Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Continued drama

I haven't known what to blog about. There is so much f'ing drama. On two fronts: medical and emotional. I am now having pain "in my ovary" or whatever - of the kind that took me to the doctor in the first place, leading to the diagnosis. It's been over 24 hours of constant discomfort now. I haven't had this since that first time. It makes me feel nervous and worried.

I am seeing my specialist again next Monday so that I can tell him about this, and tell him that I want the surgery in January instead of waiting until April. My Chair is being amazing. He has consulted with the Dean, and they will find someone to replace me in one course, and they feel fine with cancelling the other - it has low enrolment, anyway. It's funny how over-responsible I feel for everything. Well, not funny, but problematic. It was feeling indebted and responsible that led to my saying I'd wait until April to have the surgery in the first place. And yesterday, when Chair told me he was fine with cancelling the second course, a wave of guilt washed over me and I offered to "make podcasts" of my lectures for that course, for the 4-6 weeks I'm off. (I'm going to plead temporary insanity on that front...I won't have time to make 15+ hours of podcasts in December!!) My reaction to being "let off the hook" like this was to feel bad and as if I owe someone something. Thankfully, Chair seems to genuinely think that's ridiculous. I seem to have to keep telling myself to get a grip, that this is the benefit of having a full-time, permanent job...that the employer will take care of me to some extent. I need to let that happen.

And last night there was continued drama in this other area. I really am so tired of things going wrong that I just feel like one big mass of scar tissue...I really don't feel much anymore. So I took in upsetting news with much less conscious upset than the last time. Instead I just somatized it all, and immediately developed a headache and had to sit in a darkened room for the evening.

And now I can't work. Tomorrow is the last day of classes, I have lectures to prepare, and most importantly I have a pile of grading to do. And I can't bring myself to do any of it. I'm nervous and jumpy and distracted.

6 comments:

Psychgrad said...

I think you're wise to arrange to not put the surgery off. Even if your current pain is unrelated, your health is more important than teaching this course. I know it's easier to say than do, but your health is a priority.

I can't help but wonder...since your mentioning somatizing your stressful experiences whether there's a circular process, brought on by the stress of living and working in scary city (and all that comes with that) which is associated with somatic symptoms, which increases the stress, and the loop goes on. Sorry - that's a poorly-worded sentence. Essentially - it's possible that physical manifestations will continue to reflect and contribute to the stress you're experiencing (if the high stress persists).

Hilaire said...

Yeah, I think you're quite right about the endless loop, Psychgrad. I'm aware, too, of how medical interactions have the power to produce symptoms as well. I'm not saying that I'm not having locatable pain - I am, and it is decidedly the same thing as I had the first time, and that makes sense given some details I've been given about the current status of the tumour - but it's coming in the wake of my receiving and managing this news about my condition is very interesting, indeed...At the very least, stress around this interaction with the medical establishment is a possible contributing factor in my feeling this pain.

medieval woman said...

Oh, god, Hilaire - you really need a break, huh? I'm glad that you're not postponing your surgery and that your chair is being great about this. And I'm sorry for all the added emotional stress as well...

I'm always thinking about you, even though I wish I could do more to make things better...

(((H)))

lilrumpus said...

Yikes, Hilaire. So sorry about all this...

Um, why 4 weeks? I just had a solid cyst removed that was about the size of a softball and the doc was able to perform a minilaparotomy (incision is about 2-3 inches long at the bikini line). The recovery time is not as fast as with laparoscopy, but damn close. In fact, some people actually go home the same day. I was back in class in a week. I had the surgery on a Wednesday and was teaching the next Wednesday. I only canceled one class. About 15 years ago I also had a cyst removed with even more significant surgery and was up and moving (literally, across the country) in a week or so.

Anyway, just wanted to say I am thinking of you and to tell you this just to see if you can run it by your doctor as a possibility...

grumpyabdadjunct said...

Oh jeez, what a nightmare. Honestly you are a trooper for sticking it this long. Enough with the guilt okay? Podcasts? Strewth, woman. YOU are the most important thing in your life, not students, not the Uni, not the grading or lectures or whatever - YOU. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally FIRST from now on. Don't make me come out there...:) As if I could, sigh.

JustMe said...

Oh hilaire, so glad the chair is being supportive. And thinking more about the broken thing, I feel like that too sometimes, but I need to remind myself that we are all broken and no one is in perfect health....