…And Then I Panicked

My right eye fluttered open and I began to slowly take in my surroundings in a drug induced haze. I heard shuffling and beeping all around me. My left eye wouldn’t open but out of the corner of my right I kept catching glimpses of blue racing back and forth. Occasionally a mass of blue would approach me and speak but I was only vaguely aware of what they were saying. I turned my head slightly and saw my spousal equivalent hovering in the corner. He had written Billy Loves Sarah in big letters on the white board facing my bed. I couldn’t summon the words to speak to him, to tell him I loved him too. I just laid there and started taking a physical and mental inventory. I reached with my right hand and felt around on my chest. There were wires coming from everywhere, including one that I was pretty sure was coming out of my neck. I had already noticed that my left eye wouldn’t open but at the time it didn’t seem too alarming. As my hand made its way up my face and toward my hairline I began to feel stubble… AND THEN I PANICKED! They shaved my head! The doctor told me he wouldn’t; that they could use an old incision. And yet I kept feeling around and I had no hair on top of my head. I felt a tube jutting out of my scalp but that didn’t even bother me. As I ran my hand over my head, panic turned to horror as I realized, um, they forgot to shave half of it off! So not only was I a hideous mess with tubes and lines in every orifice, but they had only shaved half of my hair, leaving me looking like Bozo the Clown. Really? They couldn’t have just finished the job while they were up there?

It was a full week before I could go home and have Billy shave the rest off for me. It was a full year before I had a full head of hair again. But it has been two years and counting since my last chronic, debilitating migraine and despite the hair thing…I have to say I am pretty damn lucky!

Me and SO - 1 month post op - Felt a bit like a deranged elf!

With hair...and a new outlook on life!

Writing Prompt by Mama Kat!

The long road to positivity…and how to find it if you make a wrong turn.

Some days, no matter how hard I try, something will happen to kill my positive attitude for the day. I am pretty much a happy-go-lucky gal but I have found myself at the breaking point plenty of times. But maintaining a positive attitude is vitally important, and much more for ourselves than for the jerk who cut you off on the interstate, or the co-worker who made a bad joke about something you said in the office meeting. Negativity leads to stress, which can lead to serious health issues. Not to mention it’s just a bad look! No one likes a scowling face unless it’s Halloween. Below are some tips and tricks to help you maintain a positive attitude (or regain it if you have been bitten by the negativity bug already).

1. Music! People underestimate the power of music. Create a playlist on your iPod or burn a CD with some of your favorite feel good music. Genre and artist are not important. What IS important is that the music illicits a positive response in you. The oldies I listened to with my dad when I was little are a surefire way to get me back on the road to positivity. As you listen to the music, notice how it evokes memories and feelings that massage your soul.

2. Keep a journal. When you start having negative thoughts and you feel you frame of mind slipping into the abyss, take out your journal or even just a scrap of paper and write down all of the positive things you are thankful for. They can be big things like your loving significant other, or little things like that awesome frappucino you had this morning at Starbucks. Anything to get your mind off of the negative and back into a positive direction. When you start to slip…take that piece of paper out and read all the reasons you should feel good!

3. Look up some positive quotes. It may sound a little corny but sometimes we can find great inspiration from the words of others. Go out and get a book of quotes like “The Complete Pocket Positives” by Five Mile Press. Or search the internet for positive thoughts or inspirational nuggets. Many services will even e-mail you a daily inspirational quote. They can be religious in nature or non-denominational. I have included some excerpts below.

4. Exercise. So are you sick of the talking heads telling you how great exercise is for you? Me too! But they are right. This is one area where I feel like I could improve my own life. Exercise releases lots of feel good chemicals in your brain that battle anxiety and depression. Even a 20 minute walk around the block can improve your mood dramatically. So can other restorative exercises like yoga, which incorporates a mind-body-spirit approach to exercise and is a surefire way to move in a positive direction.

5. Laughter. You ever hear the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine?” Try it for yourself. If you are having a bad day at work, search YouTube for a clip from one of your fave funny movies. Or read some comedy online. Or call a friend you know will make you laugh.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. What are some of your ideas for maintaing or regaining positivity? Read some of the quotes below if you need some inspiration 🙂

“The universe is transformation. Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
-Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emporer and philosopher)

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.”
-J.M. Barrie (Scottish writer and dramatist)

“If there were nothing wrong in the world, there would be nothing for us to do.”
-George Bernard Shaw (Irish dramatist, essayist, and critic)

%d bloggers like this: