Well, I made it through my second day of training in the new position at work. It’s going to be stressful, but I think I’ll survive…

…as long as I don’t have more panic attacks.

Yeah, I freaked out for a few minutes in the O.R. at work. It was a “silent” panic attack, meaning I wasn’t, like, screaming or crying or anything, but inside I was in full-on flight-or-fight mode. I had to focus on my breathing and hold back the tears. Part of the anxiety was just that I felt my trainer was going just a touch too fast for my comfort. Not that I didn’t think I could do what she was asking, but it just felt like I was being rushed, and in an O.R. you don’t want to feel rushed!

I’m hoping that I get comfortable with the job–fast! It’s a position I’ve been avoiding for years because I was so anxious about doing it. Yay anxiety! Not.

My bosses have confidence that I can do it. My trainer and coworkers have confidence I can do it. Even the surgeon, who is usually stingy with compliments, told me I’d get it fine. So why am I so nervous?

Could be the bipolar disorder. I’m taking my meds, but sometimes you still get problems. I suppose if it gets too bad I can always call my psychiatrist and see about changing some stuff. I don’t necessarily want antianxiety meds for this; I mean, most of them make you drowsy and that’s another thing you don’t want in the O.R.

Another thing that concerns me is the damn arthritis. Just sitting there watching made my back scream with pain and joint pressure…something that may or may not get better once I’m actually doing the position and moving around as I sit. There will be a lot of rotating and I’ll have some small freedom of movement to where I can stretch my back slightly–while maintaining sterility, of course. Can’t go popping my back if the pressure gets too bad, but I can stretch, twist (slightly), rotate a little…it might be enough. If not, then it’s the rheumatologist I call for help.

I’ll likely be calling her soon anyway, because the pain has gotten worse since the weather has changed. Work seems to make it worse than anything, but doing a lot of “work” at home (cutting/pinning/sewing, for example) also seems to make it act up. That concerns me, because I was under control for so long that I don’t want to go back to being in pain all the time. I can tolerate it still, but I don’t want to have to tolerate it if there’s a tweak in meds that can help. I have an appointment next month, but I don’t know if I can handle another month of this kind of pain. I have a job to do. Can’t waste time being in pain. Gotta move. Go go go. Patients first and all that.

So yeah, I’m getting by. I’m keeping calm in the new position–mostly. I’m tolerating the pain. But I don’t want to just survive–I want to live.


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