Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fear has no logic

I suppose this is an expected challenge, but I don't know if I'll ever be ready for it. Surgery on loved ones.

I took Azriel to the ENT today, and he needs surgery; tonsils & adenoids. We knew that, but have put it off for a while, just buying time. I've known this doctor for 5 years, he was Dov's surgeon for his tonsillectomy. As the doctor was explaining to me about possible complications from this surgery, I literally had a panic attack, right there in his office. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe and my heart was racing. My face went white. When the doctor noticed he asked if I'm OK, brought me a cup of water, and said it is understandable knowing what I have been through. We started talking about another angle, left the complications conversation for another time.

He needs this surgery, we've had 3 opinions. He has sleep apnea, enlarged tonsils, and is tiny for his age. "Failure to thrive" is the term for a child who doesn't gain weight/grow at a "normal" rate. Azriel is thriving, but he's small. He's 3 years old and only 11 kilos (24 lbs). He speaks beautifully in two languages, draws, builds, does puzzles, and counts. He is extremely agile and athletic, and is smart as a whip. But he's inordinately small and has sleep apnea. The theory is that when sleep is improved, the growth hormone gets secreted more at night and they grow better. It was true with Dov.

But I am so frightened, I can't even explain it. There is no logic that can snap me out of this, because bacteria know no logic. I have to figure out how to get through this because I don't want to transmit my fears to Azriel. He's really sensitive.
The words "routine surgery" wreak havoc in my soul. He's my baby, and I am petrified.

Oh, and tomorrow morning, to also challenge my nervous system, Emma is having her neutering surgery. It's basically a hysterectomy. The vet said that it would be dangerous for her life if she got pregnant again because she has had many litters. This past litter she bled for an inordinately long time, and her uterus took a long time to shrink back to size. Also, seven pups was a very big litter for such a small dog, and supposedly any litters to follow would only be larger. So, to protect her life, we are fixing her. I already have her on a fast, and have to take her in at 8:30AM tomorrow (Wed). It is basically a cesarean surgery . I went through that, and it hurt. I wonder if there is doggie Tylenol?

I can pick her up around 4 tomorrow afternoon, and they said I should expect her to be groggy with no appetite. My pal Emma. I can't wait till this is all over.

Other quick news: I like my new shrink from our first meeting today. She seems open, down to earth and sensitive. I look forward to building a relationship with her.

My ENT visit with same doctor (at the same visit with Azriel) for my hearing & noise sensitivity problem lead to a referral for another test. After that test I'll go back to him and make a treatment plan.

Still have crazy leg pain, and I am having a hard time getting off the gerbil wheel of wondering what is wrong with it. I am recently convinced that it actually *is* osteomyelitis. Other candidates are bursitis, or compartment syndrome from wearing the pressure bandage. I have to wait for the MRI to really know, and I don't yet have a date for that. The lovely secretary at my doctor's clinic is working on it for me. She knows someone there who can help get it fast. We are now waiting for approval from the boss of the boss of the boss, or something like that.

We knew I'd have to look surgery in the eye again. It is so hard, I don't have words to describe this panicky feeling I have.
It's all about faith, isn't it. Nothing more to say.


  1. Dear Sarah,
    You already know about the real connection between fear and breathing- that you need to breathe through the fear. You knew that when you were working as a doula. Now you must use that same knowledge in your own life.

  2. Dearest Sarah,

    I gave Robert a pat on the back today (*literally*, he was dropping Dov off at our house) for being such a rock and wonderful husband to you. Hashem knew what He was doing when He introduced you two!

    Our Drawers class on Sunday dealt with exactly the fear you expressed in your last entry. A trauma nurse at Soroka was talking about how after loosing her brother, serious leg surgery, other family losses, she felt she was choking every time she got to work. Even looking at people's files induced this horrible panic and she had to fight through it to even work. Michal calmly walked her through her story, and it became clear that she was afraid that what had happened to others would happen to her, too. Michal tried to help her see that our paths in life and the nature of our death are already pre-ordained. The fear of painful death/sickness, etc., happening to her was a "script," a connection she had created in her own mind that had no bearing on reality.

    I marveled at Michal's ability to see this connection in the woman's story. I wrote notes, and I would love to share more with you.

    May Hashem watch over you!

    Love, Miriam