Stormy Weather

The stormy afternoon weather matches my mood perfectly today.

Before my surgery, I was told that I had met my deductible for the year, that all I would have to pay was a $300 deposit fee with the surgeon. After that, I didn’t hear anything else about any other bills. Since the surgery, I haven’t had a co-pay for other medical-related visits. I even got a nice refund back from the center that did my shot and through which I was doing a different round of physical therapy from the one now. I thought I was in the clear.

Yesterday, I received a letter that dispelled that notion. Apparently, the bill is from the anethesiologist (I’m guessing that’s it — it doesn’t really come out and say it). When I saw the amount, I did a double take, almost stopped breathing, and nearly dropped the letter. It’s not like we have sacks of money laying around (and who does, except Scrooge McDuck). The amount is way more than what’s in my savings account.

I enclosed a letter with the receipt in the return envelope, saying that there must be a mistake and referring them to my insurance company. My husband told me I shouldn’t worry about it, but I can’t help it! My fear is that it’s not a mistake, and of course, how on earth would I get the money? By robbing Scrooge McDuck?

I think the real reason it’s bothering me so much is that I’ve been wondering if the surgery was worth it. When will I be able to run again? Am I hoping for something that’s not to be? I’ve been stretching and doing my physical therapy exercises, and biding my time, waiting for that moment that I’ll feel fabulous again. I know that I’ve always tried to put on a brave face, especially for this blog. I want it to be about running and the positive steps I’m making to get back to running, not a never-ending pity party! But it’s hard to be brave all the time. And I’m thinking that the improvements will come gradually, not in one shining moment, like clouds suddenly parting in the sky. The changes may occur so subtly, they may not fully register.

Saturday mornings are still strange to me, with no long runs. I’ve been missing my running group, and missing out on a habit that has become a lifestyle to me. I find myself floundering at times. I have attempted to distract myself with things, but I’m still feeling the void left by not running. Yet it would be too easy to let myself get mired in the muck. So I persevere on, still stretching, still doing my exercises on the ball, and still waiting.

I’m also keyed up today because I’m doing the opening and closing remarks for a work event Tuesday morning. Now, I did volunteer for this, and I think it will be something that will benefit my career at my company. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I spent Saturday at my parents, rehearsing my speech, and going over YouTube videos to gather tips for public speaking. I feel like I’m prepared, though I do plan to run through it a few more times before Tuesday.

So I’ve got a lot on my mind, which has created for my stormy mood on a stormy day. But hopefully, the clouds will disappear soon.

 

 

 

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The Big Day

The monthlong wait for my surgery will end early tomorrow morning. I’ve already filled out my paperwork (and even got my patient ID tag when I went for my pre-op appointment last week). I’m off all this week so I can take care of errands, pack for my extended stay with my parents (who are looking after me after the surgery) and see my eye doctor for my annual appointment.

I’m looking forward to hopefully feeling better, but not wanting to get my hopes up too much like I did when I had the shot. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than suffer another disappointment.

Going for pre-op last week definitely made the surgery more real for me. On Friday, they took a blood sample so they could cross-type it against their blood supplies to make sure they had mine in stock (hopefully, I’ll finally find out what type I am – for some reason, nobody ever told me!) They said it was unlikely that anything would happen, and the procedure itself is one done routinely, but that .9 in the 99.9 percent odds gave me a momentary pause. And for some reason, I keep seeing the Operation board game and the patient’s red nose lighting up.

I knew they would be drawing blood at the appointment, but I started feeling weak when they tied the plastic tube around my upper left arm and told me to make a fist. The nurse commented that I was trembling, and afterwards, gave me some juice because she was afraid I would pass out. I’ve never been good with needles, but the thought of having blood drawn again, not having a doctor tinker with my spine, is making me nauseous!

I haven’t been outwardly nervous in the month leading up to the surgery – I’ve deliberately not thought about the details too much. When my mother and mother-in-law were asking me about the surgery this past weekend, I found myself forced to think about the details of the procedure. And then the anxiety began to kick in a little.

My husband has been trying to cheer me up the past few days, joking with me that I should make the surgeon play the Operation game before the surgery – if he made the red light go off one too many times, he couldn’t operate on me! My husband will stay with me overnight at the hospital Wednesday, and hopefully, I’ll be able to go home with my parents Thursday and not Friday. My plan is to stay with them a few days. My husband has to work, and I thought it would be easier to let my parents play nursemaid. If I need something, they can get it for me, and though I’ll probably spend a lot of time reading, it will be nice to visit with my parents and play endless rounds of Yahtzee with my mom.

All month, I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster that’s slowly been climbing a hill of death-defying height before plunging back down to earth. My stomach is churning with anxiety, I know my heart will feel like it wants to push past my lungs on the way down, but I’m making myself yell and smile and wave my hands over my head and try enjoy the ride.

I will give an update of how things go on Wednesday. See you then!