Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dark surgery thoughts.

I've been wondering how much thought I should put into the possible outcomes of surgery. I do like a list, and have been thinking that if I wrote the potentials out in order of worseness, would it help to see it in black and white and allow me to contemplate what I'm worried about? So far it has been there on the fringes of my thoughts, but I haven't really explored it.

I know the bad stuff is incredibly unlikely to happen, so it's hard to not start everything with "I know this is unlikely but...". Maybe I do just need to get it out and then look at it for a while.

In a particular order, or just as they occur to me? I'm just going to start.

What could happen?
  1. I could be fine. I could wake up after surgery and have a little headache but be fine. Yes please. 
  2. I could have temporary loss of movement in my right arm and leg. Physio, recovery time, maybe a week or so and then back to normal and home. That would also be fine.
  3. Not-so-temporary loss of movement / weakness. Hmm, less fine. It's clearly not ideal but something I can work through. I'll have another arm and leg, and the capacity to learn new brain pathways (apparently) and physio and stuff.
    The main problem here is things that just don't seem too important right now, but I think will later. Like handwriting (I like my handwriting) and chopping. I love cooking, and I love chopping. I'm really good at chopping garlic finely, it's just something I have a talent for and it would be a shame not to be able to wield the knife anymore. Does seem a little unimportant though, in the big scheme of things. And playing pool (I am shit at pool unless I've had 2 and two thirds of pints of lager, for about three shots. I also haven't played pool for about three years, but I may want to again).
  4. Speech impairment. Bad, this is bad. Communication is something that I really need. I'm sure there are lots of things you can do to improve it, speech therapy and hard work, but this is something I do not want to happen. Big worry.
  5. Sight impairment. Also bad, but to be honest not as bad as the speech. I would still be able to communicate and that definitely seems more important right now.
  6. Long term damage to concentration / memory / general confusion. This would be terrible. It really would, like the communication. I'm struggling with concentration and noise at the moment, but I'm hoping that it's just the exhaustion and generally weird situation. Going forward, any memory problems would be a disaster. Or ability to multitask. Basically anything that will prevent me from doing my job, well. This is a real worry too.
  7. Locked in syndrome. I know, I've been reading too much and they told me to stop reading at the hospital but I can't help it. I do not want locked in syndrome. If I get it, please stop all medication and food immediately. I would want to check out.
  8. Anything that leaves me with a long term physical disability that would prevent me working and would ruin Oliver's life as well as my own. This is really I suppose the problem. If I lose dependence for myself, and have to rely on other people caring for me then I just can't see a positive to that right now.
    That is very sad because there are so many people who live that way and I'm sure are wonderfully coping with it, but I just can't imagine the burden. The guilt. The dead end and fruitlessness. It's ok doing doss all for now, but not being able to work ever again, I just. No. This is really the problem area. Don't want this one.
  9. Anything that leaves me with a long term mental disability - as above. Although I guess that's marginally better as I may not be aware of it as much. Selfishly.
  10. Death. To be honest, I'm not worried about this one now. If I imagine it then it's sad and I think of Beaches and have a little cry - but I'd be dead so I wouldn't care. 

Look at that, a nice round 10, who would have thought.

Basically, on reflection then, I think it boils down to independence. If I can manage to look after myself and get back to work in a capacity to excel, then I'll be happy. It could take some time and hard work - and I may not ever have quite the function I do right now - but this would definitely be a good case scenario.

If I can't look after myself and need to rely on someone else I care about giving up things to physically look after me then this will be very difficult. And if I can't function in meaningful employment that would also be incredibly bad.

Right. Well that's good to have sorted out, at least I do know now what I'll be wanting to find out when I wake up. And also an idea of what to focus on and work towards: independence, and getting back to work.

I haven't touched on what is worrying me about the surgery itself, think I'll save that for another treat. But this has actually been really helpful, and not at all as morbid as I was expecting. I'm glad I thought about it.

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