A Release Of Pain: Failing Before I Begin?

I try to stay as positive as I can, no matter what life throws at me. Lately that’s been pretty hard to do. When Dad went into the hospital, and I had my pre-op appointment stress got high and I fell into the pit of bad eating and not working out.

With one week till my migraine surgery, I’m getting panicky. I already have two weeks of no running under my belt, and after the surgery it will be another two weeks of no running, I’m nervous and feeling dejected about the races I have planned and the marathon in December.

I feel like this year has done nothing but beat me up, and that I’m failing before I even begin.

I know that I shouldn’t feel that way. I’m a runner, and have run numerous races for years in the past. I just feel concerned about whether or not I’m going to be able to make it work. And I want to make it work.

I went back to the website for the migraine surgery to re-read the details on the surgery for what can easily be the thousandth time. I know exactly what they are going to do, and I know what could happen, and I can explain it to anyone who asks about it without any hesitation. It wasn’t until I got to the below passage that I started to freak out again about my already lack of running:

 Following surgery until the first visit (usually 7 days) we encourage patients to relax, and not perform any strenuous activity. After the initial follow up visit, activity is gradually increased, and most patients are back to work and normal activity within 1 to 2 weeks. You are not able to drive or operate heavy machinery while taking any post-operative narcotic pain medication. – Dr. Michael Fallucco

As migraine surgery addresses the already irritated nerves in the head and neck, some patients may experience increased frequency and duration of migraine headache pain, or areas of the scalp and forehead that become hypersensitive and should decrease as your postoperative swelling decreases.

Logic says that means the first week, I’m not going to be running. I’m going to be a sleepy, drooling mass hopped up on pain meds, laying on my couch and catching up on movies I want to see, drinking protein shakes until I can stomach food, and fighting off what could be a seriously massive migraine after the surgery. The last thing I’m going to want to be doing is walking or running or riding the bike.

But it also says that after the first week, if I feel up to it, I could go to the fitness center and walk the treadmill or ride the bike. Maybe even go for a light jog. So that when the two weeks are up (and it better just be two weeks) I can jump into the second week of marathon training and get ready to kick some ass, lose some weight, and really focus on going back to the badass I was.

The emotional side of me is wallowing, eating the wrong foods and skipping out on workouts. I haven’t been sleeping regularly because I can’t shut off my brain. I’m having moments of “What if..” and thinking the worst instead of the best. I have to make a living will before the surgery and that isn’t helping. No matter how wonderful the benefits will be, I’m not going to lie: I’m scared of this surgery.

I’m scared that it won’t work, and that I’m going to go through all this pain and agony for nothing. I’m scared that the past year and a half after getting off the meds that almost killed me (and that I was willing to go back on) will be a waste. I am scared of being put to sleep for the surgery because I watch entirely too much Nip/Tuck and my brain is playing tricks on me. And I’m scared that I’m going to piss off my husband for expressing these feelings one to many times and he’ll blow up at me and I’ll just be left feeling worse.

But I want to run, and run fast. I want to not be worried that pushing it too much will trigger a migraine and I won’t be able to finish. I don’t want to have to triple check that I have meds with me when I go run so in case it happens I have something to help me. I don’t want the dizzy spells anymore, and the nausea and the desire to stab myself in the head just to get the pain to stop. I know this surgery will fix it, and that I’m just being incredibly melodramatic, but….

But I’m being melodramatic and over thinking it and they wouldn’t have scheduled the surgery if they didn’t think that I would be a successful candidate. It’s going to work, and as soon as I am free to run again, I will be running. Slow at first, but it won’t take long for me to rediscover my old skills and talents. I will throw myself into my training and focus as hard as I can, adding cross training and weight lifting and yoga to my routine so I can get back to the size I want to be as well. I won’t have to take the meds or get the steroid shots or anything. I’ll be free.

And when I cross the finish line for my first marathon, it will be tears of joy I will be crying… not of pain and not of fear of a migraine.


One thought on “A Release Of Pain: Failing Before I Begin?

  1. Kristen says:

    I am so sorry you are having a tough time. Try to put positive thoughts in your head when your brain won’t shut off. Do some yoga if you can, it helps to relax. Just make sure you take time to heal, don’t rush it. I will be thinking positive thoughts your way and will pray that it works. Remember, you are a badass and a runner, this is just for a short time. This too shall pass!

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