I am an over-prepare-er. In high school and college I over studied to make sure I was ready for tests, exams, presentations, you name it. At work I try and do everything I can to prepare myself for the meetings the next day. When I'm traveling I start packing like five days before I'm supposed to leave.
For me, over preparing helps me handle my anxiety and stress. It makes me feel like I have control over something that may be out of my control. But right now in my life, I have something fairly large that I just don't know how to prepare for.
In early October, next month my mom is undergoing heart surgery. I found out last week that her heart isn't beating regularly and her mitral valve that isn't working the way it should. So in early October the surgeon will go in and determine if the valve can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. While he's in there, he will decide if they want to do anything to address the a-fib.
I have a month which for everything else in life is a good amount of time for preparation but I have no idea how to begin to prepare for this. I have been in denial for the last seven days. I know I need to come to terms with what could happen but I am just not ready. Typically Google is my starting place, but I'm not ready for those search results. So like in high school journaling will me start to figure out my feelings.
Honestly I flip between being scared and feeling nothing at all. I know that sounds bad but it is what it is and whatever happens is truly out of my control. I can be loving and supportive but when that October date rolls around that's all I can do.
I feel like I should do everything I can to make sure my relationship with her is in the best place it can be. However that means asking some pretty hard questions and having some pretty emotional conversations and I don't want to do anything to stress her. I don't even know if I am ready to have those conversations.
So I'll start with baby steps, like calling her more often. And maybe I will start mailing letters to her, even though stamps are $0.49!?! There's something very therapeutic about writing with a pen and paper. I've asked for some time off work so I can be there with her and my dad and brother. Little by little I'm opening my mind, and heart, for short periods of time and allowing myself to freely think about what's coming. I am talking about it with my husband and my close friends too.
I will say it helps that her spirits are high. When I talk with her, you would have no idea she has a pretty major surgery coming up. It also helps that lots of people have had this surgery and have been totally fine. I am optimistic about it all, hoping that maybe this was a kick in the pants for her to start taking care of herself. For me to start taking care of myself and realize that life cannot be taken for granted.
I will keep saying my prayers and continue taking baby steps in dealing with news that has rattled me to the core.