Monthly Archives: June 2012

My Very Messy and Disorganised Thoughts After Having Surgery

I write this while doped-up on morphine, so forgive any idealistic ramblings. I wrote in my journal for the first time since my surgery last night, and even I was shocked at how overly optimistic I came across. Well, if there’s a time for it, I guess.

So yes, I had surgery the day before yesterday; I had an organ removed. Surprisingly I’m having fun right now. I’m sitting on my bed, the same bed I’m allowed to stay in all day, and there’s a Granny Smith-scented Yankee candle burning on my windowsill to keep away the wasps that keep flying into my room. I’ve been studying so much it’s insane. The night I had the operation done, I woke at 4am, 7am and 9am, and each time I opened up an old textbook and started reading. At the moment it’s Exploring the World of the Celts by Simon James, a first year Celtic Civilisation text. It reminds me of why I fell in love with this subject in the first place, it makes me feel so fulfilled! My boyfriend is coming to see me Tuesday evening; I’m excited for this. The main difficulty I’ve encountered is in how much I’ve missed him. It’s looking as though like I might be spending a few days at his place at the weekend too, which would be beyond wonderful. I always feel so relaxed, so at peace, in Kerry.

I get to take a bath later too, for the first time since the operation, and it would be no exaggeration to say I anticipate this greatly! I feel, for use of a better word, icky. There are a number of plasters scattered across my stomach, and the skin beneath is blossoming with bruised purples and yellows. I find it almost fascinating, I don’t know why. I’ll be taking them off when I have my bath, and I’m nervous to see what is beneath, as well as morbidly curious. It’s important though, that I check sooner rather than later to see that there is no infection, which would be rather dangerous. There is still iodine visible around the plasters, scary blood-coloured iodine.


About a week later: In a very important book that I received for my thirteenth birthday, quite a while ago now, I had the concept of sacrifice explained to me in a way that I could understand. The metaphor used was that of a beautiful garden – and every beautiful garden requires the death of weeds. Everything whole and good and right requires some death and destruction to uphold its purity. I thought of this after my surgery in relation to what had happened to my body. It makes sense, the sacrifice of one of my organs was required so that I could continue to lead a full life.

I’m going to get overly romantic and idealistic, though, and apply this to other areas of my life. Truth be told, the very first time I had an attack caused by my illness, I was in bed with a man, a man though still someone who has stuck around and someone I care very much about, who wasn’t quite right for me at that time. Things in my life weren’t great, and were about to get a lot worse. I won’t go into the gruesome details of the next few months and their consequences on my sensitive little psyche, but everything culminated around Christmas of last year, when I lay in bed and observed that there were a lot of painkillers on my bedside table, and felt a dangerous little temptation to swallow them all. All is cool now, I haven’t felt that way since, and by no means can this be ascribed to some magical little moment that transformed everything for me. I, and the wonderful people around me, have worked hard to make things easier, to get my brain working “properly” again. Kudos should be given here to UCC LifeMatters programme, and their top-notch counselling service, as well as my pretty fantastic boyfriend. A few days after thoughts of killing myself entered my head – New Year’s Eve, in fact – he and I, barely knowing each other, stayed up all night talking, and the conversation we had was the very beginning of my recovery. I cannot express in words how grateful I am that you should come along right when I needed you most.

I was very stoned when this was taken. The person who was there for me through everything, and I 🙂 he says he looks stupid here. He might not like me adding this. Hmm.

Despite all this, I shall attach some romantic significance to me having my gallbladder removed. The beginning of my illness last summer coincided with the point at which things started to get bad, and so for me both occurrences will be forever related. As previously mentioned, I have been working so hard the past few months to get myself feeling better, in all meanings of the word. What I would have ideally wanted (in fact, what I craved) was to be my old self, the self that knew none of this. That will never happen, but I’m glad of that. The person I am now, though happy and fulfilled, knows pain, and strength along with it, and it would be a degradation of what I have experienced for it not to leave its mark on me.  Yet it began with my illness, and so it ends when the offending organ is taken from my body, the bad poison removed. Everything feels so bright and hopeful – a new, fresh start, an opportunity for me to build my life the way I have decided I want it to be.

That book I read when I was thirteen, the first book I ever read about witchcraft:

Don’t be put off by the headache-inducing cover.


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