As many of you know from my first entry, I am scheduled for an abdominal myomectomy at the end of the year. This is when an incision, called a bikini cut, is made on your abdomen in order to remove uterine fibroids. It’s similar to a c-section when delivering a baby, except that this baby is a few benign masses that have caused me nothing but grief for over five years. You have no idea how relieved I am at the thought of finally getting rid of these fibroids and the prospect of living a higher-quality life. But, for me, the relief is all in the destination and the journey getting there is causing me anxiety and stress.
When I saw my surgeon in June for a consultation, he evaluated my results and confirmed that this procedure was the way to go. All I was concerned with was my ability to have babies in the future. I never thought about how much of a process this was going to be until a few days ago. I thought I would go admit myself the day of the surgery, the procedure would take a couple of hours at most and then I would stay in the hospital overnight. Easy, right? Then my inquisitive nature got the best of me and I decided to go online and research the surgery to prepare myself. Oh my goodness, can you imagine how stressed out I am after seeing all the pictures of what they will actually do to me? Talk about TMI!
First of all, there are two different forms of anesthesia – epidural or general. The control freak in me prefers to get the epidural so I can stay conscious throughout the procedure with just my body being numbed from the waist down. But, the chicken in me wants to be completely under and in the dark about what occurs during the surgery. Then, they make an incision in my bikini area of about 7-9 inches, pull out my intestines, place them on a table and pull out my uterus. They remove all the fibroids on the outside as well as make an incision on the uterus to remove the ones inside. Then, they sew my uterus up, stick it back in my abdominal area along with my intestines and sew me up. Oh, did I mention the catheter that is placed in my bladder so that I can pass urine and how it stays in me until the next day? I keep running between being upset that I cannot use the toilet and being afraid that they will put my intestines back in all wrong so that I will have even more stomach and intestinal issues than I already have. Not to mention what my reaction will be when I wake up. Will I be nauseous from the anesthesia? Will my mom be there? Will I look gross after the procedure? When can I take a shower? How’s the hospital food? And the questions keep coming. Just when I get an answer to one, 20 more pop into my head.
My fascination in medical television shows has been detrimental. I have nightmares about being administered an incorrect dose by a prescription pain killer popping anesthesiologist and falling into a coma, unresponsive while being misplaced somewhere in the hospital with my family wondering what happened to me. All I saw was my mom crying hysterically and my husband choking the life out of my surgeon. Fortunately for me, I know I have an overactive imagination and try really hard to ground myself and put everything into perspective.
The bottom line is – I am afraid. Afraid of the unknown and unexpected. Afraid that something really terrible might happen.
Afraid I might be in a situation where I cannot be independent and I am terrible at asking for help. All these fears have caused an unbearable weight of stress on my shoulders that, quite frankly, is debilitating and causing my health to deteriorate even more. What I have to keep focused on is the key learning from my experiences. I do not have control of this situation and there will be many more times that I don’t. Instead of fighting and flaying around like a fish out of water, I can be comforted by putting myself in God’s hands. Being a control freak is a sign of immaturity and insecurity. In this phase of my life, I am still learning a great deal about myself. I realize that I have the faith and trust in God to do what’s right for me. I’m passing the baton and leaving this in the hands of a higher power.
Caridad Pellot is a corporate executive who just looks like she has it all together. In her blog, “Diary Of A Control Freak”, she lets us in on the lessons she’s learning along the way.