The date has been set for my knee surgery…Thursday. This Thursday. I know that is quick, but to get it in before school I had to get on the calendar. To be honest, I will be glad to have it over with. As most of you know, I am a person with medical phobias. That is a nice way to say I am a chicken. Before I had cancer, the only time I had been in the hospital was to birth my babies and even then, I was in for less than 24 hours. Didn’t have any sedation, so there was no need for an IV. It was my plan not to have an IV…who cares what else happened…just please no IV.
Then cancer happened, and I found out just how much I hate IV needles. Actually, needles of any kind became my enemy because I became a pincushion. Four surgeries in less than a year, plus chemo, plus lab work galore, plus blood buster shots…I could go on, but will spare you the complications of cancer. One thing that I learned is that there are a lot of things that are worse than sleeping through an operation. In fact, if it weren’t for the needle thing, I wouldn’t mind the surgery itself at all. Go to sleep sick, wake up healed…kind of.
The fact is that pain is all in your perspective. Wound vacs are much, much, much worse than IV’s. (Did I say much worse…the most pain I have ever been in…hate is too tame a word.) Chemo pain, is also up high on the list of things worse than a few sticks of a needle. Now the tricky part is to remember these things while they are hunting for a vein. My nerves always get to me before surgery. I guess previous bad experiences float around in my head until the needle goes in, bringing with it the glorious I-don’t-care medicine. For this surgery, it is a short nap and I wake packed in ice to go on my merry way.
I will be first up, which is my preferred position in line…less time to feel the nausea of fear. Anxiety of needles is the main thing. A close second is panic that my brain will wake up, but my body will not. That happened after my hysterectomy. I got the feeling of what it would be like to be in a coma. No talking or communication of any kind though I was aware of everything around me. Couldn’t move one muscle. Fortunately, I remembered why I was in this state, and I forced myself not to panic by quoting scripture in my head. Peace came and I slept until my body woke up. Still it was a scary experience I never wish to repeat.
I can tell you that I know this fright is irrational. I know that everything will be fine…in my head. I just wish that my body would not respond physically to the fear. When I had cancer, they gave me “special” pills to take before my appointments. I forgot them once before chemo. After about 8 needle sticks because my port wouldn’t work, I had a meltdown that would not stop, to the point I was having difficulty breathing. The nurse came with a pill and commanded me to chew them up and swallow. I turned my head away and said they taste bad. She put them in and clamped my mouth shut until they were gone while tears poured down my face. Minutes later I was calm, though still taking the little whimpering breaths I remember my children taking after a long hard cry. What a baby I am. I like to think that months of a medical cancer nightmare has prepared me for this simple orthoscopic procedure. I want to believe that I can hold the fear at bay for a few minutes while they dig…then relax as the miracle drug does its work. Thank God for miracle drugs.
Despite the dread, one thing I know for sure that will not change, God will NEVER leave me or forsake me…even in my silly childlike fearful state. He holds me close to his heart and surrounds me with his presence. I know he will do this from experience as well. He is my father, and as such he cares for me more than I can understand. I only pray that I can feel his peace in the moments I need it, as he calms me in the quiet place. I ask for the prayers of my friends for smooth, uneventful, peaceful, quick surgery and a fast recovery.

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