Friday, July 4, 2014

Alright, I'm feeling anxious

On Tuesday, I had an appointment with my therapist.  Right now I have been seeing her every 3-4 weeks or so.  We talked a lot about what I can only describe as anxiousness with the surgery coming up.  When I think about what's going to happen inside of me, I get nervous.  Of course the gastric bypass is a much more invasive surgery  but I think I would still feel the same way with the vertical sleeve since they cut out a portion of your stomach and actually remove it from your body.  Either way, it's major surgery.  I am not rethinking having the surgery.  I am definitely going to have it, but I am just feeling all of these emotions around it.  Part of me is saying, "Look at what you have to do in order to lose weight ... you did this to yourself."  The other part of me says, "What if, after all the work the surgeon does, you still don't lose weight or manage to put more on?"  I am not trying to be negative, but I guess it's just fear that I'm feeling.  This scares me in some ways and excites me in others.

Another thing the therapist and I talked about is my fear of heights.  I know I've described it here before, but it feels like it has gotten worse over time.  We delved into that a little more and I discovered that, for me, it's not necessarily about the height but the fear of falling.  I have been associating these things with my weight.  When I get on a bridge, I wonder if it can support my body, never mind that cars drive on bridges or other people are walking there, too.  It's completely not rational to think this way, but it ties into my body image.  My therapist feelings I have anxiety going on, which I do agree with.  She told me she'd like to see me every two weeks leading up to surgery.  I'm glad she suggested that because I actually was going to ask to see her more.

On Wednesday, I went to listen to another talk given by one of our surgeons at Pacific Bariatric.  It was given by another surgeon, so it was a different perspective.  He discussed some of the same things and some different things than the previous surgeon.  One of the things he said absolutely freaked me out in regards to patients who have sleep apnea and are on CPAP machines.  He said that we must use the machine for at least two months prior to surgery.  If I don't wake up from surgery, the machine will do the breathing for me.  However, if I'm not regulated with the use of air and the air from the surgery goes into my stomach, it can actually blow my stomach apart.

I have been struggling to sleep on that darn CPAP.  The sleep specialist had prescribed me with Ambien to help me sleep.  When I take it without the machine, I'm out.  When I take it and then put on the CPAP, I can never fall asleep, so I end up very groggy with no sleep.  My problem is that when I try to sleep on my back or side, I will start to fall asleep and then I wake up.  I don't know if it's because I stop breathing or start snoring.  The doctor has told me that the pressure on my machine should prevent that from happening and there are no adjustments he can do that will make things any different.  In fact, he has told me he believes it to be psychological.  Up to that point, I felt it was completely a physical issue - I can't fall asleep with the machine, end of story.  I never considered that it would be an emotional response to the machine.  I do have an appointment with the sleep specialist, but it's not until late September and I can't get one any sooner.

The other night, I decided to give the machine a go again, to no avail.  I was almost in tears because I was tired and so desperately want to be able to sleep with the machine.  I don't have a problem wearing the mask.  Occasionally I will have to adjust the positioning, but I'm fine with breathing as it lays on my face.  Yesterday I decided to call my psychiatrist.  I have a psychiatrist?  Yes, I do and there's absolutely no shame behind that for me.  I went to see her a year or so ago because I was going through what turned out to be a clinical depression.  That was when I started therapy as well.  After everything I have been through in the last several years, let alone other years, I needed to ask for help.  That's something that is very difficult for me to do but I knew I needed it.  When I made the call to her yesterday, I described what was going on between the CPAP machine and the anxiousness around the surgery, wanting to see if there's anything she can do or prescribe to help me through this.  It's very difficult being tired all the time.  The reason I take as many naps as I do is because I can't sleep very well at night.  I'm waiting to hear back from her to see how I can move forward.    I tried the machine again last night and had the same results so, after trying for several hours, I finally took it off so that I could at least get some sleep.  I know the best thing I can do is to take things one day at a time.  My mind has already gone to the thought, "If I can't fall asleep with the machine, does that mean I won't be able to get surgery?"  This is precisely why I have to take things one day at a time instead of projecting into the future.


Meighan said...

I had the EXACT same worries that you have. I was so nervous. I had so many thoughts running through my mind about what would happen, how life would be, would I be ok, what in the world was I going to eat? Etc... But you can do this. Having gastric bypass, although it has been hard and emotional, has been 100% the best thing I ever did in my entire life. I can say that with 100% certainty and I can also say without a doubt that I have no regrets whatsoever.

I'm here for you! Let me know how I can encourage you or support you, or just talk to you about surgery, life, etc... :) <3333

Kathy said...

Thank you so much Meighan! I appreciate your support and will definitely lean on you as I get closer. Part of this is just having the time to think a lot about it. I've been working on this since November and as I get to the end of my pre-op classes next week, this is all of a sudden feeling very real. That makes me feel nervous. Eek!

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