My Mom and I spoke today and I told her that I am having sinus surgery next week. It isn’t serious but it is general anesthesia. Anyway. She suggested I go and receive anointing of the sick. I told her that I’m not in danger of dying or having serious illness… I don’t believe. But she insisted and told me there were special prayers I need to be saying consistently. I’m 38 and in excellent health.
Going under general anesthesia always involves some risk and surgery is never “routine.” Not to scare you but in my opinion you should avail yourself of the spiritual strength that the beauty of the sacrament will give you! It can’t hurt can it? On the upside the good that will come is the extra grace and healing that can come of it. God bless you and please be assured of my prayers.
Yup. She’s right. Listen to your Mother; Jesus did!
There are a heap of blessings waiting for you through receiving the sacrament of the sick. It used to be called “Extreme Unction” when I was young, and was often reserved for the dying. But the sacrament is also intended to bring healing, not to mention the forgiveness of sins. Better yet, make a triple sacrament “date” for Eucharist, Reconciliation and Sacrament of the Sick.
Reactions to anesthesia are rare. Not to scare you, but I lost a co-worker in her 20’s who had minor cosmetic surgery. And graces imparted to you through the sacraments are never wasted. God bless you, and grant your healing, successful surgery and continuing good health.
I have never heard about any prayers that must be said before surgery. The Church does not dictate our private devotional life, and this would come under that category. If you want you can ask your mother to pray them for you. If I were you, I would ask your pastor scout the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. If he feels that it is appropriate, then do it. You will receive many graces, and it will make your mother feel good that you took her advice. You are going to have enough problems with her after she hears about the divorce. You can tell her they it was your husband’s idea after you two looked at all the options. That is, after all, true. Now that I looked at the type of surgery you are going to have, I realized that it isn’t exactly what I had done, but I do know that you will need some stress free time to recover. If you follow your priest’s instructions about the sacrament, you shouldn’t have any extra stress from your mother.
I’m not sure that you would be able to receive Anointing of the Sick, although I suggest that you speak with your pastor. Yes, there is a danger of death from surgery - but you’re 38, and from the sounds of it, in excellent health. Since it’s sinus surgery, I’m guessing it’s being done on a relatively elective basis - it’s likely not an “urgent” matter, which again suggests to me that there’s not a serious risk of death. (Disclaimer: I’m a nurse, not a physician, and I don’t know all of the details. However, knowing something about medicine, I’m making an educated estimate of the situation. The OP and anyone else should check with his/her physician in related cases.) My understanding is that Anointing of the Sick is to be reserved for severe illness and/or serious risk of death.
1514 The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived."130
1515 If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
I would recommend it for a procedure that requires general sedation (rather than one for which sedation is elective because you don’t want to witness it, such as having wisdom teeth pulled).
I was given so much peace by receiving the sacrament before my spinal surgery that the nurse marveled how low my blood pressure was immediately prior to surgery. Still, it is up to you. This is a situation in-between wisdom teeth and heart surgery, so you could go either way.
We all ought to be prepared to die on any day. You never know. Do think about how long it has been since you’ve been to confession. If you do not confess regularly, make it a point to avail yourself of the Sacrament of Penance before your surgery. (A healing sacrament that is, too! )