Friday, April 27, 2007

So, it's 5 a.m. and I've been up all night doing laundry and cleaning. Why, you ask? It seems that that is how I respond to stress. I think it's because it's something I can control.

I'm calmer now, but I'm still freaked (picked a bad week to go off the anxiety meds, huh?). I know the reason, and I know how my thought processes work, but it doesn't really make it any better.

See, I associate hospitals with declining health. My grandmother was fine and wonderful, then she went into the hospital and got worse and died. Granted, she was 82, but I was only 5, and those early impressions are powerful.

Then my mom was fine and wonderful and healthy until she went into the hospital when I was in high school. From there, she was in a constant decline. Granted, she brought it on herself by being a 2-pack a day smoker. But I know what I observed.

My dad had never been sick a day in my life before he went into the hospital when I was in ninth grade. After that, he seemed somehow smaller, and really declined until he died. Again, granted, he brought it on himself because he was an alcoholic and destroyed his liver. But again, that association was formed.

I hate going to visit people in hospitals. Hell, I hate going to doctor's offices. Really, I hate the whole healthcare industry.

But I really, really hate hospitals. In my mind, that is where people get worse, not better. I know it is completely illogical. I know that hospitals are also where babies are born, and people receive life-saving treatments. I know that people who work in healthcare are not really Satan incarnate. But there is a big difference between what I know intellectually and what I believe emotionally.


I know I said it before, but I really wish my mom were here. I mean, I profess every week (well, when I make it to church), that I believe in the communion of saints, and I do. I know my mom and dad are in the presence of God, and that they are praying for me and with me. And I feel them with me every day in little things. But it's not the same as a physical presence. I want someone to hug me and let me cry on their shoulder and to tell me its going to be OK. But I don't have that. And it sucks.

The fact of the matter is that I am scared, and lonely, and homesick, and worried. I can't sugar coat that or gloss over it. I know this is minor surgery, but it doesn't matter.

Maybe I wouldn't be so scared if I had had my tonsils or appendix out when I was a kid. The surgeon's nurse was shocked when I said I had never had surgery. She didn't seem to believe me at first.

But I haven't, and now I have to.

And I don't wanna.


Tim said...

It'll be ok Sheryl. I feel the same way you do about hospitals, but since my wife's become a nurse I can tolerate them a little better. Plus, my kids have been in for various things, so that's gotten me a little more used to being in them. If I could make a suggestion that might help just a wee bit... go to the hospital maybe the day before and just walk around where you're allowed to - the waiting room, gift shop, etc. It might make the place feel a little more familiar when you do go in. I know, it won't cure all your anxiety about the operation, but it might help a little bit.
I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

tomzgrrl said...

Sheryl, I will be praying for you on Tuesday. The same day as my brother is having his gall bladder removed. I will be praying for the surgeon, the nurses, and all patients.

Having had more surgeries than I care to have had, I can tell you that you will be scared; you will be taken care of; you will be sore; and you will be okay!

If you let the nurses know how scared you are and that you've a terrible fear of hospitals (I know, easier said than done when you're an "I" not an "E") -- they will baby you!