In 24 hours I’ll be trying to sleep in a hospital room in Hammersmith, wishing this terrifying situation wasn’t necessary, but trying to stay positive and convince myself that (a) the operation on Wednesday morning will go fine, and (b) I’ll recover quickly enough to let everyone know I’m all right.
My friends at work are hoping for me, along with everyone close to me who I’ve told about what I’m facing, but I wish I shared their optimism: even if my life is in no danger (thanks largely to my personal trainer and my long-term vegetarianism putting me in good physical health), it’s still likely I’ll need to take a loooooong time to get well again afterwards, and my mother and grandmother will have to take care of me, when I ought to be taking care of them!
Even the best prospect — that there are no complications and I’m completely cured, without even having to face chemotherapy in future — involves me recovering slowly, perhaps not being able to use a computer for a while (to let everyone know I came through it all fine), and not being able to return to work, or exercise in any significant way, for weeks or even months. When will I be able to read books again? I don’t want to spend ages staring at the walls, not even allowed to doze because it’d mess up my sleep pattern!
The only other time in my life I’ve been in hospital for an operation was in December 1993: some adult teeth were defying the system, and needed removal from inside the roof of my mouth before they messed up my existing upper set. Although it was boring and I slept through it (I thank you), the operation went well, preventing my English teeth from becoming as bad as Americans think they are.
(My dating coach chuckled when I told her, in reference to a Simpsons joke, that a potential Chernobyl had been turned into a mere Three-Mile Island!)
It’s a long time ago, and I don’t remember that much of it, but since I was a strapping lad of 16, and since it wasn’t exactly brain surgery, I was able to recover and say hello to my folks when they visited, probably the same day as the operation took place — tired and feeling lousy (not to mention puking up blood I’d swallowed), but conscious and sane (well, as much as ever).
However, in spite of my youthful resilience, I felt lousy after while recuperating at home during the Christmas holidays, at one point hyperventilating (due to chest pains), and needing to be taken to casualty! And for several days, while my mouth healed, the only thing I could eat was soft cheese, rinsing my mouth out with boiling salty water… but at least I could play video games and watch TV.
All these years later, I’m naturally older (well, not as older as the dates would imply, ahem) — and this time they’re taking something out of my actual brain instead of my upper jaw… would it have been more sensible for me to decline surgery, and commit to taking anti-epilepsy drugs for the rest of my life… even considering it could get worse and progress to full seizures, instead of the disconcerting but mild dizzy spells I’ve been having for over a year?
Don’t worry, I’m going through with it despite my fears — hopefully I won’t die (if I do, I hereby curse Jeremy
CHunt MP to eternal hellfire, for the way he’s ruining the NHS), and maybe I’ll be coherent enough on Thursday to text “best mate” and senpai at work, so they can pass on the good news to my other housemates and work colleagues… and perhaps I’ll also be able to post on Facebook, so all my other friends can feel a sense of relief (and maybe come to see me during visiting hours).
Most importantly, my mother will be there for me, as she’s been so many times before (thanks for correcting me on that Jamiroquai track in my last post, Mumsy!) — and if anything goes wrong, she’ll kick botty on my behalf… it’s largely for her sake that I want to get through this and make a full recovery, though if I’m honest, it’s also for my own sake, as I’m not ready to stop living any decade soon.
(Aside from everything else, I’m determined to see Halley’s Comet when it comes around again, as I missed it in 1986!)
I want to live through this experience — because, in direct contrast to that day in 2011 (yes, I know, it’s the reference that keeps on giving!), and as I said five years after that day, I have every reason to go on living now, and suicide is the farthest thing from my mind. Even if I were terminally ill (which, technically, everyone is anyway), I’d want to put my affairs in order and live out my remaining days making the most of life, rather than jump the gun (as it were) and end my life prematurely.
Assuming all goes well, I’ll write something here once I’ve got enough of my marbles back to log onto a computer and write coherent sentences; it probably won’t be the longest gap between the times I’ve posted here, will it? With luck, I’ll say something before the end of May (even if it’s just two words: “I’m alive”), and get back to my old self in June, as a birthday present for my mother.
In the meantime, I shall bring this blog post to an end with one obvious (obligatory?) reference to the blog’s title, as I’ve done so many times before:
DAVE-ROS HOPES TO LIVE AGAIN!