Monday, April 6, 2015

When anxiety takes over

You may remember a few months ago bub was diagnosed with the same eye problem that I had when I was young. I was devastated, but not surprised. Although I expected it would come about at some point, I still didn't really want to accept it when it happened. But its our reality and all we could really do was accept it as reality and move on with life. And we have. 

Adjusting to glasses took her a few months, but she's done incredibly well considering she was only 14 months when she started wearing them. She now wears them all day without taking them off {unless she's having an epic tantrum, then its usually her last ditch effort to be defiant}. Most days if we don't put them on her straight away she'll actually bring them over to us. She's done so well adjusting and taking it all in her stride.

For the last few months I've been blissfully ignoring the fact that at some point she'll need surgery. Until it jumped up and slapped me in the face. They said she'd be on the waiting list for quite a few months {which I was totally fine with} and then BAM there's been a cancellation and now we're headed for surgery this week.

Cue my anxiety going bat shit crazy....


My anxiety went straight to she'll never wake up from the anaesthetic. She'll have a huge allergic reaction to it. Something will go horribly wrong and she'll either die or accidentally be left blind. Yep that's how crazy my anxiety is when I don't feel in control. It stems entirely from my fear that everyone I love is going to be taken away from me at any moment.

Of course my brain chimed in periodically and tried to reason with my anxiety, but for the first few days all I could do was catastrophise every possible outcome. To the point where if I started thinking about it during the day I'd want to cry and if I happened to wake up during the night and it crossed my mind I'd be awake for hours. But then I spoke to Emma, someone who both understands how anxiety works and is very well versed {unfortunately} in dealing with childhood surgeries.

Emma's had to sit through the stress of her girls having numerous operations. She knows the process well. She knows how to manage the anxiety and deal with the stress. She's so well versed in it that hospital visits and operations are just another day. I'm not saying that's a good thing at all, but it did mean that she was able to reassure me that everything will be ok. In a way that my anxiety actually responded to.


Since talking to her I've slept through the night every night. I'm not freaking out that my days with my baby are limited. I'm not seeing surgery day as dooms day. I'm looking at her surgery as a positive thing that'll make her quality of life better. I'm trying to make my mind understand this is a good thing for her, and its finally working. It's still scary and no doubt I'm still going to cry like a baby when the time comes, but for now I'm keeping everything under control.

The good thing is she'll never remember her surgery like I do with mine. Which means hopefully if she's placed in this position with her own children one day, it won't be as stressful for her.

I just want everything to be easier for her x


Toni x

33 comments:

  1. Thinking of you all xo

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  2. Thinking of you and hoping/knowing it will all go well. My eldest just headed off to Greece and I've been unnecessarily anxious, she also has major surgery booked for the end of the year. I've been trying not to think about and just deal with what ever is thrown our way at the time. It's not easy though.

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    1. To be honest my anxiety is starting to creep back a bit now that I know how close we are to the operation. I just want it to be over so I don't have to think about it anymore.

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    2. You're going to be fine hun, and so is Bub. We'll be trading war stories in no time. Will be thinking of you xx

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    3. I know, by Friday I'll be all good :)

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  3. Toni, you poor thing. I think all of these feelings and emotions are completely understandable. It's a scary thing. I think it's wonderful you've been able to talk to Emma - I've 'spoken' to her too about something that was troubling me about one of my girls. She's amazing and needs to start charging a consultative fee ;) - I'm glad she was able to put you at ease somewhat. You'll be fine and you'll get through this xx

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    1. Yep she is totally amazing!

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    2. Awww ❤ I swear it's harder for us parents watching our kids go through challenging experiences than it is for them actually experiencing it!

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  4. It's so scary. My eldest had dental surgery under general anesthesia when he was 3. I took dozens of photos of him that morning, convinced every one would be the last. The waking up from the GA was a bit traumatic but then he was asking for icy poles and bouncing around within a couple of hours. Best wishes to you and your daughter x

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    1. I'm totally going to take a heap of photos this week!

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  5. Oh wow Toni, thinking of you. I'm sure she'll be fine, and as you say, she won't have any memory of it. All the best. Just breathe xxx

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    1. That's the best part! I think my memory of the operation is stressing me out a lot more than if I didn't remember anything.

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  6. It is so hard watching them head off for surgery but knowing how far medical abilities have advanced so much made it so much easier when Izzy had her operations. All our best wishes for Hayley and you as well.

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    1. I'm so stressed about her being put to sleep :(

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  7. It is hard watching them go through surgery of any kind. She will be fine, she won't remember any part of it. Kids bounce back so quickly from surgery. Thinking of you all x

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    1. Yea I'm pretty sure I'm the one that's going to bear the brunt of the stress and anxiety. Thankfully she probably won't have any idea what's happening.

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  8. Thinking of you all - have a bottle of champagne in the fridge for when she is back home safe and sound in your arms xx

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  9. I would have exactly the same reaction as you did, and I'm so glad you found a way to turn it around. Hope everything goes amazingly well with the op and recovery!

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  10. It breaks you heart when you see your kids having to go through stuff like this - you just wish you could take their place. She looks so cute with her glasses!!!

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    1. Yea I wish I could take it all and I hope to hell this is her only operation.

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  11. I think everyone has similar thoughts when faced with surgery. I wish her (and you) all the best. Will be thinking of you.

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  12. I am sure it will go well. It is hard when kids need medical intervention, nerve wracking. Try not to cross bridges before you get to them though. I am guilty of this all the time, and have to tell my monkey mind to quit it! xx

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    1. Yep that's my problem, making up stuff before it happens!

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  13. Surgery is scary for an adult, let alone as an adult with your precious baby. Thinking positive is the key but I remember feeling sick all day until my son was awake and out of his surgery. Thinking about you guys...

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    1. I imagine I'm going to be a complete and utter mess while she's in surgery. I'm looking forward to it being over.

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  14. I get this Toni. Matilda had surgery when she was a toddler (to put grommets in her ears) and I could not relax until she woke up afterwards. It's great to have someone there who can talk you through your feelings and your fears. Keep focusing on the positives - that it should help her vision and she won't remember it when she grows older. All the best my friend x

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    1. I'm trying, just had a cry though x

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  15. Oh Toni, I don't blame you for feeling anxious. When Elliott had his surgery at 22 months I felt the same, I was more upset than him but I knew he was in good hands. It's normal to worry like you are, it will be over soon and you'll wonder why you were so worried. Best of luck.

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    1. Yep I know, I always freak out about stuff for ages and then it actually happens and its never as bad as I expect.

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