Medical Procedure Anxiety

It’s been 14 days since my last post. I try to post once or twice a week, if I’m motivated. June and July have me riddled with a type of anxiety I am not accustomed to.

My first big medical procedure was when I was 4, my brother cut me with a pocket knife and I ended up in the ER with 4 stitches. I don’t really remember fear then, I remember putting bandaids on my doll so we would be the same.

My second medical procedure was surgery to remove an oil gland from my eyelid when I was scratched in the face by a cat when I was 7. I don’t remember anxiety that day either, just going to sleep and waking up feeling sick from the anesthesia.

After that, life was pretty calm until the summer I turned 13 and started fainting and having seizures. I hit the ground with seizures so bad once I bit through part of my lip. I don’t remember feeling anxious during the EEG, MRI, Stress Test or tilt-table either. I did have anxiety when I was having blood drawn at the hospital and the fire alarm went off. We were on the first floor and the nurse ran us out with the needle in my arm. After removing the needle I remember being dizzy and leaning against a car. I remember my mom saying something like there she goes. I remember hearing a male doctor say he couldn’t feel a pulse and to remove the gum from my mouth just before I opened my eyes.

Somewhere in my childhood sparked curiosity and amazement with my body and the human body. All of these tests trying to determine if I had epilepsy, a brain tumor, or a heart condition. When I was doing the tilt table test, I was connected to an EKG and the monitor was to the right of the direction I was facing. I remember feeling dizzy and looking over at the monitor as it went flat just before losing consciousness. I remember coming around on the table with my feet elevated higher than my head and thinking how amazing it was that I saw my own heart stop.

In my 20s things started going astray again, more tests no big deal. I remember the panic when my meds wore of during my first c-section and screaming for them to stop as they tried to convince me it was just pressure, except I was able to tell them each time they put the needle in and they finally pushed more meds.

I remember the fright of having a miscarriage at work a little before Thanksgiving when we had tried so hard to get pregnant the second time. I remember the deep sorrow that followed. I was anxious when we finally got pregnant again and had progesterone shots the first trimester and fretted over every little thing because I desperately wanted my baby to make it (he did 🙂 ).

Since then, I’ve had more MRIs, CT Scans and blood draws than I could count. The MRI has become melodic in the way of the beeps, clicks and groans as it images my brain. I remember being anxious when I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 but immediately went into research mode because I cope by having information.

In the last 6 years no medical procedure I can remember has caused me as much anxiety as the 2 this week. Today is Wednesday, Monday they re-biopsied the area where my basal cell carcinoma was because it’s apparently not normal to still be tender after six months. I was anxious that they would have to do another surgery. They don’t; apparently it’s just scar tissue and nerve pain (thanks for that MS).

Friday, I am getting a steroid injection into the section in between the vertebrae of my tail bone region (guided via x-ray). I had them show me where and confirmed it’s like an epidural but is supposed to relieve some of my back pain. I looked at articles online, it’s so simple you can drive yourself home if you choose. These spine specialists have done this procedure thousands of times, to them it’s not a big deal. It shouldn’t be a big deal to me either, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. However, I am riddled with anxiety because this year, a year of incredibly weird, strange, heartbreaking and terrifying things, I am afraid they will mess it up.

I live my MS life losing a little bit more feeling and mobility daily, weekly or monthly and if they mess up an injection that’s supposed to relieve my pain it could be the thing that puts me in a wheelchair. This is not logical fear and anxiety and I know that. My brain however seems to revel in the idea of a situation that could occur but not by the means I am anticipating. My anxiety comes because I’m worried that by trying to reduce a small portion of my daily pain I will be immobilized instead of from the progression of my MS. Touché brain, you officially have won this round.

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