Rinse and repeat

06 Jul

So here I am, just days away from surgery number two. I wrote about my pre-surgery nerves in this post last time. I’m feeling pretty crappy these days, some of which is because I haven’t been sleeping. I’ve been having nightmares and I’ve felt overheated at night. I’m terribly heat intolerant, so it keeps me away and/or wakes me up when I’m too warm. And of course, if I’m warm when I try to go to sleep, then I can’t fall asleep. So it’s been sucky sleeping lately. Not a great way to go into surgery, I’m sure. Also, my throat has been dry in the mornings and my nose feels stuffy. I’m hoping it’s allergies, because I can’t take the thought that it’s a cold, which might (or might not) postpone my surgery. No fever, so I feel like just a cold won’t be an issue, but my anxiety makes me worry about it. Repeatedly and often. Woo.

In my previous post, I talked about all the prep work I was doing in advance of surgery. I re-read the post and feel kind of embarrassed at how much I was doing. I made all that food and ate none of it. I got all that yarn and used none of it post-surgery. I borrowed all those books and it was over a week (or more) before I could read anything. I used almost none of the things I packed to take the hospital. Even so, some of it was worthwhile. I’ll be changing and washing sheets in advance, because I like the comfort of the laundry detergent when I get into bed. Hub will be getting me deli turkey and making me gluten free biscuits because those were the two things I ate for the first two weeks, almost exclusively (great diet, eh?), along with plain water. So no soup, no lemonade, no mushrooms and cheese…that was all a waste of time the first time.

I’ll pack my small bag for the hospital with pain medications (leftover from the first surgery, so we don’t have to pay for them a second time), my gluten free chewing gum (peppermint, to get my stomach working again), and my pillow for the ride home. I’ll have my lip balm and my cell phone and my advanced directive (again). That’s pretty much it.

I’m still going to the library tomorrow, so I don’t have to go soon after surgery, but I know now that reading will be nearly impossible the first week. Even watching television was nearly impossible, because my brain just wouldn’t focus.

And on top of things, I’ll be worrying about surgical menopause. Woo hoo. There are horror stories about this, and I’ve been trying really hard not to read them. I talked with T about them at my last session, but I’m not sure I can be reassured about this. I’m mostly worried about the insomnia…and then the possibility for increased depression and anxiety. There’s a whole host of new symptoms for SM that I’ll have to learn, and that my health anxiety will have to feed on. I’m wondering if acupuncture might help. I’ve been trying to read about it, but I know full well that acupuncture doesn’t always work for everyone.

I finally saw the massage therapist last week. It was so nice to have her work out some of my muscles. I wasn’t able to lay on my stomach, but she was able to work most everything while I was on my side. I can’t say how much it all helped long-term, but it felt really good during (with the exception of the trigger points which generally hurt like a mofo). I really hope I’ll be able to get back to her more quickly after this surgery than after the first. My muscles really took a beating after surgery.

No matter the fact that I went through this surgery (basically) once before, I’m nervous. I know now how it is going to feel to wait in pre-op…and how I felt in the post op, and how gross and out of it I felt in recovery. And on the way home. And the immediate days following. I made it through, obviously, so I get that, but it doesn’t mean it was easy and/or no big deal. In the back of my head, I’m also thinking about actually making it through the surgery. I’m afraid. I don’t know another way to be at this point.

My PVCs have mostly dropped off in the last two weeks or so. I had some last night, but they were mild and didn’t last very long. I hope that continues, because I can do without those.



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16 responses to “Rinse and repeat

  1. joey

    July 6, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I know that you’re in a tizzy, but you do seem better this go round.
    I feel for you on the sleep. Nowhere we slept was cold enough last week, and we were so pleased to sleep cold when we got home. However much sleep my family didn’t get, I was the last to doze and the first to rise everyday. Usually because I was hot!
    I hope your PVC’s stay away, and I am really hoping you’re the exception to the troubles of SM. (I do have a few friends who rode that wave.)

    • meANXIETYme

      July 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      (Now why did WP make me approve your post? WTH?)
      Thanks for the note on me seeming better this time. T says the same thing and I do see it somewhat…I feel like I’m “normal” nervous, not “anxiety” nervous. But still…nervous.
      Any time we go away, I always check the a/c in the room before we settle in. I’ve been known to put the a/c on in the winter when the weather is still a little warm. I need to sleep cold or I don’t sleep. I could have turned down the a/c last night, I guess (the ceiling fan was at max speed), but it really didn’t even occur to me. If SM night sweats get me, though, I might be sleeping with the a/c cranked, the ceiling fan on, and an oscillating fan right at the edge of my bed. 😦
      I hope I’m the exception to the SM wave, but I fear I’ll get it just like most others do. I’m afraid to research to see how long it normally lasts. Ugh.

