A Valentine's Date...For Surgery

After a lot of anxious waiting, wondering, and chasing up to get answers, I found out a couple of days ago that my case has been discussed and approved for further surgery. After this wondering and waiting game, the admission date was 2 weeks’ away! It’s like a game of Operation as they’ll be stealing my colon next and hopefully dealing with adhesions at the same time. I’ll be keeping Frank, the stoma, but hopefully with a few less problems. Or at least, that’s the plan. Usually I spend Valentine’s with Jack or Jim (whiskey – the best date a girl can have), but not this year. Instead I’ll be spending it in hospital, so on the plus side it’s a Valentine’s I won’t be spending totally alone!

Strangely enough, getting an appointment for major surgery seems to have been quicker and easier than getting a simple prescription for the recent rheumatology diagnoses for Raynaud’s and Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. I’m still chasing that up… Go figure.

It’s good to finally have some direction and to know what’s happening next. Not knowing was the worst part. The waiting, trying to get answers, trying to carefully balance everything when so much seemed hinged on the outcome of this decision. If I could go back, I’d tell myself to not stress about it so much; there wasn’t any more I could have done, my employer would have let me go regardless, and I made myself sick with worry and with stress over it all for nothing.

But it’s still like it’s not happening to me. I can talk about it, write about, but it hasn’t sunk in. I don’t think it did for any of the other operations either. I busy myself with practicalities and to-do lists, distracting myself as much as possible, and detach from the bigger, scarier things I don’t want to think about. 

Before each surgery, I seem to have this same sense of panic, like I can see a clock ticking down and all the things I need to do. It’s not just preparing for going in to hospital in the practical sense, such as sorting out things at home, tidying up, grocery shopping for post-op food, tying up loose ends, etc. It’s a sense of finality, of panic at the short amount of time left before going in and thinking about all the things I’ve talked about doing but haven’t done. And they’re all silly little things. Things I could, mostly, reasonably do. After an op, there’s a good period of time where you can do very little and I know that during that time I’ll be desperate to do the most banal and boring of things, such as drive my car and go to the supermarket.

But it’s not just that. With any major surgery there are risks, and I can’t help but wonder whether my body can take any more. I don’t want to sound morbid, but it’s going through my head. I’m nothing if not someone who likes to be prepared and realistic. Or a “realistic pessimist” as I like to say.

So here’s to another surgery. Hopefully the last in a good while because I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.




15 thoughts on “A Valentine’s Date… For Surgery”

  1. Although I’ve never suffered from long-term health conditions, I can relate to the tiredness and concern over appointments. My final year at university was plagued by fatigue and being sent from my GP to any number of specialists, none of whom could identify exactly what was causing me to be so tired all the time; the unfamiliarity, uncertainty and lack of information at times resulted in me spending a lot of time worrying over things. What I did learn, as you said, is that stress never helps, so I try not to worry about things that are out of my control as much as I can nowadays. Hope your operation goes well, and that you have a speedy recovery 🙂

    1. University can be tough at the best of times so I’m sorry to hear how you struggled with fatigue during the final year. The whole not-stressing-over-what-you-can’t-control thing is challenging and we probably both know it’s easier said than done, but it’s certainly true that it doesn’t really help in the long run. Thank you so much for your kind wishes and your comment! I hope you’re keeping well 🙂

      1. It certainly wasn’t the most convenient of times to be ill, but it’s enabled me to better judge what I can do and when I need to take a break. I think the stress/control ‘issue’ is perhaps something that comes with time, rather than something anyone can implement instantly. Onwards and upwards though, there’s always room for change and positivity ?

  2. All our love Caz. I can sympathise having been in and out of hospital myself in the past. I’m sure everything will be peachy 😛

    1. Thank you, it’s much appreciated! I’ll look forward to reading more photography/geek chic/parenting articles on your blog when I’m in there 🙂

  3. Wishing you all the best. I think I’d be the same with trying to sort out as much as possible before I went in. Just make sure you prepare a few nice things for yourself too, I’m thinking comfy stuff, favourite books/films etc to help a bit when you start to get fed up!

    1. I’ve got a Bambi hoodie (soppy but it makes me smile!), a good book (though morphine usually knocks me for six for a few days), and an iPod with some music 🙂 Thank you for your good wishes and for the comment! x

    1. I’ll try to post when I’m in there, even if just on the Facebook page. I’m sorry you were in hospital over Valentine’s previously; As much as I hate going to the hospital, I can see where you’re coming from and think it may be an improvement over being home alone again this year. Thank you for your kind wishes and the comment 🙂

  4. Wow, not long now then. I hope you’re still busy distracting yourself. Having been through a few rounds of surgery myself, I very much understand the need to busy yourself. It seems to take longer to recover each time, which is seemingly normal, so be kind to yourself….knowing that I would be the same in wanting to do things too quickly… My surgery by comparison was nowhere near as big. I hope it all goes really well and it helps to remedy the situation. Wishing you all of the best luck in the world.

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me that’s busy being busy finding distractions when surgery looms, though I’m sorry you’ve had to go through the experiences yourself. Thank you so much for your best wishes and your comment – much appreciated! 🙂

  5. Hello – just stumbled across your blog. Wishing you well for your surgery. Can totally relate to your concerns – I had ileostomy 30 years ago then 2 years ago I had hysterectomy and my small bowel perforated – been unwell ever since and awaiting more surgery – soon. Scared. Xx

    1. Hi Lauraine, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell since… Is that ileostomy-related or other health issues? I’m not sure what your next surgery will be but please do feel free to send me an email ( invisiblymeblog@outlook.com ) if you want to chat at all. I obviously don’t know what you’ve been through but I can understand feeling scared as I’m there myself at the moment. Sending you my very best wishes, and thank you for the comment. Caz x

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