It’s been quite a challenge getting back into writing. These last few months have certainly taken a toll on me but, progress is evident.
I don’t know if it’s my last brain surgery in May, which left me paranoid but, I always find myself trying to solve the “world’s” problems before I have surgery. In this analogy the “world” equals my family and anyone else in my immediate circle or not. Maybe some part of me feels overwhelmed to the point of seeing my inevitable death. I won’t lie, it’s stressful! And, I know that’s just being negative yet, I acknowledge it as being true to my overthinking self. Both a blessing and a curse. I feel a need to ensure my finances are in order and my children will be taken care of, just in case. These are all things I know one should do, regardless of facing surgery, or not.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this little tradition of sorts. Facing my disc replacement surgery tomorrow, I feel slightly (OK, very) anxious. I know many people will tell me not to worry and that all will be well, I appreciate where that comes from. Truth be told, that’s exactly what I expected in May when my ETV was redone. I never anticipated a brain bleed, or my recovery from it taking this long, despite being told the risks.
A few weeks ago, an overpowering thought entered my mind. Repeat brain surgery is as inevitable as death when you have Hydrocephalus. I found myself going into a downward spiral, thinking; “I can’t keep doing this!”. It really got to me, the reality of living with Hydrocephalus. Ugh!!!
The guilt trip and build up to tomorrow
• I walked my dog Jesse (for the last time) because I know, more than anyone else, she’ll miss having me around for a few days. Her sad eyes following me as she watched me pack my hospital bag…again.
• Making my kids pancakes for breakfast, something reserved for weekends, because I could.
• Cleaning the house because “I need to leave it in as acceptable a state as I possibly can”, especially while I’m still able to use a vacuum. Yet, I don’t expect to find it that way when I come back.
• My husband prepared our favourite dish for dinner, grilled salmon because our “last meal needs to be special”. And, because I expect my throat will be too sore after tomorrow morning.
• Feeling guilty for not visiting the mother of someone with Hydro, who has just had surgery herself. I had every intention to do so but…time would not permit.
• I even prepared extra articles for work a few weeks in advance, just to ensure there’s coverage while I’m away.
• Also, ever since we made the decision to go ahead with surgery, I’ve been concerned about our finances. I was able to negotiate my out of pocket expenses down to AU$1500, which is still a lot of money. More so because this will be my third major operation in 6 months! The financial impact combined, has not left me without guilt. I’ve run out of leave and will need to use what’s left, including taking some time off without pay! 4 to 6 weeks recovery is a VERY BIG ask right now. A motivator to get back to work sooner rather than later, albeit flat on my back…
The effects are not lost on me
It’s just crazy! I drive myself nuts trying to be everything to everyone else and yet, for the most part, it’s not fully reciprocated. I feel and see it. But, I’m human. I continue to beat the drum regardless of the tune being out. I strum the guitar no matter if it sounds like stray cats on heat, late at night. I have fear despite having faith. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, the fear part, that is. Anyone who feels the need to crucify me because of it, can go suck an Ostrich egg!
Truth be told, I’d rather not have surgery but I know living with the pain, isn’t an option either. Caught between a rock and a hard place…having people tell me; “Why do you let them cut you so many times?”, is a moot point, annoyingly so.
I’ve found myself fast forwarding to post surgery and (hopefully I remember). I see myself wiggling my toes to ensure I’m not paralysed. Another fear I’ve secretly been brewing in my head. See how the overthinking comes through? Grrr!!!
Self-care is important
On Sunday I insisted on a family outing to the beach, one of my soul soothing places. Immersing myself in that warm salty water, feeling the sand between my toes and soaking up the sun worked wonders on my overall demeanour. Tonight, before I go to sleep, it’s even more TLC. I had a long soak in a bath with some “sleep” and “relax” bath crystals, washed and blow dried my hair, ready to face what I need to early in the morning. Up at 4:50am and ready to leave at 5:20am, check in at 6:00am with surgery at 7:30am.
Even finishing this post and sharing it with those who follow my blog, is in itself a form of self-care. The reason is simple, my blog is my passion, my purpose…it’s who I am!
Finding the positive
On the flip side, I tell myself the least I can do is “enjoy” the few days away from home and selfishly focus on me, myself and I! I reckon that’s a better alternative, wouldn’t you say?