And the countdown to surgery begins! Who else gets the jitters before surgery? For some, me included, it’s a week worth of nerves that resembles a cat left with a bushel of yarn. From knotted muscles to a heart that revs faster than a Bugatti Chiron, I experience them all. Nightmares? Check. Insomnia? Check, check. The list goes on. BUT, that’s where coping strategies breeze in and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Or is it the other way around? Either way, coping is key! With coping, the countdown to surgery enters a realm of humor, tinged with morbid curiosity.
What countdown to surgery would be complete without the humiliating nature of which surgery binds us? Come on, those gowns aren’t meant to flatter anyone. Remember when mom always said, “You’d look good in a potato sack”? Yeah, me neither, but that’s not the point. Those gowns, while they have a point (and a very good one), poke fun at all sense of composure or dignity. What’s a person to do? Suck it up, right? WRONG!
As a Norwegian-American, and with a cargo load of Viking blood coursing through my veins, I’ll fight to the end. How? Strut. Your. Stuff. People! Come on. Those gowns weren’t made to flatter, and it’s almost impossible to tie them shut in the back. Working in the healthcare field, I’ve seen it all. People clutching the back of the gown like their life depended on it. Safe to say, lots of us have been there. But I’ve “been there” all too often these days, and I say strut. Let the air hit ya where mother nature split ya! Trust me, those docs, nurses (thank you, God, for the nurses!), and techs have seen it all. Strut like you own the catwalk, my friends. They’re most likely going to see you anyway while under anesthesia.
Don’t Google Before Surgery
Y’all, I mean this in the kindest way possible, stay the h3/! off Google. Talk about the blues. If you want to freak out, then by all means, go ahead. Otherwise, stay off. It’ll only end up scaring you to death, and that defeats the purpose of the surgery. Besides, the doctors go over the risks before every procedure anyway. And while accidents happen, the doctors strive for perfection, because it ruins your day, their day, and nobody wants that. So, take a deep breath and let it out. Chances are you’re going to be okay.
Insomnia is a real witch of a challenge on my countdown to surgery. Without going into too much detail, I suffer from chronic fatigue. Now, the surgery should correct some, or lots, of this, but insomnia makes this worse.
Up until two in the morning, I sit. Wide-eyed and pulling at my hair, gnawing on my lips, desperate for sweet sleep to come. Alas, it does, but then the alarm goes off, and I’m a zombie throughout the rest of my day; only to go through the cycle yet again.
Surgery and insomnia (or any life stressor) go together like peanut butter and jelly, like ham and cheese, like fried bologna and mayo sandwiches (is it just me???). You get the drift. They’re married and can’t quite get the gumption to divorce. BUT, there’s hope.
Drop kick that insomnia with these cool tricks, and you can thank me later. And let me just add that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous. Walk in place for thirty minutes to an hour. Get up at every other commercial, or every commercial, and walk in place. Take the stairs at work, park further away from the entrance to work.
Additionally, set a time of day that you can tackle all your worries/emotions. For instance, at three o’clock each day take 30 minutes and think over all your worries and concerns. After 3:30, then shelve it for the next day. Trust me, this can work!
This Too Shall Pass
Folks, life’s rough. Sure, there are upsides. However, the downsides leave us reeling. For every up, there’s a down, BUT at the end of a hard rain, look for the rainbow. This too shall pass, and with it all the emotions, but never forget the strength you possess to get through those battles. For it’s the battles that strengthen our character and appreciation for life.
And if that battle ends with defeat, then rest assured our spirits will soar within the celestial galaxy and the heavens for eternity.
Of course, for me that’s Valhalla, but you get my drift. Take the time you need. Get the rest you need. And let the countdown to surgery begin!
I’d love to hear from you. What are your coping strategies? Do you have a surgery coming up? Comment below or leave me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.