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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Anxiety at its Finest

For the life of me I can’t sleep.  TDO’s surgery is today and while I’ve been with him through separate surgeries on both knees as well as previous surgery on this same shoulder (not to mention the vasectomy from hell), this one feels different.  I think the difference is that this time, he’s nervous.

I’ve always drawn strength from his strength (or maybe ambivalence) and when shit hits the fan, I usually hold together relatively well unless I’m at a point when I know I can afford to break down.  I can’t afford to break down now, so I won’t, but damn… my stomach is in knots, I can’t sleep, my hands have been shaking and honestly, I just am not comfortable with all this.  Granted, I don’t feel any forboding, “Take another flight!” feelings, but I am admittedly anxious and worried.

I can’t control what happens during his surgery.  I won’t be operating on him.  Even if I were, even if I were the top specialist in my field with thousands of similar surgeries under my belt, I wouldn’t be able to control everything.  Instead, I’m trying to focus on the things I can control.  I’ve been getting the house in order so that when he is home, I will be able to focus on him, if need be.  I have spent the majority of the last two hours packing things so I will be “prepared.”  I should have plenty to do to entertain myself from 10:30 until… whenever.  I have almost convinced myself that he will not be as irritable and mean and horrible as he has been after the last surgeries.  I know that is a lie, though.

Top it off with the fact that he has decided to quit smoking cold turkey during all of this.

Oh no, he won’t be irritable.

No, not at all.

He’ll be in pain, and going through withdrawals, but it’ll be FINE, dammit.  Just dandy.

Kill me.

Honestly, until this evening, I have mostly been focused on the stress of his recovery, because that meant there WOULD be a recovery.  There’s no reason to believe anything could go wrong, but TDO said something that obviously has struck a chord of fear in him and it really set my worries, off, too.  I’ll paraphrase… it went something like, “Well, you know how you have like, a one in a million chance having complications from anesthesia?”  I guess the actual statistics (for the year 2000 for people 18-44, anyhow) are more like 580 per million, not one in a million, at least according to “this site”:http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/anesthesia_complications/stats.htm

Estimated 0.58 anesthesia complications occurred per 1,000 surgical discharges of people aged 18 to 44 in the US 2000 (National Healthcare Quality Report, AHRQ, DHHS, 2003)

Awesome.  That eases my mind.  Not.

What made it worse is that he said, “Well, here’s the thing.  How many times have I been under?  I had like 10 ear surgeries as a kid, plus a few other surgeries where I had to be put under, plus both knees, plus my shoulder, plus Dr. Miserable.” (Dr. Miserable is in reference the the Vasectomy from Hell.  We don’t mention the surgery by name, if we mention the surgery at all.)

“OK, so you’re resiliant and obviously aren’t allergic to anything they use to put you under.  That’s good, right?” I prodded, feeling the tension in his voice.

He drawled, “Well, maybe…”  then decided to spring this on my poor tattered nerves.  “What if this just increases my chances of this time being the one?  Like, you know, you have a 1 : 2 chance of getting heads, so if you flip that coin long enough, you WILL get heads, right?”


I feel so much more calm.

On several occasions he’s made comments like, “Maybe I should have a will done,” or “I took the week before surgery off so I could spend time with the family - just in case - and get affairs in order.”

What the hell?

How can I draw strength from him, if he obviously has none?  I haven’t said anything to either confirm or deny his fears.  I do hold him tighter at night, now. 

Life happens, and so does death, but there’s no reason to believe that now is his time.  So why can’t I shake this fear?  Why am I being so paranoid and absurd over this?  Ugh.  It’s driving me nutty.  I did better when I focused on what a pain he was going to be (though again, I have no proof saying that he actually will be) during recovery.  At least then I could just half-assed feel sorry for myself for having to deal with his grumpy self, rather than worrying about whether or not he’d even be around to deal with.

In roughly 12 hours, he’ll probably be finished up (or nearly so) with his surgery and this whole long ranty insanity will seem like just that, but for now it sorta feels good to just let it splash out onto the page in a jumbly mess.  Like, almost if I talk about it, of course everything will be OK and this will all be foolish and pointless worrying.

Anyhow, I’ll have more to update when we get home.  Figured I’d update and give some clue of why I have been so quiet lately.

Posted by Liberty on 05/04 at 03:03 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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Krush  at  05/04/05 07:56 PM

How is he doing? How are you doing? News girl! I’ve kept him in my thoughts all day!

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