Saturday, July 21, 2012

Post Procedure Comments

I am happy to report that it is Saturday and I have survived my first colonoscopy. Woo-hoo!
I realize that, ultimately, everyone will have at least one of these done in their lifetime. I also realize that no one looks forward to it. That being said, I'm pretty proud of myself for getting through it and living to tell the tale. I think I deserve an "atta boy" for this one.
I've talked before about the effects of abuse on medical care. Any medical procedure raises triggers for me. There are trust issues. I am allowing strangers to do things to my body, sometimes while I'm asleep. There are failure issues. What if I do something wrong? Will I be at fault if the procedure doesn't go well; finds something bad; or I have a hard time?
This time around I prepared myself well for the possible problems.
At the initial consultation, I volunteered the information that I suffer from PTSD and anxiety from childhood sexual abuse (CSA). I'm never sure what my motivation is for volunteering this information. I believe I offer this information to help my physicians help me. I asked my therapist if I had done the right thing, and she agreed that I had. The nurse practitioner was very kind, asking appropriate questions regarding physical damage and whether or not I'd be more comfortable with a female physician. More importantly for me, she expressed outrage at what had been done to me and offered additional medication to help me relax if necessary. She also told me she would be personally available if I needed help, had questions, or wasn't treat well.
I talked about my fears and concerns with my therapist, husband, and close friends. I allowed myself to think through my fears without judging myself for being frightened. I didn't negate my feelings when others couldn't understand, nor did I feel it necessary to go into graphic detail on how the abuse was triggered by this particular procedure.
I told my family that I would be out of commission for a minimum of 3 days -- prep day, procedure day, and the day after. I gave myself that much time to recoup physically and emotionally.
I said, "The hell with what anyone in the medical profession thinks. I'm doing what I need to do."
I took Yolie to the surgery center with me and never explained her presence to anyone. I asked for medication to calm me as soon as I began to feel stressed and tense (although the nurse didn't give me anything!). I allowed my husband to take care of me while we waited for the procedure to begin.
After the procedure (which I have absolutely no memory of!) I was awakened in recovery by a different nurse. I panicked upon waking, a fairly normal response for me. I told the nurse I was panicking and she asked what I needed I told her to just give me a few minutes and began breathing exercises. She asked if I'd like my husband and I said yes. Alan came in and helped me through a panic attack (he's had a lot of experience). I took my time and was able to express appreciation to the staff as we left.
I did apologize too much to my husband for struggling, but he was kind, as always, and took me to Sonic for a diet cherry limeade.
I spent the rest of the evening on the sofa letting others take care of me and admitting when I began to have some unexpected pain. We called the number provided and they offered reasonable advice. 
I rested well and am beginning to feel a bit more like myself this morning. I still plan on taking it easy today.
So there you have it. I did it. I survived. I took care of myself and only one person made me feel a little badly about it. I realized that was her problem not mine.
Atta girl!

1 comment:

  1. Atta girl, Melanie! And next time will be easier I'm sure.


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