A Toe Story

When I was 11 weeks pregnant I had to have a toe nail removed because of painful infection under it.  I was apprehensive because I was pregnant, but it was really painful so I had it taken care of, or so I thought.  When healing there was one spot that took about 3 times as long as the rest of the nail area, and the Dr. said that was just where the infection was so it would be fine.  As it healed a large bump grew in that spot.  My little brother said it looked like a mentos was glued to my toe, which was pretty accurate.  The bump was in the way of the nail growing back properly so I decided to go see a foot specialist.

By this time I was five months pregnant.  I got a recommendation from my OB of a specialist that he knew would take good care of me and take my pregnancy into consideration.  I went into the specialist expecting the Dr. to tell me that the bump was scar tissue and he would take it off no problem… but that wasn’t the case.  I found out that I had a bone tumor. I was shocked…a tumor, me.  The Dr told me that he didn’t think it was cancer but that I needed to have it removed right away.  He scheduled me for surgery the next week.  I called my husband crying to tell him what I had found out and he did what he could over the phone to comfort me, but it really wasn’t much.

By this time I had been to one hypnobirthing class and I knew that I didn’t want to put my baby through more than I had to, and I also knew that I had new tools to use but I wasn’t sure how to use them is this situation. So I called Launi.  She helped me to calm down and told me she had some great tools that I could use and I would be ready to go. I got home a little less stressed and through myself into reading my hypnobirth books and practicing relaxing for a positive distraction.  That week at class Launi gave me a CD with the script “control room” on it.  I listened to it at least once a day for the three days between class and surgery and I couldn’t believe the difference in my stress level… I was totally calm about having surgery.

The day of the surgery they didn’t want me to eat or drink anything the whole day and I knew that was bad for me and the baby so I decided to eat a little band food and I drank a bunch of water, but made sure I had an empty bladder before they took me in.  I asked if my husband could come with me into the operating room, but they said no.  I knew it was just me and my ipod but I also knew I had the tools to do this calmly and with minimum stress for me and my baby. They wanted to give me an epidural for the surgery on JUST my TOE… I didn’t even want to have one for the birth of my child…so I opted to just have a local block for my toe.  I thought that this would be the best choice for me and my baby.

When I got into the operating room I put on the Rainbow Relaxation CD from my ipod and focused on that.  I did have to have an IV because they needed to give me antibiotics but that was the worst part of the whole thing.  I only felt a little prick in my toe for the numbing because by that time I was calm and relaxed.  The surgery took longer than expected, so I went through the CD a couple of times, but I was calm and still the whole time and didn’t even feel when they touched my leg. (I had been practicing the “silver glove” relaxation technique.)  The only thing that seemed different to any of the techs in the room to a normal surgery where someone was put out or completely numbed was when they turned on the bone saw my baby went crazy… she doesn’t like the sound of drills either… and I laughed out loud because she was moving so much.

This small experience helped me to understand that we all have so much more control over ourselves than we new before and that we ARE capable of controlling our bodies.  I also learned that I could take things into my own hands when it comes to my health care.  I can ask for what I want, and sometimes, in little ways just do what I feel is best for myself and my baby.  I was able to stay calm and relaxed during an this operation and I can’t wait to give birth to my third baby the natural, calm and relaxed way that I have learned from Hypnobirthing.


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