20 August 2011

Facing my fear

My mother always told me that life has a funny way of eventually making you confront your fears or phobias. As a child she always hated anything to do with feet. She could handle all manner of gruesome cases in the emergency room, but give her anything to do with a foot and all the colour would drain out of her face. I still remember her trying to pull a Plantar wart out of my heel when I was little – I think it was for her than it was for me.

While I pride myself on having a fairly cast iron stomach I can easily tell you that the one thing that always makes me cringe is anything to do with throats and knives, especially when the two are combined. Just thinking about someone cutting their throat makes me want to faint. As a result, I have always avoided gory and slasher-style movies my whole life.

Knowing what you do now, is it surprising that I had such fear and anxiety over thyroid surgery? To prepare myself for the surgery, I tried to look at things rationally. This is a common enough surgery, minimal risk and, in the grand scheme of things, not too horrible to recover from. I knew I would have a small 2-3 inch scar that would fade over time. The thought of having my throat cut open still freaked me out but I had to get on with it anyways.

I thought I was doing pretty well and handling everything like a champ until it came time to take the dressing off this morning. My mother was going to come over and do it for me but I was impatient and ripped the thing off myself this morning; if any hand was going to hurt me, it might as well be my own. My first glance was fairly impartial. It’s a 3-inch scar, fairly flat despite some swelling, and healing well. All of a sudden though, my brain registered that the slash was on my own neck and back came the old phobia. I started seeing black spots and all the telltale signs that I was about to faint. I rushed over to the couch and had to sit down to collect myself.

I really did not think I would have this reaction to seeing my incision. Weird how little fears or phobias can push all rational thought out of your mind. This is something I’m going to have to get over quickly, otherwise I’ll be passing out every morning when I look in the mirror. I have already forced myself to get up and confront the image in the mirror twice again. It really does not look that bad and I just have to keep everything in perspective. I get off pretty lucky having such a small incision but it’s the location that got me. I never once felt this way with my much larger C-section incision.

On a positive note, I could make one hell of a realistic zombie for Halloween. There’s a always a sinver lining ; )

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