What if?

Less than a week to go.

I am excited.

I am also overwhelmed.

Not with surgery, but by work. For various reasons that were out of my control, I have to wrap several really large projects this week and other than taking a few hours here and there to run to the hospital to do pre-surgery labs, I am not taking time off before surgery to prepare.

Which is exceptionally suboptimal.

The nice thing is that it means that I am too busy to go into anxiety spirals while sitting alone at home. The theme of this whole blog has been about planning and there’s good reason for that: I plan because that is how I deal with anxiety. And in my waking moments, I am happy, I am excited. But as my therapist noted—I plan in my dreams and I plan because it soothes me.

The thing is that I’m not really anxious about surgery or whether I’m making the right decision—not anymore. I’m anxious about who I become. How can I trust that the people who say they will take care of me won’t get tired of me and my helpessness? What if taking care of me is so much work that they don’t love me anymore? What if recovery takes longer than expected? What if something goes wrong and I end up with a disability?

What happens to the Cordelia that is me? The one who is brilliant and independent? Who will I become and will I love her? Will she be as ambitious and kind and clever as I am?

Will the people who love me today continue to love her tomorrow?

Change and evolution are inevitable, that we know. But will that Cordelia be someone I recognize?

Will I be proud of her?

Who will I become? Will I disappear?

The answer is that we don’t know. I have chosen a good surgeon with a good medical team. I have spent all year and all summer preparing for her success, making my home a place that I can rest, heal, and recover in a way that nurtures me.

What do I become after surgery? Well…a month after, I become 38. The rest we shall see.

That is enough for now.


Now read this

[Interlude] My brain is preparing for surgery is like it’s a term paper

I rarely pulled all nighters in college. I’d stay up late the night before a paper was due and get up early to polish and finish, but I’d usually let myself sleep for a few hours. I’d do that because I’d often dream about the paper and... Continue →