Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Pity Party--Thanks for Coming!

All right, I've been a basket case for a little bit now.  My week has been very busy, which I suppose is a good thing, keeping me distracted from my impending surgery.

It's been a long time since I've needed any major medical care.  Basically since my C-section with J, 10 years ago.  And I am not a great patient.

The amount of medical attention it takes to lead up to this surgery has been a little unexpected.  There's the consultation, when I initially went in to talk to my doctor about ways I could get any relief from the monster that I become for half every month, where I feel like my insides are attacking me, which causes me to want to attack anyone who comes near me.  And the low-grade, but constant, pain I'm in during the other half of each month.  I hadn't come in earlier because I had been chalking this all up to aging, and just the inconvenience of having been born female.

So that appointment was followed up by that super fun ultrasound I wrote about last time.  Then I had to go in for the appointment to talk about the results of the ultrasound. That was followed by the appointment to get some bloodwork done and a "pre-op", which was followed up by an appointment for one last pap smear (awesome!) and then to sign the consent form after hearing about all the ways that I might die during this whole thing.  Oh, and of course to get my health care directive paperwork--so fun.  Now I have to go to an appointment at the hospital on Monday for "patient education."

Finally, the actual surgery.  Which, people, will be on October 30!  I will miss Halloween!  Ugh.  Well, at least I don't have to miss or be bedridden for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Anyway, all this has been really crazy, and I've been feeling super crappy, physically, during the whole thing.  I'm sure it's partially from stress and anxiety, but I can't make myself stop worrying just by telling myself to stop worrying.  And I've made some observations about doctor visits.

First of all, the waiting.  Not just in the lobby of the doctor's office.  For me, it's when you're plopped in the exam room (after the indignity of stepping on that scale--before each and every appointment-- in ALL YOUR CLOTHES AND SHOES AND HOLDING YOUR PURSE), on the chair, waiting for the nurse or doctor or whoever.  It is so creepy!  You're completely alone, and it is such a powerless feeling.  You can hear the muffled voices and footsteps from people outside the little room.  Kids crying.  It's always too hot.  You sit in there looking at the stirrups attached to the stupid bed, the drawers full of all the sterile stuff and torture devices.  The posters of diagrams of your guts.  The flier about domestic abuse.  I think I'm slightly claustrophobic, because I start fantasizing about just opening the door and running away.  And you have NO IDEA when somebody's finally coming in.

Then someone comes in and does your blood pressure, which by now is most certainly elevated.  It's all I can do to not try to read my chart, but I really don't need to have my weight or BMI staring me in the face.  Then that person leaves.  And again, you're alone in the creepy chamber.  And the couple magazines in the rooms are ALWAYS pregnancy magazines.  If I ran my own clinic there would be gossip magazines and Entertainment Weekly issues.  Or TV's.  Even better.

But then the doc comes in and has a quick chat, then leaves the room telling you to undress and get on the table, leaving you a "drape" and a paper vest.  So you disrobe, attempting to pile up your clothes strategically so nobody has to see your undergarments laying there.  Sit on the paper on that table, wrapped in the horrible drape and paper, grateful that at least you can keep your socks on.  Again, sitting there waiting.

The doc comes in and then you're treated to the exam.  "Feet in the stirrups, and scooch your butt all the way down.  Let your knees fall to the sides."  AAAAAAAACK.  And the doc disappears behind the sheet with a light and the glorious speculum, and you get intimately acquainted.

I seriously think they should start off the whole thing with a glass of wine and maybe have TV's on in the rooms with music videos or something.  There should be a way make the experience at least slightly less horrifying.  Maybe let you bring your own robe.  Anything.  Yeesh.

Anyway, so I'm mentally preparing, and I'm feeling a little better today.  I have to quit being such a baby.   I keep hearing about how much better I will feel when I'm all healed up, and I can't wait.  And luckily, I have people willing to help me out during this whole mess.  So today I will try to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I really am lucky to be able to get this fixed, and I know it will all be fine.

So thanks for letting me get all this out.  I feel much better!

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