I’ve been waiting for a surgery date from the hospital for quite some time now. I already knew they would need to operate on my left foot, my right hip, and my right wrist. I was told to expect a date sometime between September and early October, and when that didn’t happen…I knew it would be only a matter of time before they called with a date.
Even still, that call from the hospital knocked me off my proverbial feet.
When I listened to the voicemail message from my specialist’s receptionist telling me that my surgery had been booked for Monday, November 16th…I felt dizzy and light headed. I won’t gloss it over; I had a full blown panic attack and started to cry.
When you have a chronic pain disorder that requires multiple surgeries, people expect you to roll with the punches. After all, you’ve had several surgeries before – that’s nothing new, and you’ve certainly had to deal with the hospital’s last minute notice when it comes to those surgeries, so again…that’s nothing new. They really don’t expect you to break down in hysterics, and they are often completely at a loss for how to manage you when you do.
See, this whole chronic pain, chronic surgery thing is not that easy. Just because I’ve done it several times before, it doesn’t mean that I will be able to do it again with grace and ease. It’s not just the anxiety of having another surgery – which is a totally different kettle of fish and something on its own completely. I have less than five days to figure out how I’m going to get to the hospital, who’s going to get my kids to school and be there for them afterwards, and who will do the thousands of other things I do during the day. It’s less than five days to find help for not just a few days, but the entire recovery period as well.
It’s knowing that I won’t be myself after the surgery, that I won’t be able to just pick back up into my routine right away. It’s knowing I will have even less independence than I currently do, it’s knowing that I will need to rely heavily on those around me and feeling like a burden because of it. It’s fearing that the recovery process will take too long.
To be honest, I’m not really concerned about the part where they operate on my hip or foot. I mean, I know that’s going to be uncomfortable. But my right wrist? Yeah, that’s causing me to lose sleep – especially now that I have a date. I’m right handed; I do everything with my right hand. Plus I had a thousand things that I wanted to accomplish before this surgery. I had a lot of writing assignments I wanted to get ahead in. I wanted to finish the book I’m writing and maybe earn myself a fancy trophy for completing NaNoWriMo.
But there’s never a “good time” to have surgery, and I’m thankful I will be somewhat functional by Christmas time (hopefully, if all goes well. Fingers crossed)! Again, it doesn’t make it easier, and I am prone to tears because it’s stressful to hand everything you usually control to someone else and let them take the lead. But I think that by knowing it’s okay to feel stressed out and scared, and it’s okay to be worried and not act like a pillar of strength, it will take a bit of the monstrous amount of stress off of me and allow me to focus on just getting this surgery over and done with and behind me.
I am not infallible, I am human…and I am scared, despite the brave face I put on for others. I just need to remember that, and I’ll be okay.