As most of you will know by now I was in hospital on Sunday night getting my appendix removed. There was, nothing wrong with them, they were taken to remove the possibility of them being a problem in the future. After the slimming world mushy pea curry last week, I had, shall we say, an episode? I will let you fill in the blanks. I spent Saturday in bed with an upset stomach and gradually my visits to the toilet no longer resembled scenes from Trainspotting.
4am Sunday morning I woke up in excruciating pain, my husband had to get me some tablets and a drink, I almost passed out. Had it not been for worrying about the kids I would have gone to hospital then, but I managed to get back to sleep. When I woke up with the pain having moved to my lower right side of my abdomen I thought straight away it was appendicitis.
After two trips to two hospitals, where two doctors had practically confirmed it was appendicitis, I was at James Cook hospital awaiting surgery at 9.30pm Sunday night. Normally I freak out in hospitals, I don’t know anyone that likes them. Over the years seeing many a relative ill or dying, or worrying over whoever I had taken for whatever appointment on that occasion, had taken its toll.
This time was different. I was Mrs calm and collected. I was even laughing and joking. Due to the fact I have no dignity anyway, thanks to the three births I have had, none of the examinations bothered me. Needles are usually the turning point for me, I know I’m covered in tattoos, totally different sensation. I didn’t even freak when they took my blood and put the cannula in for surgery.
It was at this moment it dawned on me.
I wasn’t worried because it was me having it done and not someone else. If it had been one of the kids I would have been right up flappy street. When my dad was in and out having various surgeries, I was worried sick. When I was pregnant and anything was wrong I panicked to death, because it wasn’t me I was worried about, it was the baby.
I knew I would be okay. I didn’t have to worry about me. Sure enough, I came around after surgery and was taken back to the ward to sleep and no, I didn’t experience any out of body and into the light experiences, like I was wondering – watched Flatliners one too many times I think.
The doctor came to tell me the next day that they had taken my appendix even though it was normal to rule it out in the future as a problem. It had been cysts on my ovaries and the pain on Sunday morning had been one of them bursting. They explained I had some fluid in my intestines and my small bowel wasn’t very happy – poor thing.
I was told I need a CA125 test, to rule out ovarian cancer I believe, and a scan in the next couple of months. I was sent home to recover. I have realised a few things this week while I have been recovering at home surrounded by my lovely family. Worry is something we all deal with at some point in our lives, some a lot more than others.
I used to worry about everything. Literally. If I had a slight symptom of anything I would Google it and diagnose death somewhere along the way, even from a papercut. I have learned that worrying is a waste of time. It doesn’t alter the outcome, that will still happen whether we worry or not. It eats our energy and consumes our thoughts.
Another thing I have learned is to let people worry over you. It’s sometimes good for them.
Where I have my dad and my friend Betty who both have their own problems, I didn’t want them worrying over me, so didn’t tell them at first how much pain I was in or that I needed a cry and a cuddle. By not letting them in I was in effect not letting them help me. This resulted in them feeling helpless themselves. When I finally caved and went to see my dad in pain, crying for a cuddle and talked for hours with Betty confiding in her, I wasn’t only opening-up to them and helping myself by sharing my pain, but I was letting them know they were good enough to help.
When we think we are a burden and don’t want to share our problems, we are also telling that other person they are not good enough to help us. It’s not just good to share to make you feel better, but to give someone else the purpose of helping you feel better. It’s also nice when you have problems to help someone else with theirs. It helps take your mind off what’s wrong with you if you can help someone else out too.
So, in future I won’t ever think I can’t open up, or share how I feel because I don’t want to ever say to anyone they aren’t good enough to help me.