A few months ago, I wrote a post where I was afraid to press “Publish”. It was about my testicles and how the presence of benign cysts had caused personal growth … to the tune of 3-4 times their normal size.
My surgery is on September 21. Yesterday I met with a doctor and a nurse for a couple of hours. I’ve been pretty calm about it all so far, but it’s amazing how a raft of paperwork can send me back to the terror of my only previous surgery. In 2003 I had a tendon transfer operation on my right foot after creating a pretty good rupture.
Point number one: Back then, the stitches were removed too late and I was in agony during the procedure. I remember yelling at the top of my lungs, no doubt creating a heart attack or two in the clinic. I’ve had long experience with the pain scale of 1 to 10, and that moment has been my benchmark ever since for what 10 feels like. This time, I was reading in the patient booklet about removing the plastic bandage 24 hours after the operation. I glanced at the next sentence and saw the word “stitches”. There goes the old heart rate! After marshalling my forces, I read. The stitches will dissolve. (Huge and lengthy sigh) Oh, how I fear pain.
Point number two: The booklet went on at length about constipation. I know the topic well. What came to my quivering mind, however, was lying in my bed hours after the surgery and not being able to pee. The horror came back to me like a slap in the face. The pain mounting. The nurse saying “We may have to insert a catheter, sir.” More liquidless hours. Insertion. (Oww) And still nothing. “Try singing a song.” “Imagine a waterfall.” “Here, dip your fingers into this water glass.”
Not a drop. 6 … 7 … 8 …
And then, in the wee hours – a drop. Eventually followed by a torrent.
I’m a mature adult (most of the time)
My Buddhist training will see me through
I’ll be fine
And still I fear the 21st