Being a Force of Nature Helps Me Get Through Another Surgery

Columnist Ari Anderson braces for the storm of kidney stone removal surgery

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by Ari Anderson |

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Simply put, I refuse to let the wind of negativity blow me down. My faith in God empowers me to keep the light of positivity shining during and after the storms of SMA.

It’s a miraculous thing when you can envision yourself on the other side of a storm before you’ve even gone through it. Creating such a mental picture can take practice, which is why I’m trying to do it right now. Is it working? Let me review the situation first.

As I write this, I’m less than a week away from my second kidney stone removal surgery this summer. Yes, doctors got most of the hundreds of stones the first time. But it’s in my best interest to have the rest removed, as it will reduce my risk of pain in the future.

This time, surgeons will be going in through my groin instead of my back, making the procedure much simpler and less risky.

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Still, I have a right to be frustrated. Part of me is saying, “I can’t believe I have to go through a second surgery when I had the first one only six weeks ago!” After all, I’m only human.

I also have the right to be afraid. Fellow SMA News Today columnist Brianna Albers recently wrote that some medical appointments make her feel like she’s reverted to being a scared child. Brianna’s 7-year-old self just wants the 27-year-old woman she’s become to be the adult and hold her hand.

This is how I sometimes feel as the date draws near. The fact is, nothing medical ever comes easy for me, even the simplest of procedures.

Again, the wind of negativity, mixed with frustration and fear, is trying to knock me down. Yet the light of positivity gives me my own wind to fight back with.

Being a force of nature myself, I know that the battle is practically already won. A lot of people live with physical pain, but I might be able to end that chapter of mine. After I have this surgery and get my diet straightened out to prevent future kidney stones, I have a chance of going quite a while without any more abdominal pain.

That’s the hope, at least.

The prospect of the pain not returning for years gives me such comfort. I will never again be ungrateful for a pain-free day. Talk about finding joy in simple things!

Going through all of this has taught me patience and endurance, which I can apply to other areas of my life, such as the difficulty of finding new nurses.

As the Bible says in James 1:2,4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. … Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The possibilities are endless when we gain more maturity and perseverance. It gives us a new perspective.

To answer my earlier question about whether I can see myself on the other side of this storm, the answer is yes. I’m excited about the extra determination I can bring to my home care advocacy work. I’m also excited to see how my new perspective will improve my writing. I hope you are, too.

As I blow through this next surgery like the force of nature I am, get ready for the new Ari and everything he will accomplish. You will all have a front-row seat to read, watch, and support me!


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.

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