Monday, May 30, 2011

at home/what you took

what do i remember?
admissions, 6am. waiting, always waiting.
pre-op, 7am. undressed, anonymous, gowned and stretchered.
strangely not more nervous, feeling the way you do before a big gig or some other thing you can't quite imagine doing
in half an hour i will be unconscious and they will be cutting me open
how do you begin to even be scared about that- it's too surreal.
pushed through cold halls lined with canucks pictures- hockey fever even in the OR- entering the room and seeing them all prepping for my arrival.
the biggest thing that has ever happened to me and i won't be conscious through it
asking the anaesthesiologist where he was from- saudi- and suddenly slipping
into nothing

to a gorgeous view on the 4th floor, i think
slightly weepy, feeling as if i hadn't quite finished dreaming a dream
hoarse from the breathing tube
thirsty, and not allowed to drink
but fully aware, fully alert
looking at the clock: high noon. that means they went ahead with the surgery. it's done, all of it.
taken to the ward
not the gyno ward where new mothers go
they wouldn't want to mingle with us
more waiting
waiting for news
waiting for the surgeon
waiting to get up
waiting to get to sleep
waiting for visits

some impressions:
not too much pain, which is amazing
i've had worse hangovers than this
catheters are surprisingly convenient
walking, when it happens, is surprisingly hard and i do the zombie shuffle around the ward complete with iv drip and ass-exposing gown- what a cliche i've become

knowing- from eavesdropping other patients' stories- just how lucky i am, how my news could have been so much worse, how blessed i am with friends and work and family
but anger, yes, now that begins now that i'm home
you took some things from me and i'd like them back please:
confidence in my health and my body
speed, fleetness
a lifetime of saying i've never had surgery, never even had a cavity, never known how rare i was in this
you took my ability to bear children
took things out of me
left me with doubts and fears and a new vocabulary:
cancer survivor
left me questioning any ache and pain i get: what is this? should i worry?
this can be a dark place and i need to go there sometimes
even as my steps grow stronger
as i return to work- i WILL return to work
as the soreness fades
i will come back here
to remember what you took from me

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