Scared shitless

I need to get an operation. I have cataract in one eye and they need to replace the lens. And little old, very rational me is scared shitless. So I thought I’d write something to distract myself. Well, with that beginning, not a great way to start, is it?

Okay, soldiering on.

The last few days I’ve been wondering, while kind of standing beside myself and looking at me, why I’m so uncontrollable scared for this operation. I am not scared of hospitals, I don’t mind having an injection, I don’t even mind having to have some skin cut out under local anesthetic, having to get stitches, none of that.

The rational explanation, or at least the logical one, is that I am dealing with some unresolved trauma. (Is trauma ever not unresolved?) – As a young boy I was in and out the hospital a lot with ear infections. At that time they had a simple solution: prick a hole in the eardrum and let the muck come out.

As a child with, at that time, undiagnosed Aperger’s Syndrome, I didn’t deal well with the whole forcing me down on an operating table, forcefully putting the mask with the anesthesia on me, doing something to my head, well, inside my head, and then having to wake up confused, looking for my parents. These are still vivid memories. (Maybe I’ll explore this some more in a future post, but right now it’s a bit too much for me to further go into all of that.)

Furthermore, the anesthesia they used back then, gave me terrible nightmares. Not that I made that particular connection back then, but later on wondering about it and doing some research, I managed to figure it one out by myself. To this day I remember the horrible dreams I was having.

That’s the logic, the rationale, for my current state of mental disarray.

But it doesn’t help me.

Because this fear, this gut-wrenching terror does not subside by knowing all this. And right now, I think that has to do with it not being about being realistic about it at all.

Realistically I know, I have to have this operation, I’ll be under completely (I made sure I’ll get a general anesthetic), the operation itself is so simple and short, it is being performed so often, it’s routine for the surgeon and everyone involved. I know all this. I know, that my wife is coming with me. I trust her completely and I love her dearly. I so appreciate her support in all of this. I want nothing more right now than for her to be with me for this. And I want to be strong for her.

And yet.

I have no control over this feeling (emotion?). I am just really terribly upset and scared. Nothing to do with knowledge. And me really wanting to be strong does not even put a dent in it.

Pfff…. At least I managed to write this down.

I just need to get through this week.

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4 thoughts on “Scared shitless

  1. Ron.

    (Hope this helps)
    Having completed my second-eye cataract surgery & lens replacement a couple months ago and being someone who shares (shared) your angst, I can tell you this: Relax; it’s waaaaaay easier than you might imagine. I won’t go into details, but I’ll say this, my anxiety was harder to cope with than the procedure itself. And although I don’t share your Spectrum issues, I’m no spring chicken either and I not only survived but I’m rejoicing in my glasses-free existence (though I DID buy a pair of readers for the close-up stuff, just because I do so much of it.)
    And on the Bright Side (though I’m not sure this will appeal to you as much as it did for me) the light show you experience during the procedure itself is OUTSTANDING!! I remember commenting to the doctor that I hadn’t seen a display like that since my psychedelic-laden teenage years, back in the ’60s.
    So: try not to make things worse for yourself by over-fretting. Even if it turns out to be not so pleasant, at least it’ll be over before you know it.
    (I hope this helps)

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    1. Twan Post author

      Thank you, Ron 🙏🏻. Yes, I really appreciate you sharing your story. I won’t enjoy the light show though, since I’ll be totally knocked out… 🙂

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  2. G. M. Lupo

    I had cataract surgery in 2017 and it wasn’t a big deal. I regained sight in my left eye and the nurses implored me to see a doctor because my blood pressure was high, which led to my finally dealing with weight issues, blood sugar, and blood pressure. I did have a detached retina several months later but since, I haven’t had further problems and can see without my glasses around the house and at work (I still wear them to drive or anywhere I need reasonably perfect vision).

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Twan Post author

      I am glad in the end it went well for you! They did warn me that there is a chance for another retina detachment to occur. (Or I read it somewhere?) I hope not…

      I’ve had my surgery. There’s loads before and after I don’t remember, either from the panic or because of the anesthetic. It’s done now. I have to wait 4-6 weeks for the lens to settle and attach itself properly. In the meantime, the optician put in a glass with no strength and measured my sight. It’s at 100% right now, although I still feel like I’m looking cross-eyed, because of the big difference between the two eyes. So next week I should be able to drive again and go to the office.

      Liked by 1 person

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