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Complications of a delayed surgery.

Woke up this morning feeling pretty depressed.  I haven’t had a good run or bit of exercise since last Wednesday.  Between this cold and a pollen count of over 9,000 (extremely high considered to be >500) the one gentle walk I’ve taken to try and get my system moving probably swept more junk into my lungs than it expelled out.

I also woke up from a dream in which my boyfriend angrily yelled at me to not be frustrated (which, literally, does not happen in real life) and thinking about my work situation.  I’ve been saving money for the last few months because I knew I’d have this time off, so it’s not like I won’t be able to pay my bills, it’s just that it looks like I’m not going to be working for the better part of a month.  Thus using twice as much of my savings as I originally thought I’d need, thanks to this glorious f*@%ing cold that already kept me from working last Saturday.  Once again, I’m going to have to overlook the negative aspect (the financial), appreciate that my health is the priority, and look at the positive: some unexpected time off while I’m up and about.  Time with my Mom, who I so seldom get to see.  And who knows, maybe I’ll even get to go to the cabin in the woods for those two nights next week if no one asks me to work for them.

So, I sit here drinking some reheated coffee that is too sweet and too old, but it is good.  I was without it for a few days and with the blood supply being cut off to my thyroid, it’s a little piece of heaven right now.  I think what the body and mind need today is a good, long walk.  Maybe I can even try a run in a few days after it (hopefully) rains and my lungs are clear.  Today though, a drive out to the park for a good, long walk in the woods sounds like it should lift this cloud that surrounds me.

More good news…  the swelling at the first I.V. site from yesterday where the nurse exploded my vein is much better.  When I took the bandages off last night, I had expected bruising, but I also had some serious swelling which I found surprising.  It is now only slightly puffy, and I can hang my arm normally by my side without any pain.  I still have some purple writing below my neck, but considering what’s come so far and what’s to come soon, who gives a flying rat?  You could also surmise this to be my attitude if you’d seen my hair, face, and clothing through the rest of the day yesterday and this morning.  Sometimes other things are more important.  and I’m okay flopping about for a day or two like a ragamuffin.

Operation cloud raise today will consist of coffee (which I’m currently placing in action), a good 5 mile walk in the sunshine, a shower, a load of laundry, and a few chapters of Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me.  Then if that gets it halfway up, maybe making a batch of soap would finish it off.  Wish me luck, ’cause this cloud is thick as the morning fog in San Francisco Bay.

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F.E.A.R.

Fear is a powerful force.  It has its place, but often times if you give it an inch, it takes a 26.2 miles.  Fear, lately, has been an unwelcome house guest who is quickly overstaying her welcome and barging into my life at the most inappropriate moments.  She rears her head in the form of stress dreams; sudden, acute anxiety; digestive discomfort; emotional outbursts; crying over nothing.  Par example: Last Sunday I decided I hadn’t veged out in front of the tv in months, so I decided to sit back, drink my coffee and enjoy some mindless drivel.  I ended up flipping back and forth between Roadhouse (I don’t have cable) and one of the Big Mama movies where there’s a Mrs. Doubtfire scenario happening.  The farcical Big Mama and the kids become attached to each other and the goodbye at the end of the movie had my shedding a tear.  Oh Brooooother

Recently I received an email from my boyfriend’s brother who reminded me of something I’d heard somewhere before.  Fear can be put into perspective via acronym:

False Evidence Appearing Real or maybe False Expectations Appearing Real

Either way, I’ve been buggin’ out!  Lately, I can’t stop thinking about waking up during surgery.  Then, last night, I did the worst thing someone can do.  I googled it.  I found out it’s more common than I even thought.  I read people’s accounts of it happening to them, which somehow led to reading people’s horror stories of life after a Total Thyroidectomy.  I found myself on the very same page I remember reading that froze me to inaction last year when I thought I was ready for surgery.  I read about people gaining 25, 35, 75, 100 pounds after having their thyroid removed and claiming to have “normal” blood levels.

I could feel the fear spreading through my body.  There was actually a stream of tingling energy traveling through my body, animating particles and molecules and atoms, probably leading to inflammation or more belly fat or an aneurism or something…   See how it spirals?

All I could do was breathe.  I sent my brother an email and fortunately Anto called just in time to talk me down so I could go to bed.  I awoke feeling calm, but the fear definitely comes in waves.  I don’t want to plant an idea in my mind, as I know how powerful the mind can be.  This is very important to me and though I’ve been joking about it with people, I’m serious about having the right thoughts before surgery.

Here are the steps I’ve taken to correct this:

I went back and read the helpful emails of people’s positive experiences from people who have taken the initiative to be educated advocates for their own health.  I consider myself to be one and feel like that will contribute tremendously to a positive outcome.  One woman did not consider any of these fearful possibilities that I’ve read about as options for herself and I would like to get in alignment with that type of thinking.  Reading her words helps.

I have ordered books from my library about healing (spiritual/energy/etc.), prayer, conquering fear, and humor i.e. Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me.  Granted, I won’t be able to read them all before the surgery, but I’m surrounding myself with them before and after to keep my mind aimed towards the right direction or distracted by someone else’s comically written account of his own set of woes.  Hopefully from there my brain can pick up momentum and create these thoughts on its own.  Like giving myself constant, effective pep talks.

What do you do to counteract the fear that grips you when you have made a big decision or have to go through something in life that you’d rather not?  What skills have you acquired?  How do you cope?  What tools do you use to get yourself in the right frame of mind?  I’d love to hear your stories and your experiences.  I encourage you to share your own in a comment.

Thanks for “listening” …and sharing.

 

 

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