June 19, 2012

I'm Proud of Myself

And I think I should be.

Other than initially mentioning that Evie would be having tubes in her ears I didn't really bring it up again.

When Dr. Fes suggested going to the ENT for tubes I was some sort of relieved and nervous.

After our initial visit with the ENT I pretty much pushed it to the back of my mind. I had bad bronchitis, a URI and a sinus infections. Evie had croup. My Godson came down with bronchiolitis and RSV. We were insanely busy. Then it was two days before and I took her for her pre-op/pre-anesthetic visit. Then it was the day of and all that pent up anxiety started to come out.

Before we left I opened the medicine cabinet and looked at the orange bottle that contains the Xanax. I thought maybe I should throw it in my purse. Just in case.

I know about eighty of you are rolling your eyes at me. PE tubes are about as minor of a surgery as you can get with a kid. She was under Sevoflurane for a very short time, about ten minutes.

Still though when you have anxiety "issues" as I do, it becomes a different world. For one, I worked with animals coming out of anesthesia for years. Like children, dogs and cats have no frame of reference. They lack the ability to rationally think, "Ok I'll just sleep this off" and instead freak out because the world has become a topsy turvy place. I worried about that constantly knowing, she would be awake for at least a few minutes before she'd be back with me, where I could assure her that every thing would be ok. Worry worry worry.

Then I worried about her dying while under anesthesia. These intrusive thoughts are part of my every day reality. Tiny things become large scary very threatening things. A boat ride becomes a nightmare. Driving home from work I have convinced myself that someone has impersonated my parents and kidnapped my child from daycare, all because I saw a bumper sticker about Holly Bobo.

This is my reality. Not the reality I live in, but the reality of what goes on in my head. I don't let these thoughts interfere with my my life. I usually can make them go away with some simple visualization techniques and because of this I can function highly without a SSRI. Which is good because they make my physically ill.

In spite of knowing all of this I left the orange bottle in the cabinet. Quite a risky move. No seriously, panic attacks aren't pretty and that meant that my husband could have been dealing with Evie's surgery and me having a panic attack.

And I did fine. I did better than fine, I did great. I only teared up twice and honestly I think that was from NICU flashbacks. The moment when we came through the toy tunnel and the nurse said, "Ok. She'll go with me from here!" felt eerily similar to the moment when the surgical nurse said, "Why don't we let mom see her baby!" and the NICU nurse let me glimpse Evie for the first time then took her away. In a second all that came back to me and it took a minute to place why it was a familiar feeling. A familiar bad feeling for that matter.

My eyes filled with tears and I sent the husband to retrieve my coffee. Those tears never spilled over though. I vented out to my momma telling her I was trying not to "lose my shit" and repeated over and over that it would all be ok. That it would fifteen minutes tops this time and I would get my baby back. Breathe and repeat. Breathe.

And then there was the nurse telling us that the doctor would be back to talk to us, and Evie was waking up. The doctor came and was mercifully succinct telling us we made the right decision that even if her tubes had opened up the fluid behind them would never have drained; it was too thick. And then I was trying to keep myself from running through the recovery area. The nurse handed Evie to me and all of my anxiety dissipated. She cried for a solid ten minutes coming out of anesthesia. She only wanted momma, which let's face it feels amazing. Then she drank some apple juice (special treat!) and we headed to Perkin's for breakfast. We went home, she napped off the painkillers and that was that.

It was like it never happened. Except it did. And it was major for me and for my family. My husband even told me how proud of how I handled it. I am too.

I think I'll take on boat rides next. I'd like to take one without my eyes squeezed shut, one arm wrapped around Evie and the other white knuckling the seat.

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