Melanie Jeanne

Fear & Fret

It’s been a week. Well, if I’m being honest, it’s been a month. It’s been one of those months that puts a lot of “things” into question and a lot of things into perspective. It’s been a month when easy is just hard and when little becomes big. It’s been a month where fear and fret have filled me more than I am comfortable admitting to and when anxiety has sat on my chest as a constant visitor.

It all started with changes at work. Well, maybe well before changes at work, but I will touch on those first. Changes at work, that will inevitably make the business better, are impacting my day to day. And anyone who knows me knows, when my day to day is impacted, I worry. I worry about my value and about what I can provide, what I can offer and if I matter. After all it is all about me, right? Work fret weighs on me solely because I value my career, my peers are my friends and inevitably, my job drives & sustains my lifestyle. Work fret aside…

Medical fret is weighing on me very heavily. Now, medical fret is something I am used to managing. I have been managing my health (with the support of my family, friends and doctors) since I was 16 years old. I have faced cancer and car accidents. I have fought through multiple rounds of thyroid levels being imbalanced. I have realized that I am just off on the medical front and I have relaxed into the medical marvel that is me.

But this fret, well this fret is current. Really it all began last year. I stumbled on a lump in my tummy. It threw me through a loop and I Web MD’d the potential outcomes. 1. I had AIDS, 2. I had lymphoma. Of course, I called my lady doc immediately, stat. During the appointment the doc felt the lump and indicated that she thought I had a hernia. Anxiety and fear fell to the wayside, as did the need to get tested for everything, but, safety first instincts at play and I followed through with the tests. The tests came back clear and clean. So, as a precautionary follow-up I visited my primary care physician who incidentally also indicated that I did in fact have a hernia. The net net… I need not worry and need not handle until it bothered me. Worry on the shelf, hernia in my tummy and on my merry way I went.

Fast forward to three months ago… A lump suddenly grew on my toe. In a passing moment I wondered if a previous break had reoccurred. There was pain, but it was manageable. Growing up with a mom nurse, nurse mom, injuries and illness get avoided until they become too unbearable. The age old, rub some dirt on it approach, it’s what works. So I avoided any immediate care and went on my merry way yet again.

About six weeks ago, it all just became too much. There were pains all over and suddenly, one toe lump and one tummy lump created fear and anxiety. The toe was consistently uncomfortable. And the tummy, well the pain within had me doubled over. It was time to see those docs that I didn’t have to see until I was bothered. Bothered, I headed to my foot surgeon and then off to my hernia surgeon. The foot doc noted that I had a cyst as a result of a chipped bone, easy fix. Have toe surgery, remove the cyst, shave the bone, baddabing baddabang. The hernia doc indicated that what I thought had been a hernia was actually not a hernia. Heart stopping information, but, nevertheless, the doc seemed calm cool and collected and of the belief that what I suspected was a hernia was actually tissue from my uterus remaining from my pregnancy with Avery. Weird, very weird, but ok. Surgeries scheduled, I was one step closer to peace of mind.

I started having fear as the surgeries approached that the lumps were in fact related and I was not well. Again, if you know me, you know I jump to the worst case scenario very quickly. And if you know me, you know I worry hard core. Last Friday I went under the knife to correct my toe. Simple surgery. The doc went in, sifted around a bit, fixed some shiz and was out in no time. The report to the Mr and the mom… The injury was in fact a broken toe and bone fragment floating around in my toe. Awesome, no cyst, simple fix, stitches and crutches and pain meds. Into the weekend we headed, with a gimpy hoof, but peace of mind that the two lumps were certainly unrelated. My hernia (calling it that since the lump is unidentified) surgery was Monday and on Sunday night I finally broke a little, crying a few tears as I headed to bed. Fear was within me and weighing on me. Monday came, the hospital was lovely, friendly really. I was admitted and went through, what was now, routine preparation for surgery. The wait felt longer and delayed. The doc arrived, indicated he would be fixing the umbilical hernia as well as removing the lump for pathology to biopsy. Everything went smoothly, I got along with my doctor and nurses and anesthesiologist. We spoke, we joked, they took care of me. I woke; hernia corrected and lump removed. And then the bomb dropped… and fret refilled my being… The lump was successfully removed, however, my surgeon had no clue what the lump consisted of and what was felt prior to surgery was only the tip of the ice berg, what was within was larger and embedded in my stomach muscles. He had never seen such a lump in his career, though he stated it did not look like cancer.

Here I sit, recovering from some semi-invasive surgery, wondering and waiting, and worrying and fretting. My stomach is still swollen. My wounds, though minimal, still hurt. I am tender. I am relieved to have all the right fixes in place, lumps removed, hernias fixed, toes patched back together. But, the fretter in me, she is anxiety ridden. Day to day I glide through with confidence and peace of mind that all will be well. And there are these moments, these knock me in the gut, take my breath away moments, where fear overcomes me and I just cannot breathe. My fear is simply because of the unknown. The fear and the anxiety is because of what the worst case scenario may be, what that means and what I stand to lose. My daughter. My Mr. My magical life. And I just cannot breathe when the worst crosses my mind. In this moment, I sit, I wait and I do my best to focus on the best versus the worst.

It all will be well in the end and everything happens for a reason, this I know. Today, I just have to move the fret from my heart, to here, this here place that I consider my safe place. Today I do my best to let go and wait. Updates immediately following any news, I promise.

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