Friday, June 18, 2010

My Middle Name Should be "Anxiety"

Ah, many of you guessed what might have gone wrong with my pre-op tests, but none of you got it right. Leave it to me to do something so dumb, no one can even guess!

Let's start at the beginning. Once upon a time, when the Earth was considerably younger, I was born, . . . (yada, yada, yada) . . . and then, a month or so ago, I got a call from the surgeon's office, setting my surgery date for June 22nd. A few days later, a packet came in the mail. I don't know why, but for some reason, when I opened the packet and began reading the material concerning surgery, I was somewhat overwhelmed. I kind of think I was in denial. In any event, I gave it all a quick read-through and figured I'd read it more carefully a little later, when surgery got closer.

So I did. A few weeks ago, around the beginning of June, I pulled out all the papers and read them again, mentally dividing up the deadlines and what went with them. One of the things that had my panties in a twist was the full page list of things I couldn't eat and medications I couldn't take beginning a week before surgery and lasting for two weeks after surgery. Seriously, I had no clue what many of the items on the list were--and because of my job, I have a pretty good background in medical terms. It really seemed like overkill for a simple surgical procedure! It's not even full-on anesthesia, for goodness sake!

I also looked--once again--at the papers for pre-op tests. EKG and lab work--and the funny thing was that the tests were to be done at a medical facility right next door to my office building, so I'd be able to stop in and visit one more time before the surgery. There was no appointment date on the paperwork or any instructions about scheduling an appointment, so I called the facility and was told the tests would be done on a walk-in basis. Cool!

My hairstylist was someone I hadn't seen before (because most likely anyone who was cutting hair when I last had mine cut is long since retired or maybe even dead), and this being a pretty busy time of year with graduations and weddings and such, she had to move a few of her appointments around to fit me in. She called me on Sunday to see if a Wednesday appointment would work for me, and I told her that was fine, thank you very much. So in planning my week, I remembered the deadline for the pre-op tests was today--Friday, June 18th--so I thought it would be fun (at any rate, as much fun as you can have when you have to give blood, pee in a cup, and get electrodes stuck all over you) to go for testing on Thursday and show off my new haircut to the people I work with.

So here's where I screwed up. I knew I had to fast before the tests, and I thought I remembered the period of fasting was 10 to 12 hours, although I could have water during that time. I wasn't sure if there was anything else I needed to do to prepare, so I got the paperwork out on Wednesday night to take a look and to put it in my purse so I was ready in the morning. As I looked over the instructions, the deadline for the pre-op tests jumped out at me and slapped me on the forehead: June 15th! Of course, I was looking at the paper on June 16th, planning to go the next morning, on June 17th! The big, black stamp that warned me surgery may need to be postponed if the tests weren't done in time slapped me on the forehead a second time. HOW DID I MISS THE DATE?

Well, when I first looked at the paperwork, in my mind, I interpreted the date range for the tests as being the two full weeks before surgery--which would be between 6/8 and 6/18, NOT between 6/8 and 6/15. For some reason, I never recalculated the time period or--apparently--looked at an actual CALENDAR to figure it out.

At this point, you need to understand something about me--I'm VERY anal and overly cautious about not getting things wrong. I HATE being wrong or doing things wrong and I really, really HATE being stupid, unprepared, and/or irresponsible. So immediately I had a hot flash and felt an urge to run around in circles until I'd somehow outrun my error or died trying. Yeah, I knew pretty quickly that wouldn't work. So I thought I'd take a bath and get ready for bed--maybe I'd drown in the bathtub and wouldn't have to worry about the tests. Then, because I was WIDE AWAKE, I thought I'd read, but I kept having to read the same page over and over. I considered taking a Tylenol PM (according to "the list," I COULD take Tylenol), but I didn't want to be groggy in the morning and since I was fasting by that time, I didn't know if I could take it or not. So I turned off the light and tried to sleep. THAT didn't work, so I tried to read again. At 1:30 a.m., I turned off the light and slept fitfully until a little before 6 a.m. During brief periods of wakefulness in the night, I kept trying to tell myself that rescheduling surgery might be for the best, what with Hubby's broken leg and all, but I knew in my heart that it would be terrible if I had to wait longer, especially since workers' comp is involved.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow description of how I spent the time between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. when the surgeon's office opened and I could call to find out if surgery would need to be rescheduled or whether I could go ahead and have the testing performed. It wasn't a nice time, and it involved nausea, an upset stomach, and an intense desire for caffeine and food (fasting, remember?), but somehow the time passed. Eventually I got through to someone at the doctor's office who told me the fact that I was two days late for the pre-op testing was no big deal and I should just go ahead and get it done as I'd planned. WHEW! What a relief!

