Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Surgery and guardian angels

My father is having hip replacement surgery today.  While this kind of operation has become fairly routine, there is nothing truly routine when it comes to having your body opened up, being under general anesthesia and having body parts removed and replaced.

This is not the first time he's had major surgery.  Twenty three years ago he had heart bypass surgery.  Before the operation, my parents did a lot of mental preparation.  My mother worked with my father to create positive images of his post-surgery life.  She also helped him with the spiritual dimension of being unconscious,  on life support systems and having your life in the hands of a surgical team.  She had him select two "guardian angels",  people no longer in this life, who would protect him during the surgery and usher him back into the world of the living.  These people were my mother's father, my Zady, and Moshe Feldenkrais, a famous body practitioner with whom my mother had trained. (My father wrote a book on his experiences and how to prepare for heart bypass surgery:

Speaking to my father last night, I recalled that time.  Today, as my father goes under the knife again, I know my mother will be watching over him.

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