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        I changed my handle to just Joey, so it happens a lot lately.
        Normal nervous is good 🙂
        I got one friend who had no trouble, I got two who ran the gamut — One for less than a year and one for at least 5. Lotsa trips to the dr, lotsa worry. She even switched therapists because she said she needed a woman to understand how much hormones affect us.

      • meANXIETYme

        July 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        Ah, handle change, got it.
        I haven’t even asked my mother what her experience with menopause was. Not sure it would predict much, since hers would have been “normal” versus my surgical. I understand surgical is worse because it’s so abrupt. Yuck.
        T tells me not to worry about things that aren’t happening yet. And since I don’t have any SM symptoms yet (pre-surgery, of course), then I shouldn’t worry about it. I’m TRYING, but it’s still hanging out there in the ether. I’m REALLY worried about the potential for increased anxiety and depression. That’s the big one because I’ve already fought so hard…

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        I can tell you no reported depression. Heightened anxiety ferreal tho. I think T is right, of course, no sense worrying when you’re obviously a unique snowflake 🙂

      • meANXIETYme

        July 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm

        Thanks on the depression. No thanks on the anxiety (I’ve seen a lot of that reported, too. it sucks, I don’t want to go back to that shit…)
        Yes, unique snowflake…so who knows, mebbe it’ll be nuthin. (rolls eyes so hard gives herself headache)

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        LOL But you are — totally unique and special!
        The problem with being a highly sensitive person is feeling everything, and feeling everything is uncomfortable unless it’s pleasure. We can psyche ourselves into finding sensation to be pain, when really, it’s merely sensation and we are what makes it discomfort. I’m so with you. I get it.

      • meANXIETYme

        July 6, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Oh boy, that is a really profound statement, Joey. Guess I’m going to have to pay closer attention to the sensation now to see if I can decipher what it really is…
        Yeah, I’m only understanding in the last couple of years what being a highly sensitive person really means.

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        For a long time I’d say I had pains…but one day my therapist said, “You know pain. You have arthritis, you have migraines, are your pains like that?”
        “Describe the pains.”
        I tried, but all I could come up with was FEELING and FEELS like and Makes Me Feeeeeel….
        “Because they are sensations. They’re just sensations.” And then we had a nice long dialogue about it.
        She was so smart 😀

      • meANXIETYme

        July 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        I’m going to have to keep your comments in mind. I pretty well know what is pain and/or discomfort feels like. If I can’t identify it that way, I’ll need to delve more deeply into what the FEELS it might be!

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        My new thing is this tingling, crawling sensation under the skin above my upper lip. When I take the herpes pills, or use the cream, I can honestly feel stuff inside my skin. I’d say zapping, or stitching. It’s not pain, it’s sensation. But it makes me feel hyper-aware and drives me to madness. I keep wondering if another sore is forming, but so far, so good. If it wasn’t that, it would be something else. It’s always something.

      • meANXIETYme

        July 6, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        Ugh. I hate when I get that under-the-skin feeling. It makes me nuts.
        I have continuous (and pretty constant) muscle issues, but for most of the time it’s been present, it’s been all over my upper body (pick a muscle, any muscle). Since the first surgery, I’ve had constant muscle issues with my calves and the bottoms of my feet. So now I get to say I have ALL OVER muscles issues. If it ain’t the upper body, it’s the lower body. Good times.

      • joey

        July 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm

        Oh yeah, sounds great :/

  2. April

    July 7, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Wishing you another speedy recovery. You know, I had PVCs when I was going through the menopause before menopause (you know, peri-menopause) After entering the full blown stage the PVCs became less frequent. I’m not sure what the difference between surgical induced menopause, but either way it can be rotten. Take care…

    • meANXIETYme

      July 7, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Thanks, April, I’m hoping for speedy as well.
      I had PVCs years ago, which I’m pretty sure came about because of a medication (which years after I stopped taking it, was accused of causing arrhythmias), and I struggled with them for years. Then randomly they went away and only returned in the recent years. I was pretty half-convinced I was in peri-meno before all this started, but I have no way of knowing. I hope the PVCs go away, but even more so I hope the meno symptoms are mild (or at least not severe) because OMG I don’t know how I’m going to muddle through (or how Hub is going to make it through).
      Surgical menopause means (obv) that it’s brought about surgically and that it is ABRUPT. Regular meno the hormones change slowly over years and years, lowering, changing mildly, going up and down before petering off. Surgical meno the hormones just go from full-on normal (ish) to GONE. So the symptoms are usually more severe because you’ve turned off the hormone spigot instead of letting it dribble away slowly.
      Some people have told me that they got their first symptoms (hot flashes mostly) while they’re still in the hospital after surgery. Others have said they come on a couple of days or weeks later.

      • April

        July 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

        I can see that the severity could be different when all of a sudden the hormones are cut off. That would be hard to handle. I’m not sure I really noticed any symptoms but I was to enveloped with grief and depression I don’t think I noticed much of anything. I hope you don’t have too rough of a time of it. I’ll be thinking of you!


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