Struggling With Pre- and Post-surgery Personalities
You are going into surgery for a brain tumor, and everyone- families, friends, employers or soon-to-be former employers, doctors and in-laws- is compassionate and promises to make the transition smoother by helping with your children, and assist your wife around the house, etc. Then you have the surgery, you have to deal with the pains i.e. denial, depression, anxieties, panic attacks, personality changes, other diseases induced by your condition especially when the pituitary gland is damaged; and everyone expected you to recover in their own timing; not the timing that your condition requires to get better and to come to terms with your issues.
Sounds familiar? Imagine having dealt the hands of having this surgery twice within a few years span. You live in fear of the tumor returning a third time, and are painfully dealing with memory lapses so frequent even your own children bring them to your attention.
Regular chores and activities seem to take as much effort and stamina as climbing Mount Everest. People watch and assume that you are idle, and should be able to get over it. To make matters worse, you have to deal with other health issues such as muscle atrophia, depression, anxieties, to name a few.
What is a person to do? I am still looking for the answer. Judgmental Doctors remind you constantly "I have other patients with the same issues, and yet they went on to live a successful life."; however, they fail to notice that diseases affect different people differently. Imagine that you are a man, and having to deal with the "provider complex." A complex I define as having a tough time dealing with not being the man who earns a living to feed his family, but having to rely on his spouse. You think this is arrogance. I beg to differ. Au contraire, it is a struggle between the inability to get over a disease while dying to be a productive member of society anew.
Imagine being pressured by former employers to get on with it, in order to return to work or to go back to the workforce; when the unstated reason is for you to get off of your long-term disability. You constantly live in fear of your every step being watched; and your doctors being pestered by the insurance. These factors force you to keep your serious issues to yourself as the insurance can easily obtain your medical records from your therapist or psychiatrist lest these revelations will impede your chances of returning to the workforce.
Imaging anyone living that way; and this is how I have been living my life for quite sometimes. Sometimes, I feel like ending it all, which will be better for my family with the life insurance money; or simply get back at those in corporate America whom I feel put me under so much pressure that induced the brain tumors.
This has been the story of my life.
Anse A. Foleur, my anonymous namesake.