I’m typing this from mobile so there might be some typos. For the last couple days, I have started to have developed what I think is a sinus infection. It’s started as some mucus in my throat and escalated last night to pressure around my head and some light pain.
This afternoon the pain really amped up. Deep throbbing when I laughed or breathed too heavily through my nose. This evening it really escalated. I prepared to go the hospital. I was preparing because I was worried this was connected to my AVM, something my doctor told me was removed completely two years ago.
After all the surgeries and physiotherapy, I went to talk therapy for a while. I think it was too early; my mind wasn’t ready to process what it had gone through. I went to five sessions when my therapist and I mutually terminated things.
I’ve lurked on here for a while. I’ve never really posted much because any time I wanted to, I was overcome by a guilt of how strong my recovery was. I made myself feel unwelcome in one of the most welcoming places online I know of.
So that is why I am posting now. Though I was blessed enough to have a strong physical recovery, I am mentally always teetering—one head pang from panic. I realize that while my physical disability is minimal, my mental anxiety will follow me as long as I don’t confront it. Thank you for all your support.
Like you, I have to say that I am “well” and definitely so compared with some folk here. And in the same way that did to some extent make me pause. Now, if you read here often, you’ll know I’ve got past any reservations about sharing about me and my experience to the extent I’ve probably moved to the other end of the scale! What I do believe is that the mental health fight with these things is more than half the battle: and for those of us with a good physical recovery, it is probably all of the battle.
So… It’s not just you.
My other aim in this community is that we never rank ourselves against each other: but actually this could be the most supportive place, very much in line with what you or I might consider “Christian values” yet clearly open to all, not explicitly or exclusively Christian in our compass.
So never judge yourself as less than anyone else. You’re not.
I can’t tell you anything about how your sinuses are. I hope you’re going to the doc about those. But please do share how you are here. I know there are others here who have PTSD from all of their operations. You are not alone.
Very best wishes,
Hey Stuart, I have to tell you, your anxiety is not unusual. That is, I was too. I’ve been down the neurosurgical route 6 times (so far) and it never gets any easier. Initially every ache, every pain and I’m thinking ‘Is this it?’ ‘Is that my head?’ My wife was keeping an eye on me like a hawk (and even years later still does to a point), every time she saw me cringe she was ready to hit the ‘PANIC’ button. Since my last major surgery my balance has been a real mess, finding the floor with a thud on a few occasions. One of which the wife found me on the floor upon her returning home. She called an ambulance and they rushed me into hospital, only for them to scan me, test me, then send me home.
I now try to look for a progression of symptoms. A headache, that’s pretty normal for me, even a really bad one is not unusual. But if that headache progresses to numbness and tingling and then progresses to nausea and vomiting, I need to act. Now these are my signs and over time you too will learn your signs, but it does take time. If you ever have a lightning bolt headache, the most excruciating pain you’ve ever had, get to a hospital, NOW.
Some people can be more than accepting of the physical recovery more than the psychological recovery but they both NEED to be managed at the same time. I make that sound easy, but it’s not, having to look at self can be one of the ugliest views we’ll ever see (Well, it was for me ). We can all put on that mask of ‘Yea, I’m OK…’ when in reality we are not. You have identified that it’s an issue and that’s the first step to doing something about it. I knew I couldn’t do it all on my own, no matter how much bravado I tried to show, I needed help. Once I’d made that decision a huge weight was lifted.
Merl from the Modsupport Team