No parent looks forward to their child going into surgery. True, the surgery may be necessary and you may feel in your heart that it’s the right thing to do for your child, but the pure act of going into surgery is a bit unnerving.
Each time my son has been wheeled away on the hospital bed, I’ve stood and watched his head grow smaller and smaller as he leaves my side, being carted down the hallway, until finally they turn a corner, out of sight. Last week was no different.
It begins the same every time. Doctor’s appointments, followed by more appointments, more assessing, until finally I hear these words, “Mr. and Mrs. Green, at this point, surgery is the best option for your son.” Then comes the pre-op appointment, followed by the call from the anesthesiologist the night before surgery to review his medical history and details regarding any adverse reaction he’s had to general anesthesia.
This time we had a slight variation.
The anesthesiologist said that based on my son’s age, he could now make some decisions.
Really? What sorts of decisions?
She asked me to discuss two things with him ahead of time:
1) Would he prefer the IV started while he’s awake or after he is put to sleep with the mask? (Mask — no brainer. I know my kid. I asked anyway.)
2) Would he like some ‘goofy-juice’ before he goes into surgery to ease any anxiety he may be feeling?
(Goofy-juice is this nasty looking liquid they offer him after he has his gown on, but before they wheel him away. It’s supposed to calm his nerves.)
Hmm…. This one was not a no brainer. See, I’ve observed my son over the years and I’ve noticed that with each surgery his level of anxiety beforehand has increased. To my surprise, before his last surgery, he had opted for the goofy-juice for the first time. Maybe he’d want it again.
So I asked.
And he silently thought.
After about a minute, he looked up at me and said:
“I don’t know, Mom. Have them ask me tomorrow morning when we get there. I’ll decide then if I’ll go with goofy-juice or confidence.”
Well, okay then.
As he ran off to take one final dip in the pool, (before it became off limits), I thought, Wow. Goofy-Juice or Confidence. I had asked him a question: Do you want the stuff or not, never mentioning the word confidence, never alluding to there being additional options to consider; it was a simple Yes/No question in my mind. Yet he automatically created two buckets. He had, in essence, acknowledged the option of ‘No Goofy-Juice’ by assigning it the label: Confidence. (Pretty cool.)
So, I have to ask you, TLT readers, when it comes to goofy-juice:
What Is Your Goofy-Juice?
When you’re faced with a stressful situation, or you feel your anxiety begin to rise, what method/thing do you use to take the edge off? It can be anything that helps to relax your mind, your body, your-Self.
After some self reflection on this question, I asked a few people what their goofy-juice is. Here are some of the responses I received:
- watching TV
- reading a book
- calling a friend on the phone
- watching a comedy
- taking a shower
- going for a run/working out
- walking the dog
That’s quite a list. And I only asked a few people.
Look over the list again. Try not to slot anything into a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ column.
(Because as a TLT reader, you already know it’s not about good or bad; Life has everything to do with Balance.)
As long as that balance exists, couldn’t each and every one of the items on the list serve you well (provided you’re not running with a broken ankle or something like that)?
It’s when we drink the entire bottle of wine, then the second…. It’s when we turn the TV on and stare at it for hours, while mindlessly grazing on a bag of Ruffles (oh yes, we definitely mix and match from our list)….
It’s when we do anything to the extent that we numb ourselves.
And it’s also when we don’t see things like Confidence as an option. We ignore such things as Confidence and Courage all together.
Maybe because Confidence and Courage aren’t things we do, they’re characteristics we possess.
Does that mean we can’t add them to our list? Of course not!
Here’s an assignment:
Create your own list. Use the one above as a springboard. Add, subtract, making sure to include traits you possess, as well as things you do.
Now, with list in hand, become aware of what your goofy-juice of choice is.
Then ask yourself: Does it serve me well?
If you respond: Yes.
- Then: Great! Keep it up, Brother! Keep it up, Sister!!
If you respond: Well, it kinda serves me well.
- Then: Ask yourself, “What can I switch around?”
- Maybe add more opportunities to laugh in your life.
- Maybe take away talking to friend after friend about what’s bothering you. Focus on one friend. Someone who’s a straight shooter and speaks your language.
- Tweak away!
If you respond: No.
- Then: Know that your goofy-juice of choice is probably lacking any juice at all, it may be all poison.
- But don’t worry — Now you’re aware of it.
- And once you’re aware, you can do something about it! That’s gotta feel good, knowing you can do something about it.
At this point, your list becomes a very inviting menu you can choose from. And because you’ve done this exercise, you’ll know what to order as soon as you feel any anxiety begin to present itself.
And because I know you’ll wonder if I don’t mention it, I’ll go ahead and tell you that my son chose confidence over the goofy-juice. But I hope he only chose it if that’s what he personally needed that day, at that time in his life.
Know yourself. Know your needs. And love yourself enough to make the right choices for you.
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