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 whole 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.
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.