Surgery and PTSD

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My surgery went well yesterday. It turned out to be a very minor procedure, despite having to go under general anesthesia. I was especially dreading the anesthesia part, because twice in my life I’ve had a life-threatening allergic reaction to an anesthesia drug. The anesthesiologist told me they don’t even use that particular drug anymore, but I still feel panicky whenever I’m going to be anesthetized. I have PTSD, and being knocked out with a drug is one of my bigger triggers.

Whenever I am told that I need surgery and that I will have to be drugged into oblivion — my PTSD goes into overdrive. I can handle it a lot better now than I could years ago, thanks to talk therapy with a compassionate therapist, EMDR, and neurofeedback. But anesthesia still triggers my PTSD, and I suppose it always will. I just have to accept this reality about myself, and be okay with it.

I don’t know yet what kind of skin cancer I have that was surgically removed yesterday. I suspect it’s squamous cell carcinoma, by the way it looked and was starting to ulcerate. I should know soon.

In the meantime, I have a powerful headache, undoubtedly caused by yesterday’s procedure. My skull feels as though my forehead was attacked by a power sander that went all the way down into the bone. I will have to ask the surgeon when I see him next week, exactly what sort of tool was he using? 😁

The wounds are very small, however, and neatly covered with Steri strips. BONUS:Β  my skin was pulled taut to cover where the growth was removed, and now my forehead lines are much smoother!

So… my head is pounding, and I don’t know the results of the biopsies yet. But the worry lines are virtually gone from my forehead, and I am no longer filled with panicky dread about an impending anesthesia. As I’m writing this, I can look out the window and see the mountain that stands less than three miles away. Today the mountain is surrounded by low silver gray clouds, pregnant with snow. The forecast says that we will have a winter storm by tomorrow morning. But right now, it’s a beautiful day here in our small corner of New Mexico, and I am grateful.

I hope my blogging friends are having a beautiful day, too. Thank you for stopping by and God bless.

whitesandshiking

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23 thoughts on “Surgery and PTSD

  1. Tom December 7, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    LL, I’m glad for you that the procedure went relatively well. I hope your headache abated soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. luckyotter December 7, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    I’m so glad you had a successful (and thankfully, minor) surgery, and wow! Your photos are gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 7, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Awww! Thank you, Lauren!

      The bottom picture was taken by my husband, in December 2009. That’s me, walking with our sweet old cattle dog, Lady. It looks like snow in the bottom picture, but it’s actually gypsum. It’s a national monument called White Sands, although it isn’t actually sand. Our dog had a blast, hiking through that!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lee Poskey December 7, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    God bless you sister in your recovery.
    And every event in our life, God can use to teach us things. So I’m looking forward to what God reveals to you out of this.

    And I still want to hear more about your experience working for the TV ministry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 7, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      Thank you, Lee. Yes, I have learned something new through this, something really huge — or at least it is huge to me. When I feel more capable, I do plan to write about it.

      I changed the last sentence of your comment slightly, so now it says that you want to hear more about my experience working for the TV ministry. I took out the name of the ministry, because I don’t want to be a tale bearer. It’s one of the conflicts I have about writing my memoir. I am changing the names of everyone in my memoir, with the exception of public figures. The televangelist who heads the international ministry where I worked for nearly three years in the 1980s, is very much a public figure. But… how much can I say about that person publicly, without getting into ugliness? I don’t know. I need to do more praying on that.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Phoebe Sparrow Wagner December 7, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Hey Linda,

    Hopefully the results of the biopsy will be all the more reassuring…but I know those headaches, having had general anesthesia for involuntary ECT …and I suspect that is their cause, that is, the anesthesia..if so, it will end eventually. But I hate headaches, and so I feel for you! Amazing to me that you can write a blog entry feeling as you do. Still very glad surgery, despite the PTSD trepidations, went well. Hope you don’t have to experience either again for a very long time.

    Love,

    Phoebe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 7, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Hi Phoebe. I wonder if the ECT itself may have caused your headaches? I was lucky, I never had ECT, but one of my brothers did. He had over twenty “treatments,” I believe. He did not seem to benefit at all from ECT.

      I’ve had general anesthesia about a dozen times in my life, four just since May of last year, for various surgical procedures. And yet I have never had a headache after any of my other procedures. That’s why I suspect this headache may have been caused by the method that was used to remove the growth on my forehead. I will have to ask the surgeon when I see him next week.

      Like

  5. ibikenyc December 7, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    I’m so sorry about your awful headache but glad the surgery is over with. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Gorgeous scenery, indeed! Take good care of yourself, and feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 7, 2018 / 6:56 pm

      Aww, Thank you so much. My head is better now that I am lying down, cuddled with our two rescue dogs. They were at the groomer yesterday while I was having surgery, and they have been extra clingy since.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. atimetoshare.me December 8, 2018 / 11:31 am

    So glad the surgery went well. Could you sign me up for one of those forehead lifts. No wait I really don’t want to look like Joan Rivers or Nancy Pelosi. Prayers for good results on the biopsies. God bless and keep you❀️❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 8, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      Lol thank you, Kathy. Today, my forehead is swollen. Who knows what it will look like by the time everything heals! Well, I can always do bangs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Anna Waldherr December 9, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    I am sure that God has been with you throughout this, Linda. I hope and pray all the dangerous tissue was removed, and that you have no further recurrence. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Bill Sweeney December 11, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    I’m so happy to hear your surgery went well, Linda. Mary and I were praying for you. Hoping and praying that is the end of it and they don’t have to go for another scoop like they did with my lower eyelid, because, ouch! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 11, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you so much. I saw the surgeon for my follow up appointment earlier today. He has been a surgeon for over thirty years and he is widely considered to be the best in this area. I feel very confident that he knows his business. As a former nurse, I knew the growths on my face and neck looked like cancer. So when the surgeon took one look at them and said, “That’s cancer,” I did not doubt that he was right.

      But this is what the surgeon said to me today: “I am shocked. I was sure those growths were cancer. But they were benign!”

      Now, I am in shock. Happy shock. But… wow. I just don’t feel deserving of this at all. I think God must have healed me, to encourage those who were praying for me. Or something, I really don’t know! Even my swollen lymph nodes feel almost normal now.

      I want you to be healed, Bill. So, so much. I am praying, and I will continue praying. There is nothing, nothing, nothing too hard for God.

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