Surgery and PTSD


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. (See the story here: )

So, 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.