Just a couple days ago I boasted that I felt a sense of RESOLVE about having surgery in 18 short days.
Let it be proclaimed from the rooftops that the resolve has slithered to the floor and now lies puddled at my frigid feet. Oh my goodness, I think the anxiety about the surgery is going to be worse than the surgery itself!
I visited the HysterSisters website again today and really wish I had not done that. Maybe it would be better for me to be ignorant of all the things that may happen post-op. Perhaps I don’t need to read about what to expect. And I didn’t even browse the forum dedicated to women whose hysterectomies entailed complications. From what I’ve read, every woman is different in her recovery and experience.
Many of their stories seem so much worse than mine. Cancer, fibroids so large they look six months pregnant, constant bleeding, anemia. And some of the women have their surgeries and find out that not all their symptoms resolve. The endometriosis comes back. Or the GI disturbances continue.
Most concerning to me was the journal of one woman who detailed a full week of on and off nausea post-op and a nonexistent appetite a good three weeks post-op. Nausea, even the threat of nausea, is my stumbling block…the thorn in my side…the one single factor that I have allowed to shape my life in awful ways. It ensnares me so quickly that my body reacts faster than my mind to the threat, and I’m knee deep in a full throttle panic attack before I even know what hit me.
Please understand that the panic attack is laced with my prayers and my belief in Jesus. Yet I would rather die today and be in His presence than have to endure a bout of nausea. I cannot state strongly enough how this childhood fear drives me, and I also cannot seem to stop it, nor does it appear that the Lord is doing anything to make it go away, either. That’s why I wrote that it is the thorn in my side. It exists to remind me of my utter dependence on God. Who doesn’t take it away. This is discouraging…yet I know that He works ALL THINGS to the good of those who love Him. I love Him; therefore, even this agonized anxiety is somehow to my good.
Yet. I already feel my neck muscles clenching. The last time I had a pseudo-surgical procedure, my neck muscles spasmed to such a degree that I was in agonized pain and could not move my neck. Here I am, 18 days out, and I feel my neck begin the squeeze.
I just noticed I used the word “agony” twice in the previous sentences. Jesus was truly in agony on the cross. I wonder if the pain made him nauseous? He was fully human…so maybe he did experience it. But I doubt he ever experienced a panic attack. Why would he, when He was IN the Father and the Father was IN him?
Fear of nausea from anesthesia has kept me chained in pain for the past three years. I could have had a diagnostic laparoscopy and an ablation years ago, but fear kept me waiting. Now the pain just keeps getting worse and worse and has spread to other areas of my body and at different times of the month, and I have no idea what’s wrong (because I never let them in to look). I’m even afraid to take the anti-anxiety medicines because one of their side effects is nausea! So I am even hemmed in with my anxiety, with no way out.
I think I will bite off the head of someone who tells me that fear is of the devil. YES, I could have told you that. Satan torments us where we are the most vulnerable. So he will take every advantage of this situation and try to change my mind, bringing stories across my vision of women who struggled with nausea after their surgeries, whispering to me that that could be me.
Fear of nausea from long plane trips and foreign food kept me away from my family on two overseas trips thus far. But this time I think the pain itself is winning. That, and the fact that my body clearly is fighting inflammation (my high IgM numbers), tells me that something’s Not Right. And surgery is the way to fix it. Maybe. There’s no way to really tell for sure until it’s done.
If only I can get through these next 18 days without having a nervous breakdown! Pray for me, please! This battle I’m waging against myself is every bit as horrific as a real battle with weapons. I guess it’s not against myself, is it? It’s spiritual warfare. It’s against the powers and principalities. They will NOT win.
I continue to stand here, surgery date in hand. My frigid feet may be encased in ice, but I’m still standing. Where’s my armor?