I haven’t updated you guys about surgery scheduling or anything else recently because I’ve been battling the anxiety monster. Like, we are in a full-on boxing match over here. And I’m losing. I’ve never kept it secret that I struggle with anxiety. I see a therapist, I visualize, I go to acupuncture weekly, I do yoga (when I’m not being a sloth). All of those things help. They keep it under wraps most of the time. But sometimes, man. Sometimes it’s rough.
Right now is one of those times.
Having to leave the hospital sans surgery two weeks ago really freaked me out more than I realized. It’s been looming over me, and the thoughts are spiraling: Will I get through it? Will something terrible befall me? Will it ever happen? Will it keep getting rescheduled until the end of time? Does that hospital have bad juju?
I was able to get the surgery rescheduled for this Thursday. This was a week earlier than what I had originally thought, so I was happy. Right around when I found that out, I started getting post-nasal drip, which is usually the tell-tale sign of a cold for me. Eff, I thought. Are you kidding me? Doctors really don’t like to do surgeries when patients have a cold. They like the immune system to be tip-top, and they want the airways to be completely open. This makes sense, obviously. So then it became a waiting game of will-I-get-sick-and-have to-reschedule-my surgery. And the anxiety just went downhill from there.
I went to the doctor yesterday because I having some chest tightness and achiness. I figured it was just from the post-nasal drip, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something more sinister, especially since I have asthma. The doctor listened to my lungs and said they sounded completely clear, but I seemed to be taking longer to exhale than normal, so he figured I was having a minor asthma flare up. He thought this, and the post-nasal drip (that’s such a gross term, by the way. Sorry for repeating it 65 times in one post), were caused by allergies. He said I had no swollen lymph nodes or anything else to indicate that I was sick. Lettie has a cold right now, so I am skeptical of this, but I really am not having any other cold symptoms. He put me on a “burst” of steroids to help with the asthma. He said I should be good to go for the surgery as long as my lungs still sounded clear on Thursday. He sounded really confident about this. So I felt better. For like 2.5 seconds. The steroids seemed to be working. I still had major PND (Does that sound less icky? Maybe a little.), but my chest weirdness was gone.
But anxiety, it doesn’t give a sh*t what doctors think.
I texted Dr. V. (my surgeon) after my appointment to see if the steroids were fine to take before surgery. He said they were. I then talked to him today. He asked me about my symptoms. I told him the tightness in my chest was gone, but I still had my friend PND. He said if I have any trouble breathing we should reschedule. I assured him I didn’t have any trouble, and he agreed that I sounded fine. He told me to call him tomorrow to check in.
After that phone conversation I worked myself into a panic attack. I somehow managed to get my work done, but I was freaking out all afternoon. I called Tim and could barely keep it together. He was all, “What? That convo with Dr. V sounded fine. It sounded like things are pretty much a go. It also sounds like he cares about you, which is a good thing.” All true, but I was out of control at this point.
All afternoon I felt burning hot. I was sure I had a fever. But when I finally got home and took my temp it was 97.6 degrees. No fever in sight. Then I could feel my chest aching again. Was this from the post nasal drip? Or from the anxiety? My guess is anxiety, but what if it wasn’t?
And so on and so forth.
Logically, post nasal drip is not a reason to reschedule surgery. I know this. And even if it does get rescheduled, so? It’s not the end of the world. I mean, I’d really prefer to not have this procedure looming over me anymore, since it triggered the worst case of anxiety I’ve had in years. Still, it’s not a reason to freak the eff out.
But anxiety doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t listen to reason. It doesn’t care.
It’s mean. It’s a monster. And some days it wins.