3 days until surgery. I had my first anxiety dreams last night, nothing specific that I can recall but more of a "tossing and turning while thinking about it" experience. I'm not nervous, really, but as I get closer and it becomes more real I'm allowing myself to think about the details, what it will be like to get on the gurney in that skimpy gown, get the IV, talk to anesthesia staff...so it's getting real.
What I find as I remind or tell people about it the first time, after going through the why (disability prevention) and the what (cervical stenosis requiring discectomy and fusion) is that I do a bad job of explaining everything. Either that or I'm assuming too much knowledge (a recurrent problem of mine) and using unfamiliar terms which make it hard for the listener to really absorb what I'm trying to convey. So on that note I found a couple of sites that answer a few questions. This one is great, has a number of diagrams and explains a lot with good language. This one is more focused on recovery/rehab which was good for me to read, too since I haven't received a lot of information from my surgeon. I am just as much to blame as I've intentionally avoided that conversation figuring it wasn't an important part of the decision making process (I could be wrong there, but oops, too late) and that I didn't have a lot of control over it anyway -- it's more of a need-to-know.
The biggest issue in the short term is whether I'll be able to be a passenger on a long car ride, 19 days post-op, to Columbus, OH to visit my in-laws for Christmas. I'll find out soon enough.