This is not a drill.

I awoke this morning in a haze. I hadn’t slept well, again, due to pain and general non-exertion.  I tell people in all seriousness that my anti-anxiety and anti-depressant cocktail of meds aren’t tuned for “inactive Melissa”. I had nightmares during my fitful hours of sleep, and when they’re at their worst they always take the low road, invoking memories of my shitty childhood. The general theme usually involves something near and dear to me being taken away at the last second, and my childhood self spends the rest of the nightmare frantically trying to put my world back in order. As the morning haze lifted, I remembered — oh shit. I’M SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY.

The call came on Monday afternoon. The physician’s assistant simply opened with “we’re ready to schedule you for surgery!” I didn’t even bother asking if I was approved by insurance, I didn’t really care – I figured those details can work themselves out later. She at first offered me the perfect day and I was beyond elated.

I think it’s a good sign that my pain was through the roof yesterday and last night — it’s like my body is telling me it’s ok, this is the right path — you’ve done your pre-work and now it’s time for reconstruction.

Thirty minutes later she called back and led with an apology. I was worried something had gone wrong and she was taking it all back. Nope, it was just that the vascular surgeon wasn’t available on my perfect surgery day and they had already signed me up for a different day a week later. I looked at the calendar and the date was admittedly horrible considering when my boyfriend was off work and able to stay with me. I asked about a few other dates and all were not options. I’m sure had I been willing to wait another month for July’s “perfect day” to come along, they probably could have made that work, but I knew mentally I’d crack by then.

I’ve started rallying the support troops for the days after surgery when I might be home. Hospital stay time varies from 3-5 days, so maybe I’ll be safely tucked away at the hospital the weekend when my boyfriend is at work. I’ve told potential helpers that I’ll need people to wake up and make me take pain meds on a regular schedule and bring me water. I promise to be a good patient, and heck maybe I’ll say something AMAZING when I’m drugged up. I’m just trying to have faith that it will all work out somehow. Speaking of things working out, my insurance paperwork came in the mail today and sure enough, it’s approved!

Caribou delivery! aka coworker incentive system for the poor souls who have to pick up parts of my workload this summer

I think it’s a good sign that my pain was through the roof yesterday and last night — it’s like my body is telling me it’s ok, this is the right path — you’ve done your pre-work and now it’s time for reconstruction. I find I have more hope for after surgery and returning to cycling, unlike after the two foot surgeries. My surgeon seems fairly confident (as much as one can be when working with the unpredictable human body) that I will get back to biking. Not just any biking, because I clearly explained to him that I need to be able to bike for long distances, and I articulated that to me this means for 12-14 hours straight. My recent cycling obsession circles around ultracycling and all-day journeys and I’ve gotta get that back. I have hope, and that’s what’s important.

end notes:
I’m happy to discuss my “shitty childhood” in detail in a more private setting. Or hell, I’ll probably write about it in a future blog post after I’m jacked up on pain meds after surgery. 😉 For now, let’s sum it up by saying I had a bipolar, alcoholic parent in a dysfunctional household and I was the target of the daily verbal onslaught.

3 thoughts on “This is not a drill.

  1. Amy Sue Rose says:

    So sorry I wasn’t aware at the time of the hell you went through as a child. Being around your ma these days I have, unfortunately, heard that bipolar alcohol induced verbal diarrhea directed at someone and cannot imagine the confusion and pain it must have inflicted upon you as a child. But……….amazingly you are an amazing woman and mother despite the cycle of abuse theories that abound! You are your dad’s daughter for sure!

    • Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say. 🙂 Yes, it was hard as a kid because no one knew what was happening behind the scenes, and during the “verbal diarrhea” phase I was often blamed for her problems. I knew it wasn’t true, but it still stung and left wounds.

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