Sunday, December 28, 2014
I Admit It – I Am a Nervous Nellie
I’m not sure when my husband began referring to me as a “Nervous Nellie,” but he has been doing so for quite a while now. I mostly ignore him when he does this not allowing him to deflect my anxiousness. That is until my mom got cancer.
Last March, my mom was diagnosed with clear-cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of uterine cancer. She required in home care after undergoing a radical hysterectomy, so I volunteered to stay with her for a few days post-surgery. Before sending her home from the hospital, a nurse spent a few minutes with the two of us demonstrating how to change my mom’s catheter, teaching her how to inject a syringe containing blood thinner into her stomach and giving me a breathing tube she was to breath into every hour to alleviate her coughing.
That evening my sister who works in health care pointed out I had not changed my mother’s catheter properly, my mom was refusing to eat and managing all of her medications was turning out to be a more daunting task than I had anticipated.
To say I was nervous when the visiting nurse called to check on us the following morning was probably an understatement. She asked me a few questions, recommended I purchase a probiotic and offered to stop in. After meeting my mom and talking to her, this nurse turned to me and said, “You are a Nervous Nellie aren’t you?” I couldn’t help but be amused, perhaps my husband has been right all along; a fact he enjoyed immensely when I shared her comment with him when I returned home.
The remainder of the year did not ease my Nervous Nellie tendencies. In August my Mom was in a car-accident on her way to a family get-together to celebrate her cancer-free diagnosis. No one was hurt and the accident had not been her fault, but this party may have been the worst family celebration I have ever attended. As the year progressed we learned my mom now has two hernias resulting from her radiation treatments and will most likely have to wear Depends for the rest of her life; apparently the radiation also damaged her bowel. The good news is my mom continues to remain cancer free.
As I re-read my 2014 goals, I realize other than keeping a gratitude journal (the only resolution I managed to stick to) they were all focused on trying to be more perfect – don’t eat sugar, be organized, suffer for 15 minutes, find my Calcutta – no wonder I am so nervous. Perhaps my 2015 resolutions should be to kayak more, spend more time playing with my dogs, going to movies and reading for pleasure.
Are you a “Nervous Nellie?” If so, what do you do to relax?