Having mental health issues does not preclude yourself from physical ailments and after a year long wait I arrived at the day I was having a pain blocker put in my back as I have arthritis in my spine. Like most people I do not relish the thought of visiting a hospital, unfortunately the pain blocker is administered in an operating theatre. As I waited for my “slot” I could feel my anxiety levels rising and using a set of worry beads certainly helped but it was tough. I knew what to expect when I went down to theatre so also brought a set of “fribble” worry beads with me for this time. So why use a “fribble” instead of my usual worry beads? The answer is simple if not slightly embarrassing. If my anxiety gets very intense I get muscle spasms and it seems like all the muscles in my body tighten. Although our worry beads are far more robust than others, the sort of punishment I was going to put them through would I am sure result in a breakage. That could be the “straw that breaks the camels back” for me so the strength of the “fribble” worry beads was called for.
As I was wheeled down to the theatre the nurse was fantastic trying to put me at my ease. The “fribble” was great, instead of just doing one thing slowly with them to slow down my heart rate I kept changing the activity. That way I got the benefit of slow movement but I also had to think about what I was doing which distracted me from the impending theatre.
Just my luck and the computer system failed after the operation before me. I had to wait in a pre-op room while they tried to get it fixed. The last I wanted to hear was things going wrong in an operating theatre. I was eventually pushed in and introduced to the surgeon. He explained that he had to inject the nerves in my spine and I had to keep completely still. A “red rag to a bull” my anxiety levels shot through the roof. But the stressful input was not over. The surgeon proceeded to ask which side of my back needed injecting, aaahhh, didn’t he know? I said I had pain both sides of my back but more so in one side than the other. He asked if I just wanted one side doing or both, aaahhh, up went the anxiety levels again. I said I would have both sides done, but no sooner than I got the words out I had to ask the question, was there a downside to having both sides done? Of course he replied, twice the risk of leaving me in a wheelchair, aaahhh! I made a snap judgement, as the whole theatre was waiting to start, and decided on both while I was there!
It was not until I tried to get comfortable on the table that I realised I had twisted the leather cord around my fingers and I was tugging on the pear with all my strength. It had not broken but the pain in my fingers did actually distract me, mad but a fact. I get comfortable with my hands together just above where my head was lying. The surgeon went in with a pain killing injection so that he could numb the area prior to the “main event”. Ouch, that felt more painful than I thought the main injection was going to be. I was once again reminded to keep still but my back was experiencing the most intense pain. In a instant I decided to pull the pear again and make my fingers hurt. I focused all my thoughts on my hands and what they were doing. All I remember from then on once the surgeon saying “all finished”.
So what can YOU gain form my little tale, you may never have to have an operation under local anaesthetic. The “fribble” can equally be used if you are scared, and I mean scared, of the dentist, flying or other activity that “pushes your buttons”. We all have at least one thing that scares us and I would strongly recommend the “fribble” worry beads for such occasions not just for there amazing ability to distract and calm you but also for the punishment you will inevitably put them through.
I hope you have found this useful.
The English Worry Bead Co