From Anxious to Get it Over With to Just Plain Anxious
Journal posted on June 20, 2018
I'm going for my pre-op testing in a few minutes. Not a big deal - blood work, chest x-ray, interview with Anesthesia resident; been there, done that X8. I can feel my nerves start to prickle, though. Feeling a bit anxious. My logical mind says, it's all good; my subconscious is saying "RED ALERT!!!!"
How many things have I worried about since the middle of March when I learned it was time for surgery? Answer: Too many to count. Some of my what-ifs have been grounded in reality (at least I think they have) and some have downright off the wall, bizarre stuff that even I don’t think is really going to happen. . Pretty normal, yep, all part of the processs.
But the one thing I haven’t worried about until now Is the weather. It turns out maybe I should have.
The Houston area is in for tropical waves of rain over the next four days. This is not so unusual for South Texas in early summer. We are accustomed to loud, house-rattling thunderstorms and buckets and buckets of water that can quickly turn our streets into rivers. That changed when Hurricane Harvey hit us last year. Now, quite understandably I think, we all freak out when it rains more than a few drops.
This storm will be more than a few drops, according to our local tv weather guys. They are freaking out too, all the while reminding us that this isn’t a “Harveylike rain event”. Use of the H-word only adds to everybody’s discomfort.
So now I have a new worry to keep me company - that it might rain so hard in the coming days that by Thursday morning I, or the surgical team, or a combination thereof, won’t be able to get to the hospital and we will have to reschedule. The streets in our Medical Center are notorious for flooding.
Can’t do anything about the weather, eh? Best not to concern myself, right? Easier said than done.
This is such a trivial thing compared to what some others are facing I almost didn’t post this.
It wouldn’t be the worst thing. I’ve had one postponement already, so what’s one more? Nothing really, it’s just that I’m really ready to do this NOW. Who knows, maybe by Thursday I will have lost my nerve and be praying for rain .
Maybe I should have bought that rubber raft I saw on Amazon... 😉
Hello, my name is Bobbi and I'm a Vent-o-Phobic. Okay, that's probably a bit over the top. I'm not phobic about it. I'm just, shall we say, anxious? Yeah, anxious. I'll go with that.
This will be Surgery #9 for me - a tonsillectomy, hysterectomy, three breast cancer surgeries, a couple of broken bone repairs and knee scope (okay, that one probably doesn't count as a surgery, but it was general anesthesia and it hurt like all get out afterwards, so I'm counting it anyway).
Of course, every surgery is different, but those 8 other surgeries give me a general idea what the first few hours of my upcoming surgery post-op will be like. Well, mostly... this will be the first time I'll wake up on the vent and THAT makes me nervous.
I haven't seen many references to what being on a vent is like in patient posts or in the informational videos; that is, with the exception of Jim Davis' excellent series "A Heartbeat Away 4U" on YouTube. He describes it as feeling like you have ice cream in your throat - (huh?) He goes on to say that although many people are worried (yep, me) they might gag on the tube (me again), they don't. (Oh Jim, how I hope you're right.) It helped knowing that other people were concerned (understatement for me) about it, I'll admit to still being a bit skeptical. (Sorry, Jim.)
I wonder why there's not more discussion out there in Internet Land of what it's like to wake up on the vent. Is it one of those icky things people just don't want to talk about or tell you? Is it not-that-big-a-deal like some of the other stuff I've worried about - like having a TEE (piece of cake), or a CT with contrast (weirdly interesting feeling when the dye goes whoosh through your body), or the cardiac cath? Is the info out there and I just missed it?
So, I'm asking for the real scoop - what's it like to wake up on the vent? Don't worry, I can take it...probably. (*smiles and waves*)
I spent yesterday with my sweet 6 year old granddaughter. I had 6 hours with her playing Barbie, Go Fish, supervising an awesome Fathers' Day craft project for her dad (my son), and talking a bit about the fact that the doctors will fix my heart next week, When I waved goodbye to her I'll admit I had a bit of a moment as the car pulled out of the driveway. I gave myself a good talking to, and thankfully it passed quickly. I am, after all, going to be able to do so much with her when this is all over.
It's funny how you attach yourself to comments made by others: I keep thinking about a post I read that was encouraging someone who said they were nervous about their upcoming surgery (*Imagine that! LOL) The writer said their 90 year old grandmother had the surgery and that they could get through it too.
I'm relatively new to this site, so I don't know the people involved. But I have to say that comment really struck me. I've grabbed onto that it and made it my mantra of sorts. So, thank you to whoever posted that comment. Encouraging words on this site are so powerful.
I opened the site this morning and glanced at the Upcoming Surgeries window over on the right hand side of the page...and there I am - 6/21. I've been counting the days, so it isn't a surprise to see myself there, but still - THERE I AM! I'm still pretty calm with a moment here and there of fear. In a strange way, it helps that I'm getting tired more easily now. It's a reminder that I need to get this fixed.
My sweet 6 year old granddaughter is coming today to play Barbies and do crafty stuff with me today. It's the last time I'll see her before the surgery. I am SO looking forward to it. I'll be tired as all get out at the end of the day, but it will be worth it.
I seem to be turning into a germ-o-phobe in these last two weeks before my surgery. I'm almost recovered from the bad cold I got two weeks ago from my sweet 3 year old granddaughter, but I am worried that I'll get sick again and have to postpone my surgery. My rational mind says to just be extra vigilant and follow all the standard advice about hand washing and not touching your face. My irrational mind wants to go into quarantine and stay there until the day of the surgery. I'm having a visit with my PCP today to make sure the cold is really on its way out and I'll speak to her then about whether or not it's necessary to limit my time with my granddaughters. They're in daycare so they're walking petri dishes. Anyway, having a bunch of thoughts that are pretty odd for me. *sigh* June 21st can't get here soon enough.