Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Poor Taliesin. They didn't find anything wrong with him at the vet, so they decided to give him all his boosters while he was in there. I'm not sure this was a good idea, since I got him home last night he's been all sulky and out of sorts. Not even the mighty pull of a spoonful of yogurt tempted him out from under the bed this morning. So I left him to carry on hunching in dark corners looking miserable. I know how he feels.

I can't just muscle through this, I can't get up the day after surgery, pretend nothing happened, and go back to work and be PRODUCTIVE. I'm not allowed, in fact I've been told I might need help walking to the bathroom, and that I should not be left unattended for 24 hours afterwards. Probably it's the general anesthetic that will have the effect of making me groggy etc. Matt has to work, and luckily one of our closest friends, who also lives in the building, has that day off and will be on supervisory duty. I'm not sure if he'll be hanging out at our place, or just on call. I left Matt to sort that out because the thought of asking for that kind of help makes me feel sick. I hate helplessness, absolutely hate it. Realizing how much I wanted my boss to give me work to take home with me for while I'm resting up was quite a shock.

Somehow in the past 5 years I have become the kind of woman who will keep pursuing work when she's sick, even if it might make her sicker longer. I think of public holidays as a great chance to catch up on household chores, I have actually caught myself considering "doing extra laundry" as a good way to spend a "me day". I'm sure I used to be much more of a skiver, any chance to get away with not doing stuff. I used to be so bored with school, or I couldn't see much importance in getting projects done, that I'd procrastinate until the last minute and then tearfully cobble together some crap, making excuses to myself all the way.

After I graduated and met Matt, and especially after I moved jobs to this one, a job well done became such a great rewarding feeling. Perhaps I learned that hard work does pay off. Hard work paying attention and learning on the job, and also hard work fixing myself up after a long bout of depression. I'm coming to realise that work, doing stuff, being proactive, becoming a go-getting let-me-at-it kind of person is what pulled me out of the hole I was in. It also made our whole wedding planning thing work pretty well. Now all of a sudden I'm faced with a huge challenge: being able to stop.

Even as I type this I realize it's pretty ridiculous. I'm not loosing a LEG. this isn't a permanent stop. I have to face being a gibbering wreck for about 24 hours or so after surgery. Maybe not even gibbering, just disoriented and sick feeling.

I feel that I've spent far too much of my life already hiding under the covers feeling sick. I wasted somewhere between 2 and 5 YEARS not taking care of myself, crying a lot and feeling sick to my stomach just existing. Often it was helplessness that I felt. Helplessness to "fix" my life. Yay anxiety. I hope I'm just spaced out all day after surgery, the fear that is looming is that it will feel just like the pit of depression and then somehow I will get stuck there again.

Of course, I was feeling depression rear it's head before I got this diagnosis. I could go all Medium on the facts and try to convince myself that I felt this coming and was mourning it in advance... or I could skip the BS hokey pokey and admit that maybe go! go! go! go! go! go! go! go! go! go! wasn't working that well as a long term life solution and I'm getting overdue for seeking a little, you know, balance.

One of the signs of this need for balance is that the day I learned the biopsies had shown melanoma, after about an hour of freaking out I started to feel good about the new challenge to overcome, because it would distract me from the lingering depression that had started to really scare me. You know something's wrong when a cancer diagnosis turns into a welcome battle with the world.

I know I will need to give myself some "me time" (sans laundry folding), to figure out what I need once I'm done with getting carved up and biopsied. Right now I think it's ok to huddle under the covers seeking comfort. Hopefully Tali will forgive me for taking him to the vet and come and sulk with me instead of at me.

1 comment:

K said...

There is something wrong with this week. There just is.

I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling off balance - I think it's totally understandable. I know all about what goes into bashing away at depression and anxiety (J suffers from them both). I know it's easy for me to say, but you won't lose any of the progress you've made because you're out of action for a day or so. I'm sure you won't get stuck.

You may not even be all that woozy; some people don't react too badly to general anaesthetic, especially if they're young and otherwise healthy.

(Your paragraph 3 has actually given me some hope that I too might be able to kick the procrastination habit some day. The last sentence sounds horribly familiar.)