Tomorrow is the day of my surgery. I have spent days and weeks worried about tomorrow. I haven’t talked much about this until now. Early in December, I was at work. It was a normal crazy day on the floor. I took a late lunch and decided to spend most of my hour power pumping (breastmilk). I usually try my best to relax and not focus on the pumping as I find that I produce the most milk when I’m not stressed. I was reading a magazine when things started getting blurry and fractioned. I closed my eyes, but then a wave of nausea hit. I opened my eyes to sharp stabbing pain in my right eye. It hurt so much I actually had a fleeting thought of tearing my eye out if it might provide relief. It was so incredibly painful. But as the clock ticked, I gathered myself and worked past the pain. I got downstairs, sat down and the wave of nausea hit again. I excused myself to the restroom only to never return again. I woke up a few hours later in the ER with very spotty recollections of what had happened in between. Later that night I was discharged with a diagnosis of a migraine, exhaustion and dehydration and told to follow up with a Neurologist.
Not to bore everyone, but in the weeks the followed, the pain and headache never subsided. I somehow managed to work past the pain and most nights just collapsed. I had a couple more syncope episodes and one where my two boys were in the car while I was driving. Despite that incident being no more than 5 seconds, I was terrified to my core. My initial visit with a neurologist led to visits with many other doctors and tests where they found a mass behind my left eye. Tomorrow I get it removed.
I won’t lie and say that going under general anesthesia doesn’t make me nervous. Despite being a nurse, it’s still nerve wracking. I try to rationalize with myself, how much I need this surgery to go well. That though relief from the pain, nausea and syncope is not promised, it could be resolved and hold onto that hope. I hope that I no longer have to be afraid of passing out at anytime. I won’t be afraid to drive my children because I may pass out with them in the car. I won’t be so sick from the headache that I can eat without wanting to throw up. But today I was reminded about how precious and beautiful enjoying the present can be. I was suppose to be resting before my surgery tomorrow, but instead I spent the day glued to my littlest one. Hugging him and kissing him. Babies are just the best, they can make any bad day a good day again. Then I stumbled upon these two articles which brought me to tears.
It may seem strange that memories of Emma right now would bring me peace. When I read the first article, I felt like I had found a kinship in this person. She so beautifully told and expressed every emotion that I felt during that painful time in my life and then I stumbled upon the second article and I marveled in the beauty and bravery of this family. I will even admit to a little envy, as there will always be a part of my that wonders what if. As much as I know clinically, I will always wonder, what if. But today is the day… You can always wonder, but only in the moment is what matters. So tonight, I kiss my equally aware children (who won’t go to sleep, how do they know?!) and take a moment just to breath.