One thing I may not have previously pointed out is that we often go through shock before we make it to grief. They are very different (*IN MY NON-MEDICAL OPINION*) because shock is the immediate response for most of us. We tend to handle it different ways in different situations. For myself, I am usually able to stay calm and rational until I no longer have to be responsible for a situation, then I fall into pieces and hyperventilate and become quite useless.
The day my PCP told me I had to have brain surgery, I kept it together in the office, although she could see I was upset. I walked to the truck as giant tears welled up and poured from my eyes, and then I got in, shut the door, called my mom, and though the anguish of a thousand souls I told her I had to have brain surgery and soon and I was scared and I released every anxiety and fear. She got me quiet long enough to let me know that she was on speakerphone and my daughter was in the car. I immediately felt horrible. My daughter had never experienced me in that state of mind and now she knew it all as we were all on our way to her performance. We went, I watched her perform. I stepped off to the side and called and told my job to put in for disability, and that was the last day I worked. Then, I went home with my sister and cried for three days straight. All the time. All day long. All night.
That is shock.
It wasn’t until about three months after surgery that denial became a thing. We noticed that some things weren’t going back to normal. Still, I am a strong woman, I have made it through so much, I just figured I would have to work harder to get better. According to statistics around 80% see improvement after five or six years. So, I am going to get better. At my six-month post-op, my neurosurgeon was concerned enough to recommend I go to the Cleveland Clinic because something wasn’t right. Physically, everything healed as it should, but the memory and cognitive issues concerned him after six months with no improvement. This was followed by a steady decline in physical ability, memory retention, focus, and cognitive function.
I then bowed out of stage one and hurried to the next stage in my journey.