Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings

Finn had a pre-op appt. this morning with the ENT, as he is scheduled to have tubes placed in his ears next Tuesday. After our appt. with the doctor, I had to go down the block to the outpatient surgery center and pre-register him. And as I was sitting there answering questions and signing forms, knots formed in my stomach. By the time we finished and I got back in my truck, I sat there in the parking garage for a while, just crying. Where did these tears suddenly come from? That's the frustrating thing - my emotions seem to be all over the place lately, and often the tears come out of nowhere.

The truth is, I can't go to that general area of town without feeling anxiety. The ENT's office, the outpatient surgery center, and even our pediatrician's office, are all situated in a big medical complex that covers a couple blocks. Located right there are also the children's hospital where Finn was in the NICU (and the twins were in the PICU as infants, both with viral meningitis), and the hospital where my first four babies were born, and where Michael will be having his surgery in a couple of weeks. Going to that area always brings back bad memories for me, of the twins' stay in the PICU - even the awful memories I have of their birth - as well as Finn's stay in the NICU and the subsequent surgery he had at the outpatient surgery center in April. Bad memories. Lots of anxiety. And it all comes back to me when I'm over there - and I'm over there plenty.

So this morning as I'm signing consent forms for Finn's upcoming procedure, all this usual anxiety is filling me and then it turns to outright dread. It's bad enough that once again I have to hand over my baby and allow them to do stuff to him. I know it's for his well-being, and it will improve the quality of his life, but it's still very, very hard. But worse than that is the fact that being there this morning, signing a form acknowledging the risks (including death) of this minor procedure, made it all hit home what Michael is scheduled to undergo in a very short time.

Sometimes, like right now at this moment, it all seems like too much. Too much to deal with. And what hit me as I was driving home and crying was that I just feel so alone in all this. And when that realization struck me, I about felt like I was going to come out of my skin.

The thing is, Michael is the one who anchors me, who shores me up when I feel like I can't do it. As corny as it sounds, he really is my best friend. He's the one who makes me laugh the hardest, he's the one who listens to me and helps me work through the tough things, he's the one I want to tell every silly, trivial thing that happens throughout my day to. And when he's in surgery, it's not like he'll be sitting out in the waiting room with me, holding my hand, reassuring me. He'll be in there, being cut open. And I'm scared to death, and feel so alone. I have friends, but they are all understandably tied up with their own lives. I don't have a best girlfriend, or a mother, who will be there to make sure I'm okay. And it's always been like that. Through all the trials and upheavals, through having babies and moving and having babies hospitalized, it's always been me and Michael, dealing together, but alone. I am not discounting what my friends have given me - their support and help was incredible after Finn was born, and I will be forever grateful - but it's not the same as having someone you can just lean on no matter what, you know?

14 comments:

Carla said...

I hear you and wish I could be that person for you, if only during Michael's surgery. As always, you are on my mind and in my heart. xoxo

Maureen said...

I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I can only imagine. If I was in your position, I'd probably feel the same way. I've been with my husband since we were both 16 and he's my best friend too. It's great to love someone so much but it also makes it that much harder when something like cancer strikes. You love Michael so much and just want him to be completely healthy and yet there's not a whole lot you can do. It sucks to want to do something to make it all better and yet you can't fix it, you can only be there for him. I know it's not the same as a 'real' person sitting in the waiting room holding your hand but please know your online community is pulling for you and Michael. I know it's easy to say but try to remain positive. Maybe think about the huge party you can have to celebrate when Michael is free of cancer and all of this is behind your family.

Chrystal said...

I know just what you mean with the alone-ness. I see folks who have people that are dedicated to them and them alone (specifically, like a parent or even two) and while it makes me happy that I finally have my husband, it also makes me sad that I don't have that one person who has always known me and would let me crawl up in their bed and cry while being hugged, no matter how old I am.

Virtual hugs to you, friend.

Wendy P said...

Oh Lisa, I'm just so sorry you're having to go through this. ((((hugs)))) and tears for you - mainly because I can't do anything else.

Karly said...

(((Lisa)))

Sheryl said...

Crazy...I finally took the time to figure out how to leave a message....I know exactly what you mean. I've spent the last 4 years in the same area you are talking about (you know what I mean). When I have to go back, I swear I have a panick attack. You will get through this...you may not think so now, but you will look back and know I was right. Hang in there.

Nicole O'Dell said...

As I was reading I was thinking, WOw, she must feel so alone in all of this. And, then you said it yourself. I wish there was something I could do to help.

Hang in there...

one smart cookie said...

