Admitting I am SCARED . . .

Writing today about something that is difficult.

It is difficult for me to talk about my fears. I am used to putting up a strong front and just saying, “I’m fine”.

In this post, I have to admit, that I am not always being honest about that . . .

Next week I am having a surgery and I’m finding I’m having a lot of anxiety around it.

Before I go any further. This operation is pretty simple and I’m sure that the outcome will be good. It’s not something dangerous and it will make life easier for me when I get my new kidney. So . . . I am getting this operation over with now.

All that said, I still have been very nervous about it.

For me the worst part is when you arrive at the hospital.

In this case it will be day surgery at Kingston General. I’m nervous all morning (they usually ask you to come in early) but the nerves go nuts when I get called by the nurse and the operation prep starts.

And an IV – I am the worst needle-phob.

Blood work.

And the waiting . . .

Luckily my Aunt will be with me – she’s like a mom. It will be comforting to have her there.

(Another friend works at KGH and has offered to come and visit me while I wait too. Feeling blessed and loved.)

Next you get ushered to the pre-operation room waiting area. It’s always cold. They always offer you warm blankets. It’s still cold.

The worst part of the journey for me is the next stage. The operating room itself.

The bright lights. Transferring me on to that small little operating table. The contraptions hanging from the ceiling. Monitors here and there . . . beeping and buzzing. All the devices they hook you up to at that point. (Just imagining it now is giving me palpitations.)

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From that point on, in the operating room, I want things to progress quickly. Knock me out so I can wake up in recovery and move closer to being allowed to go home. Out of the hospital and back in my environment. Safe.

In the meantime, less than a week away from the surgery I need to have (to find) some peace about it.

Luckily I had scheduled an appointment with my surgeon a few days ago. She’s a young, approachable, empathetic doctor.

I felt comfortable to explain to her how I felt and from there – together – we came up with a plan.

The “original plan” was to do two surgeries at the same time – because I was knocked out already. Good idea (from an intellectual point of view) but overwhelming to me in thinking about two procedures happening at the same time.

She understood.

We agreed on having only one procedure done on Tuesday and leaving the second one for another time.

She even speculated that the second procedure be done with I have my transplant in Toronto. I will already be under and it’s relatively simple so they may be something we can tie all in together. (Brilliant!!)

We also decided that I should use any anti-anxiety medication on the morning of my operation next week. Something to take the edge off and make it a less stressful experience for me.

I like this new plan.

I can live with this. *BIG smile*

I wanted to share this story.

People need to be reminded that it’s okay to be in contact with someone on your medical team when you’re stressing, or anxious, about a procedure or operation or test.

Find someone who you can trust (and who you know will work with you) to find a solution that helps you to get through the tough “thing”.

In my case having one operation instead of two and taking an anti-anxiety med on my way to the operation have made the prospect of this health obstacle a lot easier to bare.

I sought someone who I knew could help me. I partnered with her to come up with a better plan – that reassured me. I suggested a calming solution (anti-anxiety meds) to further help.

It makes me feel good to have some control in this situation – despite how out of control health challenges are.

It makes me feel good that I am confident enough to advocate on behalf of my self. 

As patients we must be allowed to take for granted that we can be involved in our healthcare – even though we aren’t doctors or nurses.

We can forget we have rights as patients. We can forget that doctors and nurse understand that these medical “things” scare us . . . and that they WILL compromise with us about things if we have major concerns.

(I also understand that we can forget simply on the BASIS of our FEAR. My fear had clouded my perspective so badly that I had really forgotten that I could ask for help.)

I will be approaching next Tuesday with some anxiety still but significantly less because my doctor and I made a plan that I can live with.

As always, THANKFUL.

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