Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I haven’t read journals for the past three days. Please forgive me if I have missed something important in your lives. I had to take a few days away from the computer to try and get my courage and resolve in place.

My surgery is scheduled for the 24th of January. When the scheduler handed me the piece of paper with the date written on it I felt as if I was going to shatter. I started shaking so hard that she asked me if I needed some help, and then tried to assuage my fear by quoting all the facts that were listed on the brochure that was balled up in my fist.

There was no way that I could attempt to make her understand what I was feeling. The facts of my situation are thus:

Gallbladder surgery is the least of the many surgeries that I have had to undergo.

My ailing gallbladder is affecting my liver.

My surgeon helped perfect this particular surgery so he is considered among the best in this area.

I will be allowed to come home the same day.

There are people that love me and will be there to give me support.

BUT, those are facts, and I am having to deal with FEAR. A fear so immense that if I give it the freedom to express itself I will start screaming and in all likelihood continue until my throat closes.

It’s not the surgery itself that I fear. I have had surgeons cut and suture on me since I was two years old. It’s not the pain. Pain and I are very well acquainted. I know almost to the moment what I can tolerate. Recuperation and I are also great friends. I have become very patient. I know how to deal with the limits and time required for my body to come back to full use. And although I would rather never have to deal with another doctor, nurse, social worker, or admitting clerk in my life. I have learned that there are some very nice people that have undertaken these professions.

This is almost more then I can write, but I am putting it down in written form hoping that my family and friends will read these words and maybe, just maybe, they will be better able to understand.

I have had to stop friends and family in mid-sentence when they have tried to talk to me about the surgery. I can see the confusion on their faces. And, once in a while, I can see that they are peeved at my reluctance to open the door of communication. But the truth of the fear is this ... if I let the demon out I will NEVER have the surgery done.

I am TERRIFIED of being put to sleep. It has been done to me 33 times. It is a black abyss that holds such terror for me that I am seriously frightened for my sanity if I explore the source too deeply. My last surgery was for removal of a disc in my neck that was pressing against my spinal cord. It was very serious surgery that had to be done immediately.

Half way through that procedure I woke myself up. The surgeon later told me that I was the strongest woman he had ever encountered. I tried to tell him that it wasn’t strength that woke me up it was the FEAR. My mind has to reject the anesthetic or I sincerely believe that I would end up in a psych ward somewhere.

So I am trying very hard not to upset my family and friends, but I am refusing to talk about what the 24th of January holds for me. I will get through it, but the woman that talks most things out wont talk about this one, this time.

If I could sit with just one person that has had to walk in shoes similar to mine surely, they would know that the ‘fear of the black abyss’ is a monster too big to talk about and I could find consolation. But OMG I hope there isn't anyone else that has to live with such as this.

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