retrospect | first month of post-op

It was the 26th of March last night – it marked the first month ever since I had to go through my emergency operation.

Around 2:00AM last night, I was tweeting about how crazy it is to think that it has already been a month since everything happened. While I was tweeting, I remembered every detail and every emotion that I felt so vividly in my head. It made my heart race out of a sudden.


I thought I was just being emotional from everything that happened but, no. Right after I tweeted that my heart was at unease, tears welled up in my eyes and I went straight to my mom because I knew I wasn’t okay.

And that was when I suffered my first ever – panic attack.

It was all the recurring memories playing in my head and I felt all the anxieties that I felt when I was in the hospital. My heart was pulsating at a faster rate than usual and I was just trembling and hyperventilating. It was really awful because it was the first time I’ve ever experienced something like that. It was just a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. It just felt like I was anxiously waiting for another surgery to happen.

After that awful experience, that was when I realized that I am not as strong as what I thought I was. A panic attack would be something that is out of the norm for me to experience because I’ve always thought I was capable & strong of handling whatever came my way. It made me feel so vulnerable – a feeling that I’ve always hated.

I guess I’ve been psyching myself up too much to the point that I am in denial that I am after all, only human. It’s normal for humans to feel vulnerable at times. But for me, I’ve never enjoyed vulnerability. It makes me feel weak and personally; I do not like the idea of having someone or something have the control over you.

That aside – it’s time I did some reflection of what I’ve learned from my experience since the surgery. The surgery has made me realize that I was after all, a weak servant of His. When I first knew that I had this abnormal growth, I knew I had to redha because this is just what is written for me.

During the countdown before the surgery, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified at all. I tried my best to put up a front and stayed strong but only Allah knew how I felt deep in my heart. I couldn’t stop tearing up and even as I am typing this, my eyes are already welling up with tears, haha. I kept on telling myself while I was lying on the bed with the IV drip,

“Qistina, you just got to put all your trust in Allah. Allah will take care of you.” 

I knew I had to do that. The supposed time for the surgery was 6AM but it got pushed till 12PM. When the nurses announced that it was time for me to go, I just couldn’t stop tearing up all the way till the surgery theater. Once we’ve reached, that was the moment I stopped crying. I just didn’t want to cry during the surgery because by then, I knew it was going to happen anyway.

But what terrified me was the idea of being unconscious during the surgery and also of any complications that could happen during the surgery. Being unconscious felt like you were in a state between life or death and you know that you do not have any control over it, except Him. Anything could happen during that state and it was honestly, one of the most terrifying experience for me.

I remembered the nurse telling me to breathe in the laughing gas, telling me that I was doing a good job. Sooner or later, the anesthetist said to me that I was going to feel a burning sensation.

I felt the burning sensation kicked in and grunted in pain.

And thankfully, the last thought that I could remember before I was knocked unconscious was – Allah. That was the very last thought that I had in mind and heart.

It felt really emotional for me because it was a personal battle that I had to fought alone in the theater (with the surgery team) even though I was unconscious. I knew that there was no one else that could help me in that very situation but Allah, and He did. Alhamdulillah.

Praise to Allah. Everything went smoothly. They managed to take out the cyst and my right ovary was saved. There was no suspected malignancy and everything was fine. The abdominal pain that I suffered the night before was due to one part of the cyst leaking.

No words could express how grateful (grateful would be an understatement) I was.

I remembered feeling groggy after the surgery. Me being a hot-tempered person, I couldn’t understand why the nurse could not speak softly after a patient had an operation, but whatever. They gave me morphine to treat the pain but then I realized the pain was actually bearable, Alhamdulillah.

I was really happy to see all my family members in the ward. With everyone who visited me when I was in the hospital, it really shows all the love that I’ve been showered with, which is also a blessing from Him.

My whole experience staying in the hospital tested my patience on another level. I had so many needles and foreign objects being inserted into me – the IV needle, the catheter for my urine, the tube for the blood spillage. It made moving around very difficult – even on the bed. Knowing myself, I was really proud of myself for not throwing a tantrum or a huge fuss because everything was really just uncomfortable.

Mom took care of me well, it aches me to trouble her to take care of me during this difficult period – and I’m still a shitty daughter as ever. May Allah grant her Jannah Firdaus for everything she has done for me since I was a newborn.

I couldn’t eat anything for the first two days. The nurse said I had to fart before I could have any food because I have to get rid of the gas that I breathed in during the surgery. Eventually, I did fart and managed to eat some soup and whatnot. However, vomiting was not the fun part.

Days go by and I eventually regained my love for food and what not. I must say that post-operation makes me very lethargic. My energy was at its lowest and even right now, I haven’t regained my energy. I’ve been so used to moving and doing things so fast, it’s funny how I have to take a step back and do everything at a slow pace right now.

This whole process has been a memorable one for me. I truly believe that it was Allah’s way of teaching me to be patient when a calamity happens to you. Looking back, everything was so perfectly timed by Him. My supposed surgery date was on the 3rd of April but thankfully, everything was done in advance because it gave me more time to recover before school started.

My learning point from this experience would be – to always be patient when a calamity happens to you and to always have trust in Him that He will take care of everything for you perfectly and there should be no doubt about it, ever.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

And, behold, with every hardship comes ease: – 94:5

verily, with every hardship comes ease! – 94:6


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