For a while now, I’ve been dealing with an enlarged lymph node on the left side of my neck. I am a former smoker so, predictably, I’m going to get a little freaked out when I feel a growth on my neck…well, a lot freaked out, actually. Immediately I headed over to the Google Doctor and was faced with some really scary possible diagnoses. I figured it was something I couldn’t hold off, I needed to get it checked out. Over the course of a few months, with the help of my real doctor this time, we tried to keep an eye on it, he administered a few rounds of antibiotics, I got a CT scan and then a partial biopsy, that all ended with inconclusive results. At the end of it all, I had two options: leave it alone or have it removed.
I am a worry wart by nature, so leaving it alone wasn’t going to be the best option for me. I would constantly be thinking about it, fretting that it would get worse, and ultimately lose my mind over it. It had to go.
Once that decision was made, of course, fear set in. Going under anesthesia of any kind can be unsettling, but for me, it’s terrifying. I find myself saying my goodbyes to my family and hugging them extra tight because, well, you just never know. There’s always that small percentage of procedures where something does go wrong. I am always worried that that patient will be me. The whole hospital/ surgical atmosphere turns me into a nervous wreck.
Thankfully, this time, everything went well. I went under, I woke up, and everything is going to be a-ok. So as I sit here, recovering, I can relax with a strong sense of gratitude for all the things in my life that I somehow take for granted, and I reflect on all the things that I am thankful for. Surgery will do that to ya!
- Grateful that I woke up. Obvious one, right?
- So happy to see my husband walk into the recovery room. Like, fall-in-love-all-over-again happy. As soon as I saw him round the corner my heart swelled. Best feeling ever.
- Hearing from the kids and seeing their smiling faces when I got home. Nothing beats hugs and kisses from the kids. Nothing.
- I get to EAT! Not being able to eat the entire day was torture for me. I was certain that every nurse I came across could hear the rumble of my tummy. Embarrassing to say the least.
- I get to bathe and use lotion again. Not using lotion in the winter wreaks havoc on my sensitive skin.
- I have a renewed outlook for the future. I actually dreamt about future travel plans and thought about my family and friends. I even went on an email spree to contact my friends to set up dates to see them. I have such an amazing network of people I can count on, and I want them to know they can count on me too.
While I wish my renewed sense of gratitude wasn’t brought about under surgical circumstances, I am glad for it anyway. I’m glad that it’s over. And I’m glad that I can move on.
Here’s to health!