Tag Archives: terrified

Pre-Surgery Jitters

This picture is hilarious to me, but also a perfect idea of what my situation is.

This picture is hilarious to me, but also a perfect idea of what my specific situation is like.

I’m having surgery tomorrow afternoon to correct my deviated septum and I’m feeling a mixture of intense fear and anxious exhilaration.

I’ve had one surgery before in my life. It was mouth surgery and the doctor waited too long so, unfortunately, the novacaine wore off. And…it…was…horrible. I was crying and bleeding and I felt/saw everything, and then my mind kind of shut down for awhile as I sat shaking in shock.

I know, I know — these are two incredibly different scenarios. I’m going the extra step past novacaine to being put under general anesthesia, but that also frightens me. The idea that I’ll sleep and wake up drastically different just seems very surreal and scary to me.

As of right now, I can’t smell out of one of my nostrils and the other one is almost completely obstructed. When the doctor showed me the x-ray, he asked if I’d ever broken my nose (nope, but thanks, doc!). Since my left nostril is almost completely blocked off, I’m constantly sniffling because my nose is trying to remove the obstruction, aka itself. I always have to breathe out of my mouth, which is problematic with my asthma and has always caused complications whenever I do any sort of physical activity. When I’m running and try to regulate my breathing in my nose and out through my mouth, I feel like I’m trying to breathe through a pillow.

Breathing issues have always been a huge source of anxiety for me and I’m glad that I can finally solve this. I didn’t even know it was something that needed a solution or that was fixable — I thought it was just how life was. I imagine I’ll be able to breathe way better, and that my senses of smell and taste with greatly improve. Who knows how many things I’ve been eating that will soon taste TOTALLY different! I’m excited to see how things change. And of course I’ll update with a post-surgery blog entry (thanks for the idea, Molly!). The positives most definitely outweigh the negatives in my mind, because my situation is pretty extreme. I’m excited to smell and taste the world in a whole new way.

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Unexplainable Meows from Next Door


Relief washes over me as I brush my teeth and think of how I’ll be going to sleep significantly earlier than I usually do. A hearty seven hours for me tonight! My inner monologue cheers and pats me on the back. Way to be 24, Nicole, you goddamn adult you. Then I hear it — the soft, frantic meowing of a cat in trouble. Or so my crazy mind convinces me anyway.

I rush to the doorway and look through the peephole to see absolutely nothing. So I crack my door and stare into the hallway. The meowing seems louder and more urgent, but I see no cat. I hear a deep, Russian voice talking (to another person? to the cat?) and can only make the rational assumption that this cat is being abused and needs my help. Clearly this is a situation where I need to leave my apartment and become involved. I close the door behind me to put a bra on and prepare to possibly take in a new pet.

I tiptoe into the hallway like a total creep as every other resident of the building ignores the shouting/meowing mixture coming from the first floor. Cold air hits me in the face and it feels like every window near the stairwell is open. I wonder briefly if that cat somehow found its way into the elevator shaft and got trapped.

After trying to peek over the staircase to the first floor and not seeing anything, I finally decide to return to my apartment. Ava is hiding somewhere and I reluctantly lock my door as the cat continues to meow. As I walk away from the door, however, I notice the meowing has become louder. Is that cat on my floor now?

I open the door to see a small grey and white cat curled up in front of my neighbor’s door. It’s eyes are dilated and it seems to be staring at some far-off image, meowing without a pause. It’s like a broken toy. An adorable, broken, possibly rabid  or crazy or in heat or — what the hell is going on and why won’t it stop staring at me!?

This cat will not break eye contact with me. It’s as if it’s trying to intimidate me by meowing. I’m scared of it and for it because it also looks terrified. I go into the apartment and grab a handful of Ava’s food and toss it on the ground. The cat doesn’t even flinch and instead keeps its eyes locked on me. Meowing. Meowing. Meowing.

“You cat?” my neighbor from across the hall is peeking out of her apartment now.

“No, no.” I shake my head and shrug. Both of my neighbors are adorable old Russian women who speak maybe ten words of English. I’ve bonded with this one before over the fact that we both own cats.

She laughs and closes the door. The woman whose door the cat is sitting in front of finally sticks her head out to see what the hell is going on at 11:30 P.M. The cat keeps meowing in the same place as she looks at it. “Oh!” she exclaims as the little fucker runs into her apartment. I hear it meowing from somewhere inside and give her an ‘oh shit’ look.

“You cat?” she asks me.


“She cat?” she asks pointing to the neighbor across the hall.

“No! I don’t know whose cat!” I shrug and shake my head trying to alert her to the weirdness of this whole situation.

She props her door open with a basket cart, which of course doesn’t stay, so I hold the door open for her as she tries to get the cat out. After a few minutes, she returns to tell me it’s under the bed. I run inside my apartment again and grab one of Ava’s toys — a pink stick with a long, fuzzy, sparkly pink stuff hanging off it — and wave it around for her to see. “Cat toy?”

I imagine how insane I must appear right now: I’m wearing a baggy shirt and the ugliest sweatpants I own with my makeup half on and my hair a disaster zone. And now add a bright pink, sparkling cat toy to my hand. Wow, I’ve really solidified the crazy cat lady stereotype in this moment. Thank god I put that bra on.

The woman across the hall opens her door again, and the two go off in Russian. Occasionally they’ll look at me nodding and smiling as if I understand any of what is happening. Then the woman across the hall closes her door.

“Want help?” I ask, once again feebly waving my cat toy in the air like a peace offering.

“No, no. Thank you,” she says as she closes her door.

I go back into my apartment and put Ava’s toy away, noticing that she’s staring at me from the doorway of my bedroom as if to say ‘Annnndd what the hell were you just doing?’

I’m not sure what I witnessed. My neighbor took in a cat which seemed as if it were equal parts traumatized and insane, maybe with a little bit of rabies sprinkled on top. Who knows. I sure as hell have never seen a cat with rabies, but I’ve also never seen a cat act as fucked up as that little creep did.

The story I made for it is that it came from outside to get out of the cold, got trapped in our elevator, saw/experienced some shit, was chased out of the elevator shaft by the super, and now took refuge in my nice little neighbor’s apartment. Hopefully it has a happier life than before and they live happily ever after. I want to believe this is what is reality.

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