At my workplace, I am adept at using technology, as needed, but in my personal life, I am very low-tech. I don’t have an MP3 player or a smart phone. In fact, my cell phone doesn’t even send text messages. Not only is it not smart, it’s downright ignorant. Being low-tech and not having much time to prepare, I used two Playaways: Successful Surgery and General Wellness. They were ideal for use in the hospital, and I highly recommend Playaways for people who don’t have other portable audio devices.
I listened to the Successful Surgery CD for about a week before surgery, and I also listened to the Healthy Immune System CD, in order to bolster my immune system, which would have a hefty job to do in protecting me from infection and providing cells and nutrients necessary for healing. In the pre-operative area, I listened to a Successful Surgery Playaway, and I listened to it again in the recovery room.
During that time of regaining consciousness, I was flooded with good thoughts, some simple truths, such as: There are no ordinary moments, the highest purpose in life is service to others, the people who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most. I think I might have mumbled platitudes out loud to people. They just smiled and went about their business.
All in all, the surgical experience went just as the program said, no complications, minimal bleeding and very little discomfort. I said the same thing I heard others say, “I don’t know if it was the Successful Surgery program or not, but things went well, exactly as planned.”
The other Playaway I took to the hospital was General Wellness. For me it is a feel-good, emotionally and physically uplifting program, and I feel that the imagery helps promote healing on the cellular level. I listened to it when I got a chance to take a nap and while falling asleep (over and over again, as you never get to sleep for long in a hospital, where they wake you periodically for this or that).
Physical therapy started within hours of surgery, and it was a little exhausting and daunting at first, but I continued listening to the Successful Surgery affirmations, and things went well. Again, there was minimal discomfort, though I have to admit I did accept any pharmaceutical help for pain that was offered to me, “Whatever you’ve got,” was my answer when people asked if I wanted anything for pain. After all, that’s what pain medication is for—physical, short-term pain. I believe that a body that is undertaking such massive healing should not have to deal with pain at the same time.
I was quickly weaned off the pain medication after I went home, as there was very little post-operative discomfort. Through my home convalescence, I made good progress and I continued using guided imagery. My favorite thing about it is that it’s not hard to do, quite pleasant, just be still and in the moment and listen, and it does not conflict with any other type of treatment. Also, it is comprehensive. It not only affects the area you want to target, it helps what ails you, whatever else is going on inside the body.
After surgery, I was amazed at how truly good I felt, particularly when I compared it with the gloomy, painful pre-operative period. I remember sitting down with my children one somber morning just before surgery to discuss a medical power of attorney and such things. I tried to keep it light by beginning with, “In the unlikely event of a water landing,” but it was not light and I was not prepared and my children were sad and uncomfortable.
Whether the euphoria is a result of guided imagery, medical science, all-out gratitude to a higher power, family, friends, co-workers, a treasured pet or a mixture of the above, I am still experiencing it, so I am quite sure it was not drug-induced. I experience it every time I wake up in my bed and see the blue sky and white clouds and hear the birds chirping.
Of course, most of the credit goes to the expertise of my surgeon, my awesome surgical team and the hospital staff members involved in my care for my positive experience, but I believe the patient is also an integral part of the team and must carry the ball.
I would love to hear about your experiences. Did anyone else experience Yoda-like platitudes in recovery room? How about euphoria? Did you use any other programs, in addition to Successful Surgery? Any comparisons between surgery with and without guided imagery? What suggestions would you have for others about using the Successful Surgery program? I welcome your comments.