Time Out While You Find Out
Do you find that facing the simplest medical procedures can often be the ones you find yourself worrying about the most?
Over the last several years I have had an ingrown toe nail excised, a questionable spot on my scalp biopsied and most recently a basal cell carcinoma on my nose that needed to be removed. And I obsessed about the procedure and the results as if it were equal to my cardiac bypass, lumpectomy, total abdominal hysterectomy and two hip replacements. Why am I as anxious about the small procedures as I am the larger more invasive ones? Why am I thinking about the “what ifs”?
Why do we ruminate over some of the smallest events in our lives and how do we reduce our anxieties as we wait for the outcomes?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And here is what I have come up with for myself. With all the medical mayhem I have experienced, I find I am often waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. When it does, I worry – “Is this really all there is to this?” Maybe it is because I have had so much medical mayhem that I am aware of life changing in moments in time? And it almost sounds like PTSD where you immediately feel stress whether it be a small large event. Any event begins to trigger anxiety. And of course, there is the control factor.
While we often feel we don’t have control over our medical issues; we do have control over what is important: taking care of the bodies that are on loan to us from God. We have the ultimate decision as to whether to act on an issue or ignore and deny there is an issue. Once we establish that we must act, the question becomes not whether to deal with the issue but finding good healthcare professionals to place our trust in. For me, having moved to a new area of Florida, I am still fine tuning my physician contact list; and of course with each new type of care needed come a new type of physician.
Whether it’s a small or extensive procedure the anxiety is the same. You worry small events will turn into larger ones. You worry that the results of a test will be bad or worse, deadly. The waiting game is excruciating, wearisome, nerve wracking and will drive you crazy.
If. You. Let. It.
So what do I do when I am feeling these emotions?
- Remember that these feelings are normal. These emotions are often times not based on fact. Sort the facts from the fiction.
- Don’t assume the worst. Think positive, no negative.
- Take steps to feel more in control. Make a list of questions you want to ask about the procedure, when you will get results and how you will get them.
- Keep busy or keep still. If you are like me, you find yourself looking for stuff to do to keep your mind from dwelling and envisioning the worst. However, you may find that quiet activates like prayer, yoga, meditation or breathing exercises work best for you.
- Keep your daily routine. If you love music – listening to your favorite music can help relieve anxiety. If you enjoy reading – escape into the cover of a favorite genre of books.
- Try taking a walk or keep up with your exercise.
- Ask for help from a friend, family or clergy. Sharing your concerns and vocalizing them can often help elevate the nagging concerns that often plague us.
- Focus on your faith and on God. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come into you heart, mind and body to release you from all anxiety. Turn to your faith and God and give up your fears as you say your prayers.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.