Anxiety about upcoming surgery


So, my daughter is scheduled to have a really important anoplasty surgery done on the 26th and things are getting real.

She has had over a dozen procedures before, including the PSARP surgery when she was born. Unfortunately the original surgery was done by a general pediatric surgeon (no one at the hospital where she was born led me to believe that this was such a rare procedure and ought to be done by a anal-rectal malformations specialist.) who did it incorrectly. My daughter has been seeing a specialist for over a year now, who wants to attempt to redo the surgery. She is completely incontinent right now, but he hopes that placing anus in the correct place where there is some muscle might improve her ability to control her bowels. The surgery is risky in that there is scar tissue from the previous attempt and a second surgery done to correct a prolapse. (Should have been a sign that the first surgery was not done well.)

Depending on what the doc finds when he opens her up, he may decide to do an ostomy so that she will poop in a bag while it heals. This is the part of the procedure that worries me the most. Based on what I’ve read in the support groups for people with this birth defect, the ostomy reversals are common causes of complications. I hate to put her through all this and then for the surgery to not even help her, but I don’t want to face elementary school being incontinent if it can be avoided. I’m also worried that her new school will not allow her to attend with the ostomy, though I think they may have to legally.

I thought I was okay with the plan, but as the date gets closer, I get more and more worried and doubtful. It doesn’t help that the surgery is taking place in the hospital where she stayed for two weeks after the “button battery incident”. I think I still have a little bit of residual trauma over that whole ordeal. She hasn’t had any other major surgeries since then. (just an out-patient eye surgery and gel procedure for bladder reflux.)

I already put a request in the prayer intentions forum, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for dealing with this kind of anxiety? We have a wonderful three weeks ahead of us with a planned vacation and celebrations for the 4th of July holiday and family events and I don’t want to ruin the fun with stress!


This has to be rough…I can’t even imagine. I think having a positive three weeks will be wonderful. So will praying for the doctor and the staff. Think positive thoughts because you will radiate those to your daughter. Give the anxiety over to Christ, who knows you are rightfully scared.

I will add my prayers to your family and care team. God bless.


The most difficult thing to do is to abandon ourselves - completely - to God’s mercy and providence. Doubt and worry run counter to faith. We are given the gift of life by God - but we have received it from Him and He retains absolute authority over the length of that life. He asks us to trust Him in all things.

Personally, I faced fatal illnesses several times over the past 10 years. The most difficult thing I did was to abandon any and all claim which I thought I had on my life. In a moment of weakness (when God’s strength was shown), I “simply” let go. This was after pondering, prayer and some agonizing over the situation.

When I let go, it was mysteriously liberating. He was waiting for me to trust Him. And, when I did, He handed my life back to me.

Trust in God works each and every time it is employed. Is it easy?


Does it yield both temporal and eternal rewards?



I wish I had some sort of magical words that would take away your anxiety. You love your children so much, I know you would take their pain onto yourself if you could. You don’t want to show them your tears because you are a good mom and it will scare them. All of this creates so much inside of you, I will be praying! Thank you for sharing. I faced surgeries with my children, truth be told I was a total mess. Some things I just had to get through. Hopefully you will find strength in the prayers of others. I know the Blessed Mother will be holding you up. Please keep us posted. God bless you.


Take things one day at a time. Focus on the here and now. Don’t worry about tomorrow — today’s troubles are enough. When you are doing fun things, do your best to live in the moment.

I like this quote a lot: “The past is history. The future is a mystery. This moment is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”


I’m also worried about what is the best thing to tell her about the possibility of an ostomy. I don’t want to worry her if she isn’t even going to have one, but I don’t want her to wake up with a hole on her tummy without her understanding ahead of time.


Praying for you and your daughter.


