Posted by: Worried | 2009-03-11

Worry about worrying

Hi all,

I just feel like pouring my heart out… so here goes. 

A couple of weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour –  luckily benign, but he didn’ t take the news well . Since then we’ ve been to the Neuro surgeon a couple of times, we went to see a Radiation Oncologist, he went for a MRI and loads of blood tests. He is going into surgery next week and stereotactic radiotherapy afterwards.

I feel quite overwhelmed at the moment. And I feel selfish about feeling overwhelmed. I worry about the financial implications (our medical aid is depleted already) and I worry about my project at work which I have to hand over to someone else, then I berate myself for worrying about trivial stuff like that when my husband is going in for brain surgery! I worry about being at home by myself especially at night and I get angry about that too, because my husband will be lying in hospital while I’ m comfortable in our own bed. Then I worry about the normal stuff, like what if something goes wrong during surgery? Will he be okay? Then the stupid worry starts again “ do I know where the life insurance papers are?”  (I feel awful just thinking that)

I can’ t discuss any of this with him (even though he is truly my best friend and confidante) because he obviously has bigger things on his mind right now.

My emotions are up and down every couple of seconds and my husband needs all my support right now. HE is the one getting the surgery after all, so why am I the one who feels like I’ m unravelling? Is this normal, or am I just a selfish cow to worry about stuff like money and insurance?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Pour away, W. There's nothing selish about feling overwhelmed, especially in suchan overwhelming situation. Ask at the hospital and the oncology department to put you in touch with the Cancer Association's counsellors, who are used to helping people and their families deal with all sorts of tumours. Of course you are woried about him having brain surgery --- but the other worries, large and small, of life, don't disappear, either. Don't blame yourself for being realistic and pracical about such things as life insurance --- by doing so, you're taking some of the burden he might otherwise have to bother with at a time like this.
Don't be too afraid to discuss some of this with him --- he may WANT to be asked to help or advise, so as not to feel redundant already ; and doesn't need to spend all day every day only worrying about himself. And he may be lying there quietly worying about you, without you letting him discuss these things with you.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2009-03-11

You' re worrying about the practical stuff - nothing wrong with that. Remember that since you love him, his worries ARE your worries. Then you add the practical stuff to your own list of worries - no wonder you' re feeling overwhelmed.

One thing to remember - and it might not sound like a nice thing to do - but after the operation, even if your med-aid doesn' t cover everything or even anything, the doctors etc. might scream for their money, but they cannot undo the operation. They will definitely accept a reasonable payment plan - giving you breathing space and letting you relax a bit.

Hope all goes well with the op.

Reply to Liza

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