I’m going to have to make this quick because I have to keep my arm elevated to avoid pain from the IV hole in it…
I arrived at the hospital for my 9:00 surgery just before 7:30 this morning after a very restless night’s sleep. I was left in the waiting area until about 10:30 due to the surgery before mine going long. After getting in my gown, socks, and hairnet, I was given an IV, twice. The first attempt led to a vein explosion on my bed-sheet, while the second was more successful, and less painful. After that, I was visited by one of the surgical team who wrote on my surgical site with his purple pen and then the anesthesiologist. I told both of them about my cold. Dr. Sullivan, the anesthesiologist said she’d leave it up to Dr. Weber, my surgeon, on whether he felt comfortable enough to proceed with the surgery. Apparently, the main concern was not actually my lungs during surgery, but the coughing after. Due to the surgery site being my neck, Dr. Weber took one listen to my cough and instantly said we’re going to have to cancel.
My face dropped.
It was now almost 12:30 and they were about to release me to go reschedule. As scared as I was for this surgery, as much deep breathing I did in the waiting area and the pre-op area, so much that I made my lips numb, I had pushed through all of those barriers, jumped all of those hurdles, made it to the finish line of the first leg of my medical triathlon, and they send me back to the starting line. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way it happened. It’s hard though, to go through it once only to be told that it’s not behind you, you have to do it again. Honestly, that’s not the worst part. The headache is that so many people have arranged their schedules around me, which is difficult enough, and now I have to ask them all to do it again.
My mom has to change her flight and spend basically a month here in my apartment rather than flying home for a few days and flying back. Work has to give me more time off and though I’d love a non-surgery related vacation, I need to work, but I can’t ask them to re-work the entire schedule to put me back on it, so it looks like I’ll be picking up shifts for the next two weeks which basically means I might not be working for a month. That’s a financial strain. Not to mention I had to reschedule my tax appointment due to my own procrastination and a W-2 that didn’t arrive until the end of February. My super thoughtful boyfriend took three days off to take care of me and booked two nights in a cabin in the woods during what would’ve been my second week of recovery to relax after all this stress. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it as far as work goes. I’d still love to have the chance to relax, and who knows, maybe it’ll be the part of all of this that just works out seamlessly.
It’s so difficult for me to ask people for help and favors without feeling so guilty because ‘thank you’ is never enough, something I learned long ago and have not yet shaken from my emotional stack of blocks. Like I should be able to take care of everything on my own. But maybe this is not just a lesson in courage, facing the unknown, and big, big change. Maybe this is also a lesson on how to ask for and accept help gracefully.
So, thank you, to so many of you who have been supporting me through this process. All of the messages of support really go a long way and have helped me to feel less alone in all of this. I’m not through the woods yet, but at least I know the lay of the land so far and putting some faith that things are happening the way they’re meant to and that it is all for the best. All we can do is have a little faith and let the current carry us because fighting against it is a losing battle. So, as of right now, I’m re-scheduled for April 6th, unless I get a call that they can do it sooner.