should have his license revoked. You could have had an infection, a inadvertent internal injury, you may have something other than your gall bladder that is the real problem. Any doctor that says he will not see someone until a month after surgery even if they have complications is negligent at best.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I really like this surgeon. He’s done over 2,000 gall bladder surgeries and I think he’s seen this happen many times. I am pretty sure he would have seen a person(before a month) who called with fever, acute pain or other signs of infection. (Please see my reply to Dawn up above re the liver enzyme issue.) He did see me two weeks after surgery for a check-up. That’s when he said a month or two was needed before he would pursue the scope or other possibilities.
      And, truly John, I think he was right! At least for me…

  13. Val Erde says:

    I’m so glad your pain is receding, Kathy. It doesn’t matter that you needed to keep it to yourself, but I understand that need. For me, when I do it, there is a kind of childlike fear that somehow by talking about it when it’s happening, I’m going to be saddled with it forever. Comes of having had a childhood of ill health and too much time in hospital then, I think.

    Hugs. Be good to yourself.

    • Kathy says:

      Val, it’s interesting how silence can mean so many different things to all of us. And how we each have different reactions to pain and its consequences. I can see why you wouldn’t want to talk about it. For me, it felt important to consolidate the energy inward. To send all my internal energy toward healing without blabbing about it endlessly. Thank you for your well-wishes and hugs.

  14. I’m so happy for you that you’re feeling better! Pain is a funny thing… sometimes we wait and think it’s nothing (when it really is something), and sometimes we run to the doctor thinking that it’s serious (when it’s just something that resolves itself). You never know what to do… it’s frustrating to “live” with it. I do NOT agree with the Dr. not seeing anyone until a certain amount of time has gone by! He should see ANY one of his patients if they believe there is a problem, no matter how small!! THAT is what they’re there for!! Anyway, I hope the issue has resolved itself, and the pain stays away!!

    • Kathy says:

      Holly, pain is quite the teacher. It IS hard to figure out what to do. I have witnessed pain in myself in certain areas of the body…not knowing whether to go to the doctor or not…and then, suddenly it disappears. Other times it’s something. (Please see my reply to Dawn and John up above about why the surgeon wants to wait. It has to do with liver enzymes. They don’t want to scope you until they can get an accurant count on your liver enzymes and it takes 1-2 months before that can happen.) He might have seen me before that time, but he couldn’t order the tests until he could get an accurate liver enzyme count.

  15. Barbara Rodgers says:

    The tiny shrew is so sweet, she must be feeling joy over finding a fantastic feast all laid out just for her! Thanks for including this picture, Kathy.

    There are many different reactions to pain, I think, and so many ways of coping with it. Sometimes it seems best to withdraw and become unresponsive to the external world for a while, licking our wounds, so to speak, like animals tend to do. Other times sharing our feelings is a tonic, and often, laughter is the best medicine. Some folks prefer to suffer in silence, others want to share every detail of their affliction. The healing power of touch works miracles. Mostly we muddle through as best we can…

    I agree with Susan, nothing is more wonderful than release of pain… I’m so happy your pain is going away! Now you can look forward to spring, rebirth and renewal!! (((hugs)))

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Barbara. There are so many reactions to pain, you are right. I think what is important is that we listen to our inner guidance to know what is appropriate. Sometimes our energy needs to move inward; other times outward. Sometimes we don’t know and can only muddle. Glad you like the little shrew. I posted her for you!

  16. Snoopy Dance for you here too!!
    From Snoopykg2

    Love the bird photo,it looks like a painting….

    Holding back emotions is my favorite thing to keep secret,holding things in, as noy to bother others or cause Any commotion or drama. I do have two main things that maybe I might reveal some day which may take a lot of mental coercion to come to the surface of my writing urges….-I will pray hard on that one…

    Great to hear you are feeling better.
    Hummmm….maybe – will start aguessing contest…

    • Kathy says:

      Kim, glad you like the bird photo. If you do decide to reveal those things–if your innermost self gives permission–be sure to point me over to your blog. Sometimes silence is the better route. Sometimes its not. And we must also pray on what format we reveal ourselves. Sometimes a phone call or person-to-person contact is best. Other times, our blogs. It takes a lot of prayer and discernment to know.

  17. Good to hear you are better Kathy. I have been thinking about you all month as something just seemed odd. Now I know what it was. I trusted you were doing what was right for you though. May a warm chinook wind take away any residual effects leaving you strong and healthy as we head towards spring.

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, it was the best of months, it was the worst of months. I have been truly heeding where the inner voices whispers to go. A warm chinook wind sounds lovely…to blow away the last of the discomfort any of us might be feeling. Thank you.

  18. Sending you hugs from Australia, Kathy. (((hugs))) And thank you for sharing even your not so good times with us here. I guess the time was just right for you to tell us all how you had been feeling, now it’s nearly over.

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, I like to listen inwardly during the day to see what blogs are wanting to be written. It was an utter surprise yesterday to discover that this blog was on the inner queue!

