Mr. Burns Syndrome

Mr. Burns Syndrome - drowning with a jumble of numbers

I don’t normally post on Sundays, but I didn’t want to miss another Boldness in the Face of Anxiety Monday, and a post tomorrow isn’t going to happen (more on that later). I haven’t blogged much this last month. Hardly at all, in fact. I can’t really put my finger on it other than calling it “Mr. Burns Syndrome.”

If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you’ve likely seen the episode where Mr. Burns visits the Mayo clinic. After running extensive tests, the doctors conclude that he had every disease imaginable, but none were harming him because they were all trying to get through the preverbal door at the same time and therefore stuck.

It’s comical to think about it in this way, but it’s a perfect illustration of how my mind works sometimes. If one minor thing happens, no big—deal with it and move on. A second minor thing, repeat. But when one thing after another comes up, it starts to get overwhelming, and like the diseases in Mr. Burns’ body, my thoughts get clogged at the door, and nothing can get through.

That’s really what’s kind of been happening throughout the summer. Little things adding up. I don’t think they’re little events/incidents, though. I think they’re little anxieties. Nothing major. Do I have my query letter right? Have I forgotten any appointments? I haven’t responded to so-and-so on Twitter (sorry, y’all, I’m trying so hard to keep up, and I know it’s falling by the wayside). Nothing major but when these things add up, my initial response to shut down.

Contrary to what you may think, the exact opposite happens when something major goes wrong. My mind instantly goes into problem solver mode in search for the solution. There’s no time to allow myself to withdraw (that’s for afterwards). But I digress…

I’m not behind because of some large catastrophe; I’m behind because of a bunch of little things, most of whom I can’t even identify. So, is it really worth worrying about? Probably not, but I have anxiety…it’s what I do, lol.

I am asking if you would please be patient with me, especially if we interact on Twitter, because I’m about to get further behind. For about the last two and a half years, I’ve had chronic tailbone pain. We don’t know the cause, and various attempts in relief have been left wanting. That is until a couple weeks ago when I went in for a spinal cord stimulator trial—I didn’t know what that was, either.

A spinal cord stimulator is a little device surgically implanted and connected to the spinal column. It emits a frequency or current and stimulates the nerve, resulting in pain relief in some patients. Because this is surgery and isn’t a guarantee, a trial is done beforehand. The device is taped to the outside of the body, and wires from it are inserted into the spinal and taped (very well) to hold them in place.

For a week, I walked around with two wires coming from my back. I joked that I was a real-life cyborg! With everything else that we’d tried having been a failure, I didn’t hold out much hope with this. But to my surprise, it worked! Surgery for the device to be permanently implanted inside me is set for tomorrow morning, hence the reason for the Sunday post.

Anxiety for the surgery hasn’t quite hit, yet—it’ll likely happen in the morning. I imagine I’ll be “out of it” most, if not all, of the day, so my Twitter backlog is going to get worse before it gets better. But once my back heals, both it and my tailbone will feel much better.

Mr. Burns Syndrome - flower blooming

So, for the moment, I’m going to push my anxiety of disappointing my Twitter friends aside and allow myself time to physically heal. If I can get on and respond, I will because I’m grateful for all the friendships and connections, but I may not be able to get through all at the same time. Once I’m feeling better, I’ll then turn my attention to my “Mr. Burns Syndrome,” and try to make a pathway across the threshold. Thanks for understanding!

‘Til next time!

Amélie

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