Good afternoon to the last day of Winter! Today is Saturday March 20, 2021. The DBS (the first procedure) is six days away! I am very proud of myself for stepping up and facing the MRI, without anesthesia. I truly felt like the cowardly lion when he was given an honorary medal of Bravery! If I were a peacock, my feathers would have been all fluffed up! Strangely, when it was done, I felt like a cushy soft Blanket of Zen had wrapped itself around me. The next morning, I still felt very zen and happy. I was definitely on a high! Unfortunately, that feeling was very short lived. I got a call from the Pre-Op department in the early afternoon reminding me of my appointment scheduled for the following day. I asked if they were going to take blood and they said "Yes". Well.... That was it for me. The mere words "Blood Test" sent me into a panic state, yet again. Originally when I booked the Pre-Op appointments (there are two of them), I was told that I would only have my blood drawn during the second appointment. The woman on the other end of the phone could not give me a definitive answer because they had not received my paperwork yet. So naturally, I assumed the worst.... I had a very difficult time falling and then staying asleep that night because once again, fear had set in. I did finally fall asleep at 4:45 am, only for my alarm to start buzzing at 6:15 am.
The next morning, feeling very tired and punchy from lack of sleep, I got up anyways. No matter how I may be feeling in the morning, I need to get up and take my meds. If I don't, I will suffer the consequences. I also knew if I blew this appointment off, I would never go back. So I ate, took my meds and then rested until Inbrija kicked in. I was picked up early and on my way back to Stanford. By the time we arrived, I was completely panicked again. I decided to take a half an Ativan to calm my nerves. Twenty minutes later, one of the nurse practitioners came out to greet me and took me back into one of the offices. As a side note, in case you are not aware, Stanford is a "teaching" hospital, so most times there are students shadowing staff members. This particular appointment was a short one, as we just went over the paperwork I had filled out online. It was basically a check in to make sure all of my meds were included and dosages, times etc.... I was told that I could bring my own medicines from home. I am really happy to hear this. When I had my Pacer surgery, they would not allow me to take any medicine prescribed by my pharmacy while I was in the hospital. Instead, they ordered it from their pharmacy. Of course I asked if I could wait until the final Pre-Op appointment to have my blood drawn and they said "Yes"! When the appointment was over, I walked back to the front of the hospital to wait for my ride. Because it was raining, I decided to wait indoors. I turned around to get my bearings and there in big letters on the wall it read "Labs Department". Gulp!! This is exactly where I will have to go first thing Monday morning to have my blood drawn.
My next and final appointment (before the big day) will include blood work and a CatScan.
I will also meet with the lead Surgical Nurse one more time (I originally met with her on the day I met my NeuroSurgeon a couple of months back). This second meeting will give me a chance to ask any questions I need answered and to talk about my fears. I am not sure at the moment how much more information I really want or can handle, because it will only add to the anxiety I am feeling now. I will write another entry after Monday's final appointment pre surgery. I have one more Covid test the following day (Tuesday) and then I wait......... Somehow I am finding the Courage to show up to every appointment. However, my anxiety is up and down depending on each moment of the day. I go from feeling very tired to that "fight or flight" feeling to calm once again. I am trying to talk myself off of the ledge when the panic strikes, but to no avail. When I start to feel like I am going to throw up from fear is when I know there is no coming back from this without help. That is when I take a half of an Ativan. Facing my fears is not easy, but when I think of the alternative, my inner strength kicks in and pushes me through. PD has done that for me, so I guess I should be grateful that I am finding this inner strength that I never thought was possible. Remember.... There is Always a Silver Lining ☘️🌈