Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Waking Up

This morning after my surgery I remember waking up with a start. I swear I went from unconscious to wide awake in an instant. I even partially jumped up with my head to my shoulders flying off the pillow as if I had been frightened. Yet I had no feelings of fear...........just a startled feeling by something that left no trace.

I felt just like I had the instant before I'd gone to sleep. My last memory was of the anesthetist telling me I would be getting sleepy soon. I actually thought I hadn't even had my surgery yet.

I was laying in the exact same postion of that instant ago. It all felt so familiar...........the only difference was I felt freezing cold. As I laid there, I found myself wondering what was happening..... why they weren't coming for me.

The curtains were mostly closed around me. No one seemed to be interested in my progress. I was still pretty sure I had the surgery to go through. Then fear set in they might begin without me actually being asleep.

My anxiety level heightened as I fought to keep my eyes open. I found them so heavy they didn't want to co-operate. Yet my brain was wide awake. I was convinced that I was going to be a victim like the patient in that movie, Awake, going through surgery with my brain totally active.

I didn't try to move. I didn't try to call out. I just laid there like there was nothing I could do to stop what seemed like the inevitable to me. Clearly parts of me had different feelings about this situation but I heard no conversation. I was immobilized by parts unknown while my mind raced with the fear of the only part I could hear. It was a terrifying experience.

In what seemed like forever, a nurse came and asked me if I was ok. I found myself able to answer her even though I'd been unable to talk moments before. Yet I didn't tell her about my fear or ask what was happening. The words coming from my mouth didn't match the fear in my head. I heard myself telling that nurse that I was very very cold.

The nurse went after a warm blanket and some kind of cover that had hot air pumping into it. She pulled back the cold blankets and replaced them with the warm one while explaining how the other cover worked.

I heard myself saying "Thank you!" being the polite child while some part of me still believed I should be falling asleep and going off to surgery.

It was only when the nurse asked me if I would like something to drink that the possibility that I was safe crossed my mind. I heard myself asking if the surgery had been done. When the nurse answer "Yes" the fear left and the control of my body and my voice returned. It was an absolutely terrifying experience that I didn't share with a soul until now.

Being caught or looking anything less than "normal" still determines my behavior sometimes. Many times I don't even realize it's happening until it's over..........Like this morning I didn't even consciously think about calling out for help or protecting myself in anyway.........I just accepted whatever fate was to be. Paralyzed by unknown parts of me and not even knowing those forces were in control.

The only thing I was conscious of was the fear ..........and yet there was power over me to keep me quiet and not bring attention to myself. I didn't even realize what was in play until it was all over.........once that iron grip that kept me in line had let go, I could finally be "myself" again.

Most of the time I think that I am not really affected by the fact that I have MPD (multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder). I think I live a pretty normal life and being a multiple doesn't get in the way of that.
Every now and then things can get a bit complicated because parts of me control what does or doesn't happen without making themselves known. But those times are few and far between and don't really cause damage. But today............this was tough.............


Enola said...

I'm glad you made it through. I'm sorry it was so tough. I hope the recovery goes smoothly. How is the pain level?

Kahless said...

I am glad you made it through surgery.

You may not have attended to your psychological needs (fear) but you did attend to your physical needs (cold.)

jumpinginpuddles said...

we sat here nodding at the feelings/dissociation present with post surgery and we understand this all very well. We also are so relived you made it through

"DJ" said...

Sounds like surgery went well and you will mend, in time. I've been through 2 major surgeries and both times I had weird effects from the anesthesia wearing off. I swear I woke up for a moment on the operating table the first time. I saw the doctors & nurses in their green garb and heard them talking.

All my best to you for a speedy recovery, but try to be patient and easy on yourself.