  19. Lona says:

    I’m sorry you’ve had a hard time of it. Pain is very isolating, isn’t it? Your world becomes small, and nothing else really matters. I think you were wise to start the gratitude challenge–sometimes we need to force ourselves to look outward and count our blessings.

    The unknown think looks a bit like our tine harrow (a farming implement), although the tines in the picture are straight, unlike our bent ones. I can’t imagine why you would have a picture of a tine harrow, though, so I’ll check back to see what it really is.

    • Kathy says:

      Lona, that is true about how the way pain isolates us. It can keep us very inward-focused as we feel its insidious pull. Actually, the unknown object is one-half of the old-fashioned TV antanna on top of our house. Not that we get TV any more… I like how it has that patterned look.

  20. Carol says:

    I too am very glad you’re feeling better – perhaps you didn’t share because you didn’t want to deal with the concern from all of us. That sounds like how I’d feel anyway. I’d guess on-the-roof tv antenna. And I love the picture of the little finch, although I also love the picture of the poinsettia in the snow.

    • Kathy says:

      It was strange, Carol. Even after I posted this blog part of me felt embarrassed about posting it. Part of me wished I hadn’t. Glad you like the finch and the poisettia. The poinsettia was a gift when I was having surgery. My mom swore it might last until August, but I think our house is too dark in the wintertime for plants to thrive.

  21. Reggie says:

    Oh, dearest Kathy, (((hugs))) from me too. I am very, very sorry to hear that you did not recover so easily from your surgery after all, and I share your joy and your relief that the pain is receding at last. Don’t feel bad about keeping your pain to yourself – there are many personal things that should not be shared on a public forum like a blog, and sometimes it is really important to protect one’s privacy, and even more so, the privacy of our loved ones.

    And yet – as you can see from the outpouring of love and compassion in response to this post, and to so many of your other posts – you have a big circle of people in both close-by and far-flung places of the world who love you and care for you, and who would’ve sent you soooo many happy thoughts of loving healing if they (we) had but known that you were suffering such pain! (Of course, we shall do so now! ;-))

    I, for one, am very grateful that you have shared this story. Someone close to me needs to undergo the same kind of surgery, and she has been reassured by everyone that “it’s really easy, quick and quite painless, and you’ll feel sooo much better afterwards”. It was most helpful to hear that this is not *always* the case, and that this too is quite normal. So THANK YOU for having the courage to share your story with us. Joyous Blessings to you!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Reggie…I did actually have a little “set-back” after posting this blog. Not a terrible set-back, but haven’t been feeling QUITE so perky this weekend. Perky enough to get around with the camera and have fun, but not 100% perky. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes. Speak or not speak. Share or not share. I think I listened good enough to my inner self…but who knows? Thanks for your love and concern, dear friend.

  22. Robin says:

    I am sorry you were in such pain, but so happy to hear you’re feeling better. I hope the pain is gone for good and that your become strong and healthy.

    There are lots of things I don’t share out of respect for my husband’s privacy more than anything else. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how much of my life is connected to his. And he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be too much a part of the blog. Otherwise, I would be an open book, probably sharing too much.

    All of your photos are beautiful but I was particular drawn to the finch. It’s a gorgeous capture.

    • Kathy says:

      It is wonderful that you honor your husband’s privacy so much, Robin. That sounds like a loving thing…and, yet, you are able to share so much.

      Barry has been sharing about our family in the local newspaper since we moved here–30-some years ago! I figure that ANYTHING I say is fair game, lol! OK, not everything. But he is the one that wrote a column about all of us throwing up and ending up in the hospital. He’s the one who wrote all about my gall bladder surgery (some lady in town said, “I’m so sorry, honey, that your private life is in the paper”. I laughed and said, “Oh, it’s OK. I’m a blogger. He gets it back.” The lady looked puzzled, like she didn’t quite know what a blogger was. But it does tend to even out.

  23. bearyweather says:

    I am sorry you have been in pain, too. Pain is a tough thing. I tend to keep pain to myself, too …. unless it is written all over my face and someone asks. Seems like when I talk about it and dwell on it, it just gets a tighter grasp on me … it give it strength. I am happy you beat your pain.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, bearyweather, exactly. We can’t give it an even tighter grasp than it already has. I am not sure I’ve beat it yet…but there are more good days than challenging ones lately. Thank you.

  24. sonali says:

    I’m sorry to know that you were in pain 😦 but, henceforth do share what you’re going through atleast with someone close to you and you’l feel a lot better!

  25. flandrumhill says:

    Kathy, your last photo of the little finch all puffed up in the cold reminded me of sick birds that will also puff up their feathers to look as healthy as possible so that predators won’t think they’re weak. Could we subconsciously be doing the same thing? I don’t know. I’m just glad you’re feeling better 🙂

  26. Marianne says:

    I wondered. Surgery is trauma. It does take time to recover, especially for people who have a heightened awareness. At least, this is what my doctor told me.

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