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.

 

pediatric-ent-doctor-los-angeles

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.

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