I've been dealing with my PTSD, my anxiety, and being pretty much on my own, for a long time. So I have a lot of coping skills. I can spend a lot of time and energy being upset that one of those coping skills is not having a friend to go with me or I can channel that energy toward using my other coping skills. Guess which is going to be most helpful?
So, to get through the oral surgery, I will:
- Use my weighted blanket. The half-sized one I just finished making yesterday. It's pretty. It's so soft. And it only weighs about ten pounds so I can carry it to the dentist with me, unlike my full-sized weighted blanket, which I love, but it weighs about 20 pounds so it's all I can do to drag it from the living room to the bedroom when I need to.
- Repetition. I learned this from a book, a work of fiction by Abagail Padget, to be precise. She wrote several mysteries (I wish she'd write more) in which the main character was a social work for child protective services who happened to have bipolar disorder. When she was stressed and needed to distract herself from the emotional distress and calm herself down, she would recite the names and dates of old shipwrecks. Once when she was working with a teenager with emotional problems, she taught the teen to recite the states and their capitals. I can do the states and their capitals, or I can do the multiplication tables, and it works pretty well. Gives me something to focus on other than my emotions.
- I can consciously tell myself to relax and focus on relaxing my various muscle groups.
- Scent works for me sometimes, too. I will spray my weighted blanket with lavender water before I leave for the dentist. It will help combat that "dentist office smell," too.
- I will take my anxiety medication before going in to the appointment.
- I will let the oral surgeon know I have PTSD and that I need him to talk me through what he is doing including letting me know how much longer it will be until he is done.