Countdown to surgery fuels anxiety and renewed dedication

“ANXIETY.” We’ve all experienced it in some form or another. I’m anxious about heights, sharp-fanged clowns, hairy, yucky spiders … and well, I’ll be honest – this surgery. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “anxiety” as, “fear or nervousness about what might happen and by self doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.”

My biggest, anxious moment is the self-doubt about my capacity to cope with the surgery and all of its components. It was very weird (not like my brother is weird), but a different weird. I experienced this phenomenon for about three to four days. I was so confused and scared. I’m not sure why – I thought I was all prepared and knew what to expect.

I contacted several friends, etc. … and just chatted about how I was feeling and what my malfunction was. I went from anxious to scared to confused, to a big ice cream sundae (ha ha – just kidding), and finally to being cool, calm and collected. It finally hit me … quality vs. quantity. My quality of better health and mobility, longer life vs. shorter life-span, eating the same way of donuts and mac n’ cheese … oh, don’t forget about the pizza … and lasagna. What would I rather have in my life? Yup, you guessed it – QUANTITY! No, no, no! That was my evil twin, “Fataphina.” The real truth is QUALITY! Despite, yes, those wonderful comfort foods – I want a better life for myself. I want to take walks in the breeze, I want to have less pain, I want a longer life. Period. “Fataphina” can go eat a doughnut for all I care. … Yes, I have decided and am happy with my decision. I’m grateful for this wonderful opportunity that is presented to me and others. Why would I waste this gift of a better life? It will be a heck of a journey; yet scary but the payoff with hard work is monumental.

I wrote a poem (Yes, another one!) to express how I felt during my boo-hoo fest. A little less tan a month away, surgery is coming up fast so they say; I was anxious, doubtful and scared, so with some help of people, I shared; My thoughts and feeling were at war, hesitation ruled my inner core; At first, all I could do was to shake my fist, either way, what would I miss? I began to calm down and look at the facts, the pros of the matter began to stack; Oh my, what on earth was I thinking about, to incur such venomous doubt? So now, my friend, where do I stand? It is yet again simple-learned first hand; QUALITY versus quantity is the end result, I want great, health years as an adult; Obviously, why else would I seek medical care, because I was in poor health and mental-physical despair; Yes, there is still time to get on the ball, each and every day I will prepare and not fall; The future of my will be awesome! It will leave my new world to blossom! So, I’m happy to make this final choice, a decision to extend my life for which I will rejoice!

Now for the nitty-gritty. My surgery has been moved to early June. I’m preparing for the surgery by nutrition, studying (grocery list, what to do before and after surgery, etc.), and using a bulldozer to clean my apartment. My cat, Sophie, is getting ready, too. She gave up mice – too fattening.

I need to purchase a multi-vitamin, calcium and possible iron. My medication regiment has been looked over and decided on what can be cut, crushed or whatever. At least my grocery list will be inexpensive – broth, diet drinks, skim milk, protein powder, etc. On Stage II, about 12 days post surgery – food will be pureed. I got this gnarly awesome blender to puree the foods. This thing will chop up just about anything. Hmmm – even clowns to get rid of them? Or homework for kids? Stage III are palatable foods like scrambled eggs, protein powder, skim milk and mashed potatoes. These are all examples depending on your likes, dislikes and what is tolerated.

All I know is that I’m excited and true to my word – I will work my tail off to succeed … for me. Until next time …

Casi Stewart can be reached at A Weighty Issue appears occasionally on Monday on the Life page.