Ear surgery and Anxiety

I know this post is different, but it is something we all deal with as a family; our anxiety.  Sophia and I both have Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

I have had it for years but I can control it most of the time. Many people don’t even know I have an anxiety disorder, unless they are very close friends or have been with me when I have had a panic attack. So yes, I can control mine most of the time, but I hate my anxiety especially when it engulfs me out of nowhere.

Here is the reason that has triggered my anxiety. I am having ear surgery; getting permanent tubes put in in two days and I am terrified, with no logical reason. It is a simple procedure and I have had it before as a child.

 

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When the Dr first told me I needed it four months ago, he said there is so much scar tissue from previous surgeries that they will really have to cut and it may not work (while doing carving motions in the air.) I Started having a panic attack from the way he was describing it and he said he would be sure I was put under.

Of course it did not help that a couple nights before I went in, we were watching an episode of Blindspot and I was triggered. Unexpectedly, one of the characters was tortured by being strapped down and having her eardrum stabbed repeatedly with a syringe. I ran out of the room but it was too late, it had brought back the memory and terror from my childhood of the procedure I had while awake.

They have rung me twice since, regarding dates and both times I started hyperventilating and crying just talking with them about the surgery.

Today we did final arrangements and it hit me again while speaking with them. She was saying my husband couldn’t come in with me and I panicked, as I misunderstood her. He is my rock, he knows me very well and what to do to keep me grounded and calm. I am glad I asked for clarification as I thought I would be sitting in the room waiting for several hours before surgery alone, but she meant only in the operating theatre.

Then it hit, I felt like a terrified little kid and couldn’t speak more than one or two words. I couldn’t stop crying and it felt like I couldn’t breathe and the room started to go dark but I pushed back. I couldn’t pull myself completely back together once the tears started flowing and my husband was not home to take the phone. Thankfully I was able to hold it together long enough to hang up the phone. The poor woman on the other end must have been thinking I was a nutter. He is on his way home now though, so that is good.

You see I had tubes put in a few times as a child and I was left there and did not know or understand what was happening. The last time I was around 8 or 9 years old I think, and I was awake through it and it terrified me and I just froze and internalized it all as I always do.

Back in the 70’s children were not treated the way they are now, especially in the Midwest USA. I was hit by Dentists and Doctors regularly for something as simple as asking what they were doing, or saying it hurt, or crying from pain (…or by my Grandmother for embarrassing her.)

So I am pretty sure that this is subconscious childhood medical trauma rearing it’s head mixed with the recent loss of my mother who was suppose to have a successful surgery. The whole thought of it overwhelms me completely, so I mustn’t think about it.

They are planning on putting me to sleep, and for that I am very grateful, but signing in at 8:30 and potentially not going in to theatre until almost noon leaves me far too much time for my brain to come up with all the reasons I don’t want to do it and possibly plan an elaborate escape. At least I am comfortable with the ENT.

The lady was lovely and said they can give me something for the anxiety. I am so glad my husband will be with me, but I just hope I don’t loose it. I just don’t like not being in control of my emotions and thoughts in times like these. No matter how much I logically understand the reasons for my subconscious reactions, I can’t stop the physical ones.

It is times like these when I wish I had my Asperger’s diagnosis on paper so they might understand a bit more why I have these huge reactions.

This is true when it comes to my kids as well, but not to the extent of physical distress as with myself. With the kids, I worry, but I use that to an advantage by being sure that one of us is always with them when they have any procedures done. I never fear for their safety only that they will be scared, but they never are.

Sophia cracks me up, she is Sheldon Cooper without even knowing it. She walked up and said, “Mom, are you crying?” and I said yeah, just nervous about my surgery is all, I will be fine. She tapped my head twice and said, “There, there.” in her cute little monotone voice and toddled off up the stairs yelling I love you. (One of her tics is she yells “I love you!” each and every time she goes upstairs, it is one tic that I have come to love.)

Anxiety never goes away, it is just something that is lesser or greater depending on the situation and the triggers that come up.