We are about five days out and I’m still freaking out. I’m worried that she’ll get diaper rash or a stomach bug and they won’t do the surgery. I don’t know what I’ll do if it gets delayed! Last night, my daughter and I went out together to see “Annie” and she and I had a chance to sit and talk about the surgery coming up. Her concerns seem to be mostly with whether or not she’ll be able to play on the hospital playground. She does understand that it might help her to poop in the potty like other kids and she’s hopeful about that, but she’s still at that age that she doesn’t really see what the big deal about a diaper change is. She hasn’t been in a class with only kids her age before. Her only school experience was in a mixed-age class that still had several kids in diapers. I really hope this surgery works and we can get her potty-trained and in regular underwear before kindy!


Three more days. I’m trying to be strong and cheerful, but I’m so worried. Why does this bizarre, scary stuff have to keep happening to my kid?

I’ve also been really shaken by this story of this poor woman who lost all three of her children, along with her husband at once in the duck boat accident in Branson. Why would God allow that to happen to her and to those babies? I know the standard answers, of course, but I can’t stop thinking about it. There was nothing a reasonable person could say that she did “wrong”. Tragedy just struck and sucked her babies right out of her arms in an instant. I’ve literally started crying multiple times this weekend, just thinking about it.


I am so sorry. I can well imagine your anxiety and terror as you try and hold on to your daughter. Fear and dread for our children is the worst thing possible.

Do you remember the story of the man who penned the hymn It is Well With My Soul? He lost all his children…but he knew one day he would find out why in Heaven. He was able to rest in that. I find his faith so inspiring.

Remember that perfect love casts out fear. Cast your fear upon Him, the Shepherd of your soul. He doesn’t want you to be a slave to this anxiety.

He loves your little girl even more than you do, and He has a plan for her. It might not be your plan, but it will be what’s best for her.

If the very worst happened…which is unbearable to think of…God would still be holding you both tenderly in His arms. Let Him hold you now.

Can you go to church and pray, and give your daughter over to Him, and pray that no matter what happens, you’ll keep trusting Him?

Here are some Bible verses to read. Read them all over and over. Pray, pray, and trust. We don’t know why things happen, but we know in whom we have believed. We know Jesus, our Rock, our Comforter. I pray the Holy Spirit will fill you with peace tonight. :pray:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10



I had never heard that story before. Thank you for your thoughtful post!


Tomorrow is the big day! I’m feeling a lot better tonight, partly I think, because I saw the OBGYN today and got good news about our new baby on the way. (We’re correctly implanted where we’re supposed to be with a steady heartbeat!) I think I’ve explained the surgery as much as possible to my girls. She’s not concerned about the ostomy. She thinks it’s a great idea. She wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of Pinkalicious to use the bathroom anymore. She could just empty the bag when the show is over. She doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t get a poop bag. :roll_eyes: The only thing I’m concerned about is that she’s developed a diaper rash today and I’m afraid they won’t do the surgery if it’s still there tomorrow. We did a baking soda bath and doused her in aquaphor, so I’m hoping we’re good for tomorrow! Please pray for us!


Many prayers going up for your entire family, and especially your daughter. God bless you all!


Praying for Our Lord’s peace for all of you and a successful procedure.



I always talk about the Fr Phillipe book “Searching For and Maintaining Peace” book. It is a little book, so powerful, I am re-reading it tonight.


I’m a person with disabilities.

I had my share of painful surgeries and procedures when I was a kid. The best thing was my mom was always straight with me. She never told me “oh, it will not hurt”, she was honest that there will be pain but that she will be there with me.


Praying and thinking of you and your daughter today, Allegra!

I hope the surgery is successful! :pray:


The surgery is over and went well! She did not need a colostomy, but isn’t allowed to eat for five days! She’s not too happy about it, but it’s better than an ostomy! Thank you for your prayers!


Oh, I am so so happy for you!! :tada::tada::tada:

Do they think she’ll have normal bowel function eventually then? How wonderful!


It is unlikely that she’ll ever have completely normal bowel function, but this should give her more control and make it much more manageable. It should also help prevent infection.

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