The truth is: you DO have a mother who would gladly be there for you and with you. You have a mother who misses you terribly, in spite of all the competition between us and the bad feelings and the bad mother I was. Yes, Lisa, I have known for many years that I was not the mother I wanted to be nor the mother my kids needed, and I have to live with that every single day. But don't forget that I had to deal, every day, with behaviors of others that I had NOTHING to which to relate. Both of your brothers have forgiven me and admitted their contribution to the chaos in the home. I still, after all these years have a hard time living with this. I have admitted my mistakes for a long time and, numerous years ago, I wrote you a 16 page letter apologizing to you and trying to explain what I was dealing with and where I was coming from, and not to justify any of my mistakes, just as you are doing now on this blog. Altho you are much more articulate than I have ever been. I wish I could communicate more like you. It's is just not my stong point. Also, don't forget that you contributed to the chaos in that house, also. I am sooo sorry but I did the best I could with the knowledge I had, as everyone does. I would love to be there for you and I wish you would let me. And, no matter how much you hate me, I very much love you. I am retired now so I am home most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just a liberal, but regarding "one smart cookie's" post:

All kids cause chaos-they are chaos. It's their job, and as parents we deal with the chaos. My children would have to commit not necessarily a criminal act, but an act so inherently wrong and for which they clearly understood was wrong, and for which they weren't just reacting to their environment-basically something that could not be attributed to youth, before I could ever expect them to "admit" to contributing to the chaos that I believe led to my failings at being a parent. We all feel like failures at some point. I know I do. It's not my kid's faults.

By choosing to become a parent, I automatically took an oath to deal with the inevitable chaos that ensues when immature little people that I created(that can mean from age 0 to 18 or even 20+) can't grasp anything beyond their own needs, or when they are reacting to their situation at home--even if they had a hand in it--or do things that are hurtful. I'm the adult, not them.

Chaos is expected, and I would set the bar oh so incredibly high before kids should be expected many years later to apologize for it, or "admit" to it so that one can feel better as a parent. And running away from home, saying they hate you, skipping school, experimenting with drugs, sex or mischief, are not any of those things which should require such an "admission" many years later. Kids do wrong things all the time, and while they should apologize at that time for particular things so that they may learn humility, respect for others, civility and graciousness--this is part of how we hope to shape them--you are obviously not talking about these things. You want something else that you have no right to demand and it's too bad your other children were made to accede to such a demand.

I hope you're not going to respond publicly that Lisa did something worse than all of those things. Although Lisa obviously blogs publicly and apparently you must have been mentioned, it seems that you should continue your conversation with her offline or email her privately. I'm not trying to defend her or take a "stance," but this really isn't the forum for you to take up these issues with your daughter. If her blog has drawn your attention to certain things, that should be enough. A public tarring and feathering to show us all what Lisa's "really like", even if you feel like you've received one, would not be the answer or true to your claims of wanting to love your daughter and re-enter her life.

However, I suppose you could start your own blog about how rotten your kids were.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she feels the need to comment here because otherwise her voice wouldn't be heard.

I had shit happen with my parents when I was growing up. Things I have had to forgive them for and move on. Even if we can't forget, we can always forgive. And believe you me, everyone's mental health would be much better off by forgiving.

It sounds to me like mom is willing to try and you are not willing to forgive. Sometimes we need to forgive, even when we find it hard to do. I've been there. Been in counseling with my mom. It was the best thing I could have ever done.

I hope you get things worked out.

Anonymous said...

And on what basis have you determined that "It sounds like mom is willing to try and you are not willing to forgive?" Are you basing it on the mother's comment where she called Lisa out? That tactic alone is questionable. It's more cutting than conciliatory.

My guess is you've been recruited by her mother--another questionable tactic--but like you, I might be jumping to conclusions.

one smart cookie said...

The only one who commented to my former comment that got the intent correct was "anonymous" #2. This was supposed to be an attempt to heal things between my daughter and me. I have tried before, but she is too full of hate for me. I did nothing that was bad enough to deserve that much hate or the chewing out by "anonymous" #1. When I re-read my comment I only see one sentance that could possibly be MIS-interpreted as it was. I believe that everyone who does wrong and knows it should apologize to the person they hurt. I did, numerous times. It is called taking responsibility for your own actions. And you are jumping to conclusions that you know things you obviously don't. And, I did not "recruit" ANYONE. My whole point was to let my daughter know that no matter what, I love her, miss her and would always be there for her...if she let me know she needed or wanted me to. And, I fail to see anything wrong with my intent. Nor did I "demand" anything of my sons. They just recognized it themselves.

Megan said...

Yikes~a~roony!!

Bethany said...
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