If I got through my MRI when I almost lost the plot, I can do this.*

*After finishing the above, my husband came in with an appointment letter, they have changed ENTs on me so I don’t even know the man who will do my surgery. ugh.

It starts all over again. It may be time to go back on medication as perimenopause is making it very difficult to maintain my equilibrium as of late.

I sure feel blessed that it is school holidays while all of this is going on.

I know that I will be fine, and this too shall pass, it is just a small bump in the road.

This procedure is a very good thing in all actuality. The testing showed I have mild to  moderate loss in my right ear, and moderately severe to severe loss in my left. This should recover my hearing from what they have told me, this is the only reason I am doing it.

hearing test chart

We openly communicate our struggles as well as out triumphs so the kids know that they can too and we will support each other through it, whatever it may be.

Family Fun Day

We went to Family Fun Day today, it was held by a great organisation. Parent to Parent is a support and information network for parents of children with special needs.

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They held a Family day out in Palmerston North at the Esplinade where they provided a free train ride, pizza, lolly scramble, swimming passes and an ice cream for the whole family.

We had a good time on the drive, it takes about an hour to get there. Sophia drew on the way and Max just chilled. Brent and I sang and danced the embarrassing car dance moves that parents do, to the great displeasure of their pre-pubescent children.

We met up in the park and the kids played until it was time to ride the mini train. I was amazed when Sophia approached a couple girls and asked if she could get on the merry-go-round with them. They happily slowed and let her on.

She noticed the girls shirt and told her she had the same one and then they exchanged names and chatted while they spun. It was such an amazing feeling seeing her do this all on her own. After the girls left, Max jumped on with Sophia for a bit. Then she climbed the tree fort and bounced on the ground trampolines before we all went and waited for the train.

The train ride is great and we have taken the kids several times over the years, it is a great day out for the family. The scenery is gorgeous and everyone is so friendly and kind. Sophia took a family selfie and I love it.

 

After the train ride, we played some more at the playground while we waited for the pizzas to be delivered. We all have fun at this playground, it has such cool equipment. We especially love the mouse wheels.

Sophia really loves things that spin or swing, just like me. Those are the most fun for us. Max loves to climb, but both Max and Brent love a challenge.

After the swings, we found the tire spinny thing and the climbing structure with nests. Those were pretty cool, but then we noticed the great trees for climbing.

The climbed another structure but were not interested in that and Brent and Max also tried the wall climb but to no avail. I am bummed that I miss that photo op. lol

She also found a painted rock from #Palmyrocks near the base of the trees. We finally found the basket swing unoccupied so she had a try and loved it. Then as we were eating pizza, we found another #Palmyrocks painted rock in the tree along with a free hot drink card – but they were closed so we will save it for our next trip.

 

We were all getting overstimulated by this point so we decided to skip the lolly scramble and go get a cold drink all by ourselves until the next part which was swimming at the Lido. It was a nice little break from a lot of noise before the next session of chaotic fun.

It was so loud when we walked in that we decided to buy some silicone earplugs to dampen the sound for Sophia as she was really struggling. They had the music up way too loud and thus everyone else was even louder trying to hear each other over the music and the waterfall noise.

They worked great to block the sound, and I had my own earplugs in my bag that I always have with me. Oddly I am hard of hearing, but only voices and such sounds all the other stuff gets through. I am fearing what it will be like to have my hearing back! lol

after swimming we had an ice cream and watch giggle.nz for a bit. It is random facts and silly skits that were playing in the cafe.

And if all that wasn’t enough… we went to Carl’s Jr for tea as non of them have ever tried it. It was delicious and Sophia and Max did a Jalapeno challenge with some they took from my burger. They are very brave.

After a long drive home Sophia thought Max sleeping was the cutest thing ever and was squeeking from the back, “Oh, how cute, look how cute he is.” as she petted his hair like a puppy.

We must be completely mad because when we finally got home, we played NZ Monopoly until bedtime.

What a great day for Family Fun.