UC to J-Pouch Story

Best Case Scenario

Posted by Megan on July 18, 2008

Here is some food for thought for those heading in to or pondering “elective surgery.” Instead of pondering and dwelling on what are all the possible complications of surgery, why not consider what is the BEST CASE SCENARIO?  Why do we always see the “worst case scenario” and why was it a revelation to me that seeing life from what is the BEST CASE SCENARIO would really make a lot less anguish in life.

My Mom is having surgery on her eye for glaucoma, and she is currently in a state of fear. All she can say is “what if the surgery goes wrong and I lose sight in my eye?”  A rightful fear, for sure – however, I never hear her say, “80% of this surgery works and removes the pressure from the eye and can solve the problem.”  Right now she is so involved with fear that she can not see BEST CASE SCENARIO, she will only see worst case scenario.

I just know that when we were coping with Mark going into to surgery we spent so much energy (as in years) dwelling on what could go wrong, and almost refusing to see what could go right.  As you know, his outcome has been all the scenario of “what could go right” so we wasted spent so much energy worrying about what could go wrong.   Of course, I know in retrospect so much easier now to say to you “See best case scenario”but seriously, don’t forget to see your “best case scenario options“.

Awareness of impermanence is encouraged, so that when it is coupled with our appreciation of the enormous potential of our human existence, it will give us a sense of urgency that I must use every precious moment” – The 14th Dalai Lama


Photo via: Fanboy30


5 Responses to “Best Case Scenario”

  1. JM said

    This rings a lot of bells with me. When I first found out I needed surgery, while not being particularly overjoyed I was fairly accepting of it. The curved ball came when I was offered the choice between a proctocolectomy with permanent end ileostomy and a restorative proctocolectomy. After looking into both surgeries I realized there were lots of potential complications and I ended up spending lots of time worrying about what if this went wrong or that went wrong and this made the decision that much harder. Eventually I realized that most people come through both surgeries quite successfully so I simply asked myself “Well, what if everything goes well?”, this gave me a completely new perspective on the surgery. It turned what had been a very difficult decision into a very easy one and changed my whole approach to the surgery. From that point on I never once thought about what could go wrong, only what I could do to ensure things went right. Almost seven years to the day since I made that decision I am so pleased to have had that moment of clarity.

  2. carter99 said

    This is a great write-up you’ve posted. I wish I could have read it before I went in for my first surgery. It’s so easy to look at the negative possibilities of surgery, in fact, it’s unhuman not too. However, if you can focus on the good, the best case scenario, it could really have an impact on your mental state.
    I know I went back and forwarth between the positive and negative outcomes before ‘Round 1’…this reminds me of the old, “Glass is half full/empty” expression.


  3. Megan said

    thanks for sharing on this post. I use to really struggle with having fear about things I couldn’t control. Now, I understand 1) I can’t control anything and that control is a false pursuit, 2) As JM said, “the clarity” that situations are going to happen how they happen, but how I perceive them is what makes them okay or not. Seems so simple to say and literally took me years of anguish to understand. I guess better late than never 🙂

    JM – you mentioned 7 years ago, was your surgery for UC? And now are you living with a jpouch or ileo? Sounds like you are living well these days?!

  4. JM said

    Yes, my surgery was for UC (18+ years of it!). I’ve had a fully functioning j-pouch since May 2002, though the journey to get there started as I said almost seven years ago to the day. Apart from a couple of bouts of pouchitis, both cleared up very quickly with a course of Flagyl, I’ve had no problems whatsoever with my pouch. Indeed were it not for my scars and my charity work I probably wouldn’t even think about my illness and surgery.


  5. Brenda said

    JM’s words here are encouraging. Thank you both for writing here about the positive side of things!! It helps. I am doing my best to be positive as I approach surgery in a little over two weeks. You’re right, Megan, the idea of things being in our control is just an illusion. And while it may be human to worry, there really is no need. I am so grateful to have found this online world of support. It means so much.

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