So there's the story. Although Wednesday night was one of the worst nights I've spent in recent memory, I've now gotten those two hurdles behind me, and I'm feeling a LOT calmer and much less anxious. Testing was okay, although it seemed to take longer than it needed to. Lucky for me, the cardiology center has a coffee/snack cart in the lobby, and I was MORE than ready for an iced latte and string cheese once the tests were done. Now I just need to do all those last-minute things I want to take care of before surgery. I suspect that by Monday, my anxiety level may rise again, but that's okay. At least I have the weekend to be normal--or as close as I ever get!

19 comments:

Carol said...

Ok, my head is spinning a little bit from your post, LOL. I'm glad everything is going to work out for you. Perhaps your hubby could do a post for you after your surgery to let us know that you lived through it all. Seriously, we care about you and want to know you are ok. I would also like to see a photo of your new hairdo, sounds nice.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Hope all goes well...I would have been frantic too. I hate being late or getting things wrong too.

Lorraine said...

Phew.....roll on the 23rd..you can put it all behind you! Good luck...will be thinking of you.....!

Eileen said...

Poor, Kim, all this for a little in-out surgery, I know as I have had two of them. Keep telling her it's nothing. Be glad when this next week is behind you.
Would love to see the new hair doo.

Kelly Ann said...

one day medical science will advance to the point that we don't need to fast for blood work....I hate to fast...hate hate hate to fast...there got off my chest, now don't you feel better...LOL

Kim said...

Oh, the states we can get ourselves worked up to!! Glad everything worked out. Enjoy the weekend, and it will be over before you know it.

Denise in PA said...

Oh, Kim, I feel your pain! I hate to get things wrong too and take great pains not to, so I know what you went through that night. Couldn't they mentioned that in the notes - geesh! Anyway, I'm glad things worked out and I wish you a very quick recovery!

sunny said...

S T O P - - -Take a DEEEEEP breath! Everything will be okay! You've done all the right things to plan and prepare. Just remember to breathe! :-)

Cara said...

Oh you poor thing! I hate anxiety, I deal with it for days whenever my daughter goes away tosee bio dad, it feels aweful.

((HUGS))

Kris said...

What am I thinking? Oh my goodness! Who knew there was someone else in the world who stressed as much as I do? I feel normal now I have read your story!!! Best wishes for the op. I'd tell you not to worry, but now I know you really are a kindred spirit I won't bother. As if anything anyone said would stop that anxiety!

Mrs. B said...

I can feel your anxiety. Glad everything worked out. I hate getting things mixed up too. If I don't write everything down on my calendar I'm in trouble. (Of course, then you have to remember to look at your calendar.)Good luck next week.

call me crazy said...

So sorry you were so stressed! Yikes! Hope the surgery goes well and you are back soon~ would love to see the new 'do too. ;-) Have a good weekend!

Lisabee said...

I hate it when I do things like that... but I'm really glad that everything worked out ok.

AnnieO said...

Wow, what an awful time you've had! Anxiety is bad for the blood pressure, you know :) Hope all your tests were A-OK and you can block out the anxiety enough to get some rest.

Gran said...

I just realized why they call it a Pre-Surgery Work UP!
I love your new hair do. Inquiring minds want to see pictures - now does that make you feel - anxious? I could come over and take some for you. Blood pressure rising at the suggestion...

Micki said...

I can well understand why you were anxious! Good luck with the surgery.
Micki

debbie said...

I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers, but mom didn't tell me I had a twin:) From the not cut for too long hair to trying to have my duckies in a row, and worrying about stuff i can't fix, I'm right there with you! I tell myself
'don't borrow from tomorrow" but it often doesn't work. So glad it all worked out for you. Blessings

VeeV said...

what kind of surgery are you going to have??

relax...... think "matter of fact" and all goes well...... before you know it normalcy will be back.

xo
eva

Kim Walus said...

Good luck on your impending surgery and remember to relax and take it easy, especially after your surgery. I dislike having to worry too much and I'm glad it turned out okay for you.