Does your body mourn when a piece has been taken from it? It might seem like a ridiculous question but it is one I have been pondering since my surgery last week. I have had other surgeries before. Foreign bodies like calcifications in the form of kidney stones have been removed. Foreign growths have been removed. Things have been added to increase the bodies workings. But never before has a part of my body been removed.
I have had my appendix for 30 years and now it is gone. I don’t even know what an appendix does. Mine is gone and now my body is repairing itself. It is still making work and doing its best to take over what ever job the appendix performed.
So does your body mourn the loss of an organ or working body? In other words in the process of repair does the body mourn the loss of a function, the loss of an action?
The more I write the sillier this idea seems. I have a friend who had her colon removed and her body is still learning what it means to function without it. It is still repairing itself.
If the body does mourn the loss of the colon and the appendix I wonder what that might look like. I guess to answer this question you have to decide where your ideas of body and thought lie. In other words do you believe that the body is an empty shell? That it’s functions serve the purpose of keeping you alive but once you are dead it is nothing. Or do you resign yourself to believe the body works like the “Magic School Bus” taught us. That each part has a voice and job and when a piece is taken from it, it must learn how to do the job in a new way.
At 3am on pain meds I am resigned to believe that it is a little of both. I have been taught in class and in therapy that the mind can be trained to believe and act differently. I believe the body has the same function. It can be sown together and torn apart and pieces can be taken from it but it in the end it has to figure out a way to keep going until death when all function stops. When all that is left is a shell of the function and the person. The mystery of the body and its functions can be explained by science but must also be awed at by faith.
I have a friend whose mom is going through a cancer scare right now. It may prove to be easily fixable or it may not. The road ahead may be long or short. Her mother may have to have radiation and may have to mourn the loss of her hair but what does the inside of her body have to mourn? Her body will learn to fight itself and when the cancer is gone to stop the war. Its interesting how modern medicine can mold and shape the bodies functions to do as it wishes. Its also interesting how some cancers can be cured and others cannot. I know people who have died from cancer and those who have survived it.
When someone dies we mourn the person not their bodily functions. As I lie here with an ache in my belly and a need for more medicine I wonder if that pain I feel is my body mourning what was lost. If it is trying to teach my insides how to function without an organ and what I feel is merely the process of what is going on.
Its a weird thing to be thinking about at 3am but alas I am awake and my mind, it does wonder down unusual roads.