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chasing answers newsletter #36
“The downside isn’t really injury, fear of injury or the process of fighting back from injury. The downside, the very worst thing in the world, is surgery.” - Greg Rusedski
As I’ve aged, I’ve gotten better about admitting when I’m scared. A younger me would never admit to even knowing the meaning of that word. But as time has passed, I’ve either become less brave or, at least, less concerned with people thinking I’m brave.
I’m preparing to have surgery soon to repair an inguinal hernia that literally popped up a couple of months ago. Guys, if you’ve never had the privilege of experiencing one of these, imagine hopping in the shower, looking down, and seeing an extra testicle.
Ok, maybe not quite that shocking, but still, less than awesome.
One of my biggest fears, if not THE biggest, is being under anesthesia. So, I’m freaking the fuck out right now.
My fear of anesthesia is so great it’s caused me to put off repairing several injuries that I know should be addressed. A lifetime of contact and extreme sports, weightlifting, and doing stupid shit when I was younger has left me with my fair share of battle scars. I have shoulder and neck injuries that have limited my ability to lift heavy weights for a couple of years, but I’m afraid to have surgery to fix them.
For the one surgery I did have, I was able to convince the surgeon and the hospital to do it while I was wide awake. It took two days of negotiations and me signing a special waiver, but eventually, the ninety-minute surgery to repair my elbow was completed with nothing more than a nerve block in my arm.
I tried the same negotiations for this hernia surgery, but the answer was a resounding “NO.”
While lying in bed the other night, fretting about my upcoming appointment, I recalled when my daughter had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. On the day of the surgery, I was physically sick. I’ve never felt anything like it. I didn’t realize fear and nerves could actually have that effect on people.
But there I was, a 43-year-old man being reassured and comforted by the nurses that everything would be ok. My daughter, meanwhile, who was four, seemed as cool as a cucumber. She laughed and joked. She made friends with all the staff. If she was scared, it never showed.
I’ve learned a lot from my daughter in a short amount of time. For those who feel the need to read self-help books about living life to the fullest and appreciating the small things, I would say have children. They will show you the way.
I’ve watched her walk into uncomfortable situations to experience new things. I’ve seen her show compassion and empathy to others. And I’ve watched her get excited and show joy and appreciation for the smallest things in life.
And now, looking back, I realize she has shown me how to face my fears. Her ability to be brave and strong when I couldn’t is a testament to what I still have to learn. This week, to help me face my biggest fear, I simply need to grow up and act like a four-year-old.
Best of Twitter
I stumbled across this tweet and then had to look this guy up. I’ve included a few additional links about Don Ritchie. If you have a few minutes and want to lift your spirits, check them out.
I hope you all have a great week!
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