As I sit in my living, looking over our Christmas decorations and wrapped presents, it isn’t lost on me that next Saturday morning, I’ll be waking up in the hospital. Waking up? Who am I kidding. No one sleeps in a hospital.
We are less than one week from surgery. I have been asked so many times, “are you ready?”
Yes and no.
Our house is almost ready. The gifts are being wrapped. I have all the required and suggested supplies. I’ve read my instructions. So, yes, from that perspective, I’m ready.
I have a second cousin who, like my mom, has had this surgery. When talking to her and getting her suggestions, she said to me, “It’s a lot to handle emotionally.”
The thing is, right now, with the medication, my pain is much more tolerable than October. I’m sleeping again. I’m not walking around with a TENS unit or struggling to type. Sure, I can’t fully utilize my neck and I risk paralysis, but right now I feel mostly normal.
I’m grappling with the idea that things are going to feel bad, potentially really bad, before they begin to feel better.
I’m scared. I’m anxious. I’m also conflicted. Many, many people who have this surgery require another one down the line. I have to wear a hard brace for 12 weeks. My mom refer to it as her “torture chamber,” so clearly I’m looking forward to that. I’m worried about permanent nerve damage. I worry about being useless at home. I’m the cruise director aboard our ship. I worry about infection and getting sick.
I’m also hopeful that this will solve many of the long-term issues I was having with my neck that now make more sense. This isn’t a problem that popped up in October. This has been around a while, festering, and waiting to pounce.
I’ve gotten a lot of tips for recovery. Ice. Eating lots of protein. Get up and move.
Given that I’m having surgery in the middle of winter (my worst season) and in the middle of a pandemic, I’m also concerned about my mental state. We all know I have seasonal affect disorder. Is this going to make it worse?
So, aside from sticking up on ice packs, soup and getting my Netflix queue ready, I’m also coming up with ways to make sure my depression doesn’t take over. I’ve compiled stuff I like to do that I will still be able to do, even in the torture chamber. I’ve ordered new comfy pants and some shirts with buttons around the top so I can have multiple outfit options and not feel like I’m in my PJs all day. I ordered some candles in my favorite scents so that even if the house isnt clean, it’ll smell clean!
I’ll never be fully ready, but I can be at peace. I’ve been praying for peace. I’ve been preparing a peaceful environment. The rest is up to God!