While recovering from I had thought would be a simple surgery on my gums, I have fallen back into old habits of harsh talk and treatment of myself. I blame myself for not cancelling the surgery and not listening to my gut, for trusting when warning bells shook my soul.
My self-flogging is merciless. I feel defeated, I look for succor, warmth, a place to curl up and be loved. But I am not finding it within me. I never have. It is work to find peace, warmth and love inside of me.
Lately it has been impossible. I eat, knowing I should not. That means a night waiting for my body to expel it and the pain that goes along with it. The emotional pain of self-hate for using old patterns to sooth me when my body has worn out inside and cannot tolerate such treatment is unbelievable, hard to accept, that I continue with a behavior knowing how it will affect me so adversely.
I harbor self-hate for being afraid of telling a doctor she made serious errors with me, because if I do, I burn bridges behind me. How do you speak up with grace and not burn bridges?
One thing I did not share about the surgery— I felt so afraid, so wrong about it, I popped Xanax like candy on the way there. I lost track of how many, perhaps 6. That is 6 mg of a substance that the most I’ve taken for surgery is 2-3. She had to administer Oxygen during the procedure, or so she told my husband afterwards. My O2 dropped to 80 and normal is above 95%. She told him I need a sleep study.
Sleep study? Perhaps a brain scan for being a ‘dummy’, my mother’s words. I cannot keep one of my mother’s favorite expressions for me out of my head, “DUMMY.” I am 63 years old and seem to be getting less intelligent, or more afraid. Or what? Why can’t I speak up? I cannot. I never will be able to easily That was taken for me.
I was taught I didn’t matter, that. I am invisible. Do what you like. Ingrained into me, these thoughts, ideas and feelings, and I must work with what is. I must work to recover some respect for myself because I’ve lost ground. My body heals slowly from her interventions, but my spirit is having a very time. I look for joy and excitement in the day to day, I go through the motions, but something is dormant, defeated and weary. This will take time…
I realized I had to get my feelings out. I wrote the following, but have not sent it.
Dear Dr. Julie,
I am not happy. Had I any understanding of the second part of the surgery, I would not have agreed. I did not even know of it. I only know you breezily said that I can sign a consent to have an extraction. I went into shock and answered OK as if you’d asked for a cup of coffee. In addition to the shock, maybe I asked no questions because you seemed so hurried and because you have done so much for me in the past. I trusted you.
When I got home the adrenaline kicked in and I wondered and panicked, what? I called requesting to speak with you on the next day you were in. Since I have no cell phone, I carried our house phone around all day, but you never called.
I called back several times trying to gather information, my gut telling me this was wrong. I allowed myself to go along after being told several times that “We don’t perform needless surgeries.” I can’t blame you for that, nor for not following my gut and cancelling the whole thing until I had a better understanding of it and fully agreed.
I may have agreed to the clean-up in the affected tooth, even the possibility of a graft. But I doubted a graft could occur because a previous dentist had taken the gum-line down so excessively. And the graft did not occur. What was the point? Was any good done?
I did not realize that you would remove healthy tissue from the tooth behind it just to ‘see’ what was going on. And since I did not understand, I did not give permission, not really. Had we talked like we should have, that could have been avoided.
Why would I allow anyone to take away healthy tissue or remove it from the bone or tooth just to look around? You had tested the area and didn’t believe there to be a crack, as well as Dr. John, and I believe your instincts.
I did not agree to the removal of healthy tissue. Now the healthy gum around that second tooth is permanently much lower and will permanently cause problems of sensitivity that weren’t there before. It is much more sensitive now than it was, doubly so. Nothing seems improved, instead it appears to be permanently worsened.
Do you realize how hard these procedures are for me? There needs to be NO questions about it’s necessity. It gets harder to do these things, not easier. I have to tell my little girl, the one terrified inside, “Lie still, be quiet, be good, be hurt.”
If there are any questions I should not be put through such an ordeal. There were a lot of questions. Explore? Not again. You never used the ‘exploratory surgery’ when we met.
After the surgery I became seriously ill from a severe bowel inflammation with intense spasms from the Amoxicillin. I was unable to eat for three days and even then added bland food sparingly. I am still recovering. There was no mention of its side-effects. With older people medications can cause so many more problems because we are much more sensitive to them. Time and care must be taken before prescribing them.
As this heals, I hope my ability to trust does too.