Today’s the Day

IMG_20140118_091109Tomorrow 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.

A Peaceful Death
Beautiful photos capture family’s 10 precious days with baby Zion who they knew would be born with fatal genetic abnormality

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.