This is a common occurrence for me. It first became clear while I was still at Lyndhurst Rehab Centre. I just knew I didn't feel well and a nurse happened to come by my room and take my blood pressure. Her quick movement and rapid attention told me something was very wrong. My doctor came in and explained it to me. He told me now that I would experience this throughout my lifetime and it would be up to me to educate most medical people about it. I didn't know at that time what a challenge it would be. Not only is it only seen in people with spinal injuries, it is only seen in those with injuries in the same area of the spine as mine. I had a lot on my plate just to get well enough to walk and get on with my life, so this was placed on the back burner. However I had many episodes while in rehab and have had many since. I usually just fix whatever the problem is and I am fine. A bladder infection can always bring it on so generally we test my urine and see if that is the culprit and antibiotics fixes everything.
Some problems are not that easy to fix. I'm dealing with that now. I cannot fix the problem of my lower back as only surgery will do that. I have been responding with Autonomic Disreflexia this week and I have to be creative to fool my body into believing everything is okay. I take pain medication, rest and then stay calm.
When I went to see my doctor yesterday we talked about this and other concerns of the surgery and after care. It is wonderful to be prepared and educated in what can and will happen. We are concerned that with Autonomic Disreflexia happening now, it will likely happen during and after the surgery. What we concluded is we are doing everything we can to be prepared for when and if it happens, and then have the best care in Toronto and right here in North Bay when I come back.
We talked about worry. Worry is a strange thing because it is something every one of us will do from time to time. There is nothing wrong with a little worry, it motivates us to make the necessary steps for change and to make a situation better. When worry becomes a burden and when you are worrying about things you have no influence over, than you have entered into the area of anxiety. That is life gripping disorder and can paralyze you from doing the little you can to make things better.
In my case I cannot change whether my body reacts with Autonomic Disreflexia but the worrying I do about it ensures I put the necessary steps in place, just in case it happens. I have requested an anesthesiologist who has experience monitoring and treating this condition. Thankfully at Toronto Western it is not a foreign thing to them. I will continue in rehab if it is not under control and when I come home to North Bay I have a doctor who is fully knowledgeable in helping me treat it. If I were to continue to worry now, it would be pointless.
I liked my doctor's analysis of worry. He said it is like a snowball, one that starts small but if you keep going and rolling it along it becomes bigger and bigger as time goes on. We can turn any small concern into a problem by dwelling on it and continuing to worry about it. So get that blow torch out people, melt that snowman and start again.
If you are a worrier or have something in your life right now that is consuming you, let's talk about how to handle it.
I will give you my doc's advice. Give yourself ten minutes every hour. Set a timer or notice the time. Allow yourself to think about the problem only during that period of time. I would add during that time try to think about solutions and not just circles of worry. If a possible solution comes to mind, write it down. Once you have done that, put it out of your mind. When it comes to mind again, picture yourself hitting the delete button. Think about other things, knowing in an hour you can focus on it again. For some this my not happen naturally and it does take practice, but I can promise you solution focussed worry can change your life. Give it a try.
"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of joy." - Leo F. Buscaglia