Last Friday I spend the morning at the hospital. It wasn’t much fun. As with any sort of visit to a health care center there was a form to fill in. Once again it was filled with very random questions which did not pertain to my issue or lifestyle. I felt as though I aged considerably as I answered questions about dementia, incontinence, and the dependence on others to get dressed/bathed. One of the few questions I did answer yes to was “are you responsible for the case of another person”, yes two other people. One that I need to dress/bathe and at 2 years old he occasionally wets the bed. The other 2 questions that I answered yes to were “have you been anxious in the last 2 weeks” and “are you having trouble sleeping”, obviously I am having my skull cut open in a week.
The first person I met with was the pharmacist. My list of current drugs includes over the counter headache medication, and the occasional Tums. The visit lasted about 5 minutes yet I was scheduled in for an hour. So we waited 45 minutes for the next appointment. When it was finally my turn to see the anesthesiologist he said “this is a big procedure”. Yes thanks for the news flash. All I wanted to know was how soon could he knock me out. I don’t want to feel anything, I don’t want to see anything. If he could come to my house the night before that would be great. He inspected my neck and throat to make sure that I could be incubated easily, and apparently I pass. He kept saying “you should be ok”, how comforting.
Next up was the nurse and she was great. She reminded me of my Nana who was also a RN. She was clearly in charge of the appointment and could answer all of my questions. There were 2 things that have stuck with me that seem very important the first being that I am not allowed to get out of bed for the first two days without assistance, and second is that I shouldn’t pickup the kids or do housework for 4 weeks. The warning to not do housework was the only silver lining for the time I spent at the hospital that day. The rest of it SUCKED.
After playing 50 questions with three people I went for an ECG. It was fast and painless. Next was blood-work, easy peasy. My final stop was a chest x-ray and after a very long wait (due to a scared child ahead of me) I was done. I have come to learn that emotional exhaustion is a real thing. A number of times throughout this process I have found myself so tired I can hardly function. It’s not due to a lack of sleep or physical exertion it’s because I have had a particularity emotional day and I am tired as a result.
On the way to pickup our 2 year old I was thinking about the surgery and I had tears in my eyes. We pulled into the parking lot (he was out for lunch with friends) and I saw a monk. He was dressed in brown robes with a big beaded cross leaning on the car beside us texting. It was one of those surreal situations that made me do a double take. I am taking it as a sign that everything will be ok.
Throughout this process one of the hardest things to deal with is that I need to surrender and trust other people. I can’t be in control, I can only advocate for myself. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and that the goal is to learn throughout the process. In a week I am going to put my life in the hands of others and have faith because that’s all that I can do.