Julie Lyles Carr: Monday Musings...Fighting Fear

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Musings...Fighting Fear

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear-
not absence of fear.
Mark Twain
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

So it looks like surgery.

As in, this Friday.

We'll know tomorrow for sure.

I posted a few weeks back about 4 of 8's fabulous, new, expensive walking-cast boot, a fashion necessity due to suspected tarsal coalition.  Tarsal coalition is a congenital condition in which two of the tarsal bones of the foot begin to fuse together.  The foot becomes very stiff and pain and injury become constant companions.  4 of 8 has undergone four weeks in the 'boot'and a CT scan has confirmed the orthopedist's suspicions. We went back to the pediatric orthopedist  late last week and found that 4 of 8's foot is now almost completely inflexible.

It looks like it's time to surgically intervene.

But 4 of 8 has been very trepidacious about all of this.  She's not had a surgery before.  She is worried about the pain.  She is worried about the scar.  She is worried about the doctor making a mistake.  She is worried that she won't be healed up in time for spring soccer.

She's fighting fear.

And I don't show her...but I am too.

I'm fighting a little border skirmish with fear because surgery in 4 of 8's case is really up to us.  It could be thought of as an 'elective' surgery, if you will.  There are those individuals who choose not to have the surgery.  They choose to let the bones of the foot completely fuse. They choose to live with the foot ultimately becoming completely stiff.  They choose to live with the pain and to alter their activities to accommodate the symptoms of the tarsal coalition.

So, that is an option.

But, for our active, busy, soccer-playing, dancing, jumping, running 4 of 8, that really doesn't seem like an option at all.

4 of 8's one request was that her daddy be at the surgery with her.  We originally set the surgery date for a couple of weeks from now, but a pre-planned business trip couldn't be changed.  I told 4 of 8 that she and I could handle it.  I told her that her PaPa could be there with us too.

She still wants her daddy.

So, when the scheduling nurse called back and said they could move up the surgery date, that they could set it for a time that M would be in town, I asked 4 of 8 what she thought.  She shifted her gray-blue eyes skyward, thought for a moment, chewed on her lip, and then said, "Deal."

She's resisting fear.  She's mastering it.  She's willing to push through the fear to overcome inflexibility.  She's willing to accept some pain and scars to have greater freedom.  She's trafficking in courage.

So I suppose I should, too.

And now I want to hear your profiles in courage, those times you have known that it was time to go through an experience you feared, but that could ultimately be the best thing for you.  The time you had to choose a tougher path in the present to smooth the road for your future.  A time when you had to resist your fear to lay claim to greater flexibility, growth, freedom.  Feel free to post your story in the comment box or write your own post on this topic and put the url of that post and your name in the Mister Linky's box below. Come on, you courageous thing, you!

Preparing for Pre-Op,

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