Sometimes I look to see how people find my blog. Most often it’s from google searches on The Price is Right, or… open-heart surgery.
The open-heart surgery ones sometimes make me a little sad. I get a glimpse into people’s fears. “Am I going to be the same person afterward?” “Will it affect my marriage/relationship?”
My best answer? I don’t know… Maybe. Maybe it will affect you greatly. Maybe not…
I don’t think I’m necessarily the best person to talk to about this, because I had more than open heart surgery. I was in and out of the hospital for many months. Of course it affected me in profound ways.
I don’t want to scare you. It might not be as bad for you.
But here’s what I can tell you, in a non-sugarcoated way.
[Note (warning): this next part is not super explicit, but it is more personal than we have ever talked on this blog… We will talk a little about sex. (And I will make one bad dirty joke.)]
When I was healthy enough to do stuff again, I had a fair amount of sex (always safe).
(In case you’re wondering, of course I get tested generally at least once a year (if not more), including being tested recently. And everything is all good and always has been.)
Anyway, I was so self-conscious – about my scar, about the weight I put on in the hospital… You’d think maybe being so self-conscious would mean I didn’t want to be touched. But it was the opposite. I wanted to see over and over that people would still touch me. I wanted to feel desired.
I also wanted to feel freedom in any way I could. Yes, I was out of the hospital, but still felt trapped by some decisions I’d made while in the hospital (quitting school, etc.) and by a body that wasn’t quite ready for everything yet. I was feeling stressed, and I wanted to get that stress out.
So, I took all that out by having sex (with sort of a lot different people).
I don’t usually talk about sex on the blog. I don’t think it’s okay to violate people’s privacy. And honestly, it generally just feels too personal to me. However, I will make a small exception since we are in a very personal post (and I will leave person-specific details very vague, so as not to violate someone else’s privacy)…
One guy whom I’d been with before open heart surgery (before I even moved to Boston) – I also fell into bed with after. (Or he fell into me? Da-dum-cha! Oh, that’s my dirty joke!…) Aaaanyway, he made me feel very comfortable. When he took off my shirt, he started right on my scar, and kissed right down it…
I know that’s such a “movie moment.” It almost seems too sweet or cliché to be real. Yet, it was. And I was really moved. So if you’re worried about your partner having open-heart surgery, maybe try that move. It’s uncomfortable and scary and cliche, but kind of great. 😛
So, to answer that question that gets googled – whether open heart surgery will change your relationship… I’m not you. I’m not in your relationship. I don’t know your dynamic.
The only thing I know from my personal experience is that I think if I’d been in a relationship, it almost certainly would’ve been very strained! (After all, I was a pain in the butt to basically everyone I cared about.) I would’ve felt gross and probably just been angry and yell-y. (Of course, that doesn’t mean lose all hope…)
This is where I’ll finish up next time.