As my surgery date approaches (next Tuesday), I’m beginning to feel anxious. Ridiculously so. I am weepy, emotional, and prone to the occasional panic attack. I realize that many, many women have had hysterectomies over the years, and that everything will be fine…but this is my first experience with a hysterectomy, and I am a bit freaked out the closer it gets. Okay- a lot freaked out. It is time, though- George (my best friend named my tumor), is causing more and more problems, and he needs to go. Now. I know that I will feel so much better once I’m past this.
I have done tons of research wanting to be a well-informed patient (note to self: watching videos of the surgery you are about to have is not a wise thing to do if the goal is calming nerves.). I have my list of questions ready to ask my doctor printed out for my pre-op appointment. I have had my hospital bag packed with everything the HysterSisters website said I needed for a month now (how neurotic is that?). I have made lists, planned, ordered way too much stuff from Amazon in preparation. And still…still, the butterflies in my stomach have turned to pterodactyls.
What is it exactly that is bothering me? Aside from the obvious of losing control of my body for a few weeks and the thought of the pain, I am having to miss the end of the semester. I am worried about my students who will have to perform their juries without me sitting there smiling at them and encouraging them. I will have to miss graduation with all of it’s beautiful university pomp and circumstance, especially difficult with some extra-special students graduating. I also won’t be able to play clarinet for a month, at a time when I have a big performance at an international conference coming up in July and difficult music to learn. And- I hate leaving Dan to care for everything on his own. Basically, I hate losing control and the disruption of my life.
However, aside from all of the anxiety, I’ve had some good conversations with ‘George’. I have to thank him, as he was a wake-up call for me in many ways. As soon as I found out I was going to have surgery a few weeks ago, I immediately made some much-needed changes to my lifestyle, getting back on track- seriously- with diet and exercise. I want to go into this with my body as strong and fit as I am able to be. I also adjusted some priorities that I had let become skewed. I saw yet again how blessed I am to have such a kind and caring husband who it there for me a thousand percent. I was reminded about how lucky I am to have amazing friends, students, and colleagues, all of whom have been incredibly supportive- and have helped me to keep my sense of humor.
This is not cancer, not life-threatening- it is just a hysterectomy. While some people seem surprised that I am so open in talking about it all, I want to share the experience so that maybe someone else going through the same thing will not feel alone. I want them to know that it is okay to be scared….but it’s also okay to laugh at yourself and to be grateful. Even the not-so-great things that we experience in life can end up leading to good things- if nothing else, an appreciation for the people in our lives that stand by us and love us…even when we are a goofy, weepy, neurotic mess.
Okay, George- love ya, mean it, but it’s time for you to hit the road. But, hey- thanks for the lessons.