Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fear and Something or Other (Lack of Titling Creativity?)

I was taught not to express my insecurities, to show them to the outside world. I have a lot of them. I ask a lot of questions because I think I am doing everything wrong. But I've been taught it's bad bad bad to show one's insecurities, that it makes you look like you're incompetent rather than unconfident. Nevertheless, I'm always surprised when people express in some way that I seem confident and unafraid.

Along those lines, I'm surprised that I don't feel more scared about the surgery than I do. I think I've been staying so busy trying to keep up with other life demands in advance of it. Right now I feel stomachy-ill from trying to get everything I need to done for everyone's sake and before my sister's family arrives. I think staying busy is maybe keeping me from thinking about everything. We also meet with my son's school Monday afternoon about his autism evaluation and have an arts event at the school that evening. Besides a few too many errands I'm not up to doing. I guess if some don't get done, they don't get done.

So...what happens: Tuesday morning I'll have an anterior cervical fusion. I get to arrive at 6 a.m.--the only time I get up before 5 am is for flights, and that's been a long time! There are videos of this procedure (I mean animated, not gory), which I've watched. Basically, the surgeon removes the disc (relief of spine pain!). Then he'll put in donor bone and metal plates with screws to hold it all in place. It will take a couple of hours. I've been told they'll keep me overnight, so it may take me a bit to let everyone know how it goes. If there's an internet connection there, though, I might send hubby to give a quick update. Apparently most people have immediate relief of nerve pain, though then there's the surgical pain to contend with. The most difficult part: getting off soft drinks (my very very bad habit) as required for several weeks and hopefully permanently. A fair number of people have some trouble or pain swallowing, which makes me edgy. Losing weight, good, not breathing well, bad. The other difficult part: neck brace for six weeks--the support will probably help, but I hope sleeping isn't difficult. Shopping list: better pillows: straws for easier drinking.

My in-laws will be here to take care of the kids and dog, and my sister will fly back in on Friday to babysit me for the weekend--my husband already planned a camping trip for 30+ families that weekend (there really is not a good or perfect time to do surgery). I think I'll be fine, but we all feel better having her here, and we'll have some catch-up time without kids for the first time in 10 years. And hubby will cancel his trip and delegate if he needs to.

Those of you who have been reading here for a while know that all kinds of surgery and post-surgery fears no other person would think of are running through my head, but I'll share those later, when they haven't happened and I'm recovering well. There's Versed, of course, which they generally administer first.

On a good note: I don't seem to be having so many problems with word usage and memory recently. My pain level has been lower, and I think that's why. The issue really did seem to be at its worst when my pain level was highest, as in round-the-clock dosage of hydrocodone, continually rotating ice packs, and not leaving the house unless absolutely necessary. I think pain short circuits me.

Maybe this surgery will make it a lot easier for me to sit up longer and reduce pain, and I hope the bladder pressure issues. I am hoping for the best. I know the surgeon is really good at what he does.

I promise medical humor when I'm feeling better! There's always something out of the ordinary when I have medical procedures. It may take me a few days beyond surgery to get back to reading blogs, but I hope everyone is doing well in the meantime--I'll be thinking of all the bloggers I read, too.

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