I'm going to be open here. I'm always encouraging swan to use our Blog(s) as a vehicle to do the sharing she might do if we had a circle of real time friends with whom she might confide. I am going to do the same thing. I'm afraid. I'm really scared about this surgery.
When we got the word Monday that we were both approved by our health insurance company for the procedure, and we were actually scheduled exactly four weeks to the day from that date, t seemed to feel excited and glad. I felt abject panic. I didn't sleep a lot that night or the next.
Now I know in my head that this is a very good move. I know the many huge health improvements that will result. I know how wonderful it will be to lose all this weight, to take the load off my severely arthritic knees, my hips, and my seriously deteriorated spine. I know I hate how I look and feel and that will improve in huge ways. I know we will be able to get out and about way more than we do now. Most importantly I know this means that I will have many more years with my two spice and that quite frankly the number of those years I will have, without this surgery are likely to be seriously numbered. So right up front I want to assert that I know this is absolutely necessary, and a good thing, otherwise I/we wouldn't be doing it. We have the best surgeon in the area and will be supported by an excellent and experienced multi disciplinary (if only they knew how funny that sounds within the context of our lives:)team. I want to express all this so that you know that I am doing this all very strategically, intentionally, and consensually.
All that having been said, I am absolutely frightened. Three weeks from Monday they are going to cut out 90% of my stomach and reconnect what is left to my g. i. tract so that it will be inefficient at absorbing nutrients. Two hours later they are going to do the same thing to t. She has had such huge health problems and so many previous abdominal surgeries that they may have to modify her surgery to a gastric sleeve and not the same bypass I'll have. These surgeries have a 1% mortality rate. Our surgeon has done literally several hundred of these with a much better rate than this, but people do die from this. t has had so much trouble I fear losing her through this. Of course too, I worry about me too. Much more than this though I fear the future without being able to eat normally. Last night I had a committee meeting in a Panera. I ate more baguette bread than usual. I know that when we meet again I will already be in a liquid protein diet and will not be able to eat. I know too that I have been told that in all likelihood bread will disagree with me. I won't be able to eat bread the rest of my life (except small amounts of toast.) There will be no more Thanksgiving dinners as we have known them (well there can be...I just won't be able to eat them.) In a week or so when we enter our liquid protein diet there will be no alcohol. There will be none for at least 6 months to a year after the surgery, and then if I can tolerate it at all it will be in only minuscule amounts. I love good wine with dinner. I won't be able to drink wine with my food. Hell, I won't be able to drink anything, alcoholic or not, for 15 minutes before, during, or 15 minutes after I eat. How do you eat without any beverage? I could go on and on about the seeming incomprehensible sacrifices to lifestyle this will entail and which leave me feeling grief ridden and just plain terrorized.
Then there is the timing. My 90 year old father is not well. He has just started dialysis. We are frequently called upon to support him. We will be unable to do that for a month or so. My agency's development director has just moved to a wonderful new job opportunity and we need to deal with replacing him. We have just been notified that our longest term funder is going to end their funding relationship with us after 50 years next January. And, of course, like everyone else our investment reserve has lost 50% of its value over the last year. This is a really not good time for the agency's Executive Director to be out of action for a few weeks.
Now let me say again. I need this to survive. I am an extremely tough and determined man. Once this is done I will find a way to make this work and to excel at having a positive outcome for me and will support t to have the best outcome possible for her life. I know that through all this we will be loved and supported by swan. But I am scared, and likely being a melodramatic wimp, but I am truly wigged out. I am managing to function. Thank god for my work that forces me to function because so many depend on me. Thank god for the love and support of my two who know how I feel and who are doing so much to support me as well all work to support each other. All three of us have our fear and catastrophic fantasies as we approach this. Every other time we have had a surgery it has been one of us and the other two have waited together for it to be over and to learn the outcome. I am scared for poor sue who will have to wait alone while the two of us are operated on. I am scared for her too, having to care for both of us after we get home.
What if they should release one of us to come home before the other? I am likely making myself nuts, but I don't know how to stop.
I have a Board meeting tonight and the agency has crises and I have to be leader. Thank god that will fill my mind and make diverting any energy to this impossible once I begin work through this evening.
OK I have this out there. I am not being very brave about this. I want to cry.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.
P. S. I'm moving in that direction, but I can't say that it is necessarily confidently.