Fear and Loathing in Pittsburgh


Tomorrow at 11:45AM EST, I will be meeting with my OB/Gyn for my surgical consultation that I’ve put off for three months. And I’m more scared of this than I was of my induction of labor.

Tomorrow, I face my biggest fears.

I face a serious surgery, no matter how benign it may sound. I don’t like doctors. I am terrified of hospitals as a result of my most previous experience. And, I’ve never been put under before.

The surgical procedure alone presents enough potential threats. I have had a life-threatening reaction to an epidural. What will I do once I’m hooked into an IV? Will my blood pressure tank again? Will the anesthetic wear off? I’m not sure I can endure that pain.

Then, there’s the aftercare. The complications are numerous. Do I face a serious hemorrhage? Anemia over the Pittsburgh winter is unbearable. I may not be able to get back on my feet as soon as I’m expected to. How can I possibly take care of my son? Who can I call on to help? I do not have a great support network.

And then, there are future complications. I may have deep scaring. The surgery may cause me permanent future pain. And what about getting pregnant again? Studies indicate a small percentage of women have one of two fertility issues after having the surgery. In one scenario, I may suffer scarring that causes me to be incapable of natural fertilization. In another scenario, I may suffer miscarriages and / or premature births. If I can get pregnant, then I may never be able to carry to term.

And what will happen if this surgery fails like the last one did? How much many more times will I have to go through this? And what’s the next step after that? Hysterectomy, if it gets any worse. Can I stand the idea of losing any hope of having more children? I’m too young to lose my reproductive organs. I can’t be menopausal in my late 20’s. Do I face hormone replacement therapy for the next 15 – 20 years? How would that serious chemical shift affect my BP?

Worst of all, I have to face all of these unknowns alone. C.S. and I decided it would be more wise to save his PTO days for after the surgery. I didn’t agree as much as I had to accept. I am so scared of being alone for this.

I am terrified of being alone. If the news is bad, I’m going to be alone in that office. I am embarrassed to cry in public. But there I’ll be, in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, on the streets holding back. I’d be holding back from the office, to the stop, all the way back home, where I’ll have to face my parents. And when I get home, I’ll have to hold back some more. For my son’s sake.

But inside, I’ll be falling apart.

And that’s all before I even go through with the surgery.

At the very least, I have the whole day off to soak it all up, and likely cry it all back out.

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6 thoughts on “Fear and Loathing in Pittsburgh

  1. Oh Lulu, I said this before, but I wish I could be there with you. I wish even that any of my family members living back there were female, because my family is great, you would love them instantly (and they you), and if only I had a cousin who could go with you. . .

    I know, not the same. I’ll be praying. 11:45 AM, EST.

    • I cried a little when I read this. I wish you could be here too. I mentioned this, but I called on everyone I could this morning. It’s too late of a notice for anyone. I’m on my own.

      And here’s the part where I really choke up. In kind of a good way. I am so happy that I have you, and Monday, and James and everyone else that has been with me all of this way. If I’ve ever needed anyone before, it’s now. And you all have stepped up to catch me when others just tried to steer clear of the fall. Thank you.

      Thank you, Ruby, most of all. I’ll remember that you’re out there thinking of me. I promise I’ll write as soon as I can. Now, I have to see the Pdoc in the same day. I mentioned it, I think.

      I am really scared. I’m trying as hard as I can not to think. I just want to do and get it over with.

  2. I am so sorry, Lulu. I wish I could go with you. (If I lived anywhere near Pennsylvania, I would!) Is there anyone you can meet up with afterwards? Just for a friendly hug? I hate that you have to go through this all alone. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • I’m so thankful for you. I wish you could be here too. I really don’t want to sit across from that desk alone. But, I just got my big girl pants out of the laundry, pressed and ready to go. I’ll paint on my brave face before I leave.

      Here’s a turn of events. I mentioned to my mother, in passing, about how C.S isn’t going. I went to work and called her on my way out to check on T.D.

      We got onto the topic of the consultation tomorrow and she said very sincerely, “I really wish I could go, but I can’t be in two places at once.” I wouldn’t be able to go at all if it wasn’t for her watching T.D. And then she said, “I don’t want you to have to do this alone. I could strangle your husband. When I went through my surgery, all I wanted was for my (first) husband (not my dad) to be there. He wasn’t.”

      I explained to her why C.S couldn’t be there and she flew. “Some things are more important than work and money! Family! His wife! If he has to start taking unpaid days, then so be it. He should be there!”

      Ahhh – my sentiments exactly. But, you have to understand that this outburst was extraordinarily important. My mother is an overly stoic creature. She is quiet and indecisive. For her to express such a strong opinion is almost unheard of.

      (Her surgery was for a cyst on her ovary. It was the size of a grapefruit. They told her that she’d never have kids. Ten years later, she gave birth to my brother. Three years after that, she gave birth to me.)

      It meant a lot to me. For once in our lives, she really knows. So, I do actually have one person to go home to. She may not be compassionate about BP, but she’s still a woman who has been where I stand.

  3. Pingback: Fear and Loathing « Bipolar Inspirations

  4. Pingback: The C Word : 30 Days of Truth | Sunny With a Chance Of Armageddon

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