Scar tissue.

Evan’s surgeon told us before his open heart surgery in August, that a majority of the time in the beginning will be getting through and cutting through all the scar tissue that built up in his chest from his initial heart surgery months before.

The body has this amazing way of healing itself – almost protecting itself – from any more damage and pain.  It creates a strong barrier – that scar tissue – around the parts that were “damaged” aka cut into.  It’s almost like the body is saying, “Don’t hurt me anymore…if you do…you’ll have to get through the wall of protection I’m going to build up around the damage you’ve done.”

The tissue builds up around that part that was cut or hurt.  It also can invade other parts that neighbor that wound….just doing what it can to heal itself….not paying any mind to the parts around it that weren’t affected.

The difficulty in all of this is that scar tissue also causes damage.  It’s technically a foreign invader in that part of the body.  The extra tissue becomes hard…not like the tissue that originally called that place home.  

Surgeons say that sometimes the trickiest part of the surgery is not necessarily the surgery itself….but getting through all the scar tissue that has built up.  They have to be extremely delicate….precise…yet firm….to get to the root of the problem without causing more damage.

Every time the body is cut or damaged or hurt…that tissue builds up even further…harder…to protect itself.

As we approach the next two weeks…I am dealing with some old wounds that are opening up again.  Evan has an ECHO (short for Echocardiogram – a sonogram of the heart) of his heart next Wednesday.  This will be the first time we will “see” his heart since open heart surgery in August.  Over 6 months…

We’ll see if his heart has adjusted appropriately to what his surgeon did.  We will see if it’s pumping efficiently.  We will see if the arteries and veins going in and out of his heart are growing well.  We will see if the valves are holding up and not leaking.

Essentially….we will see if my boy’s heart is working.

We also have what we hope will be a final repair for his cleft lip and palate on March 14th.  Of course, he will have more surgeries in the future for his cleft palate and some aesthetic revisions but this big kahuna of a repair is looming.  It will be another 6-8 hour surgery.

All those emotions of fear, worry, anxiety have surfaced as the days approach.  All those things I thought resolved and healed are now being open again.  Fresh.

But, instead of the times before where my heart and soul healed…the scar tissue that has built around my being has caused damage to me that makes the wounds deeper…

In its path of healing…I’m realizing I put up and built up barriers to protect things that really didn’t need protecting.

My marriage.  My faith.  My friendships.  My family relationships.  My joy.

All those things that were safe from the path of the pain I’ve experienced in this journey…I’m realizing have been touched.  My way of healing.  My way of protecting.

This journey for my boy and the fears and worries and the anger and the frustration and the doubts….these things that are broken about this path….I thought were healed.  Yet…I see how they are seeping into the pores of everything and everyone around me.

The wounds are deeper that I expected.  More severe than once thought.

I continue to revisit places in my soul that have received healing and cut into them trying to fix them all over once more.  In the process…I’m causing  more harm than good.

Yet, it’s inevitable.

Four major surgeries in 14 months since my boy was 6 weeks old.

Heart surgery in March.

Open heart surgery in August.

Cleft lip, cleft palate, gastric tube, ear tube surgery in November.

Now….cleft lip and palate surgery again in March.

How can I not revisit the fears? The wounds have never had a chance to heal.  I’ve been putting a band aid over what I thought was a little scratch…but it’s actually a deep wound of fear, of doubts, of all those things that lurk in my heart and head…that have never truly healed and resolved.

I’m finding out the hard way that my inability to heal fully has made the issues I haven’t fully dealt with worse.

My faith is being test and I’m not sure I’m passing the test.

My marriage is being tested…and if it wasn’t for the steadfastness of Craig…I’m not sure we’d be where we are today.

My friendships, while not being tested, I feel are going to suffer again…as I start seclusion into myself….not able to be the friend to anyone in the state I’m in.

I thought I healed. I thought I was past this point of feeling and aching and questioning and wondering and doubting and fearing.

But, as we approach another unknown path in this journey…I realize I’m not healed.  I just put bandaids over wounds and allowed the scar tissue over my soul mask the true hurt and the fear.

Layer upon layer of protection…but no healing.