This post starts exactly as my first one did, but with a much grumpier me. I am lying in bed, trying to write this blog and trying even harder not to feel pissed.
But I am. I know I am lucky to be here in this hospital waiting for my operation but I don’t feel it and I am not happy. Across the way from me, I could swear that I just heard one patient telling another that she has been here a week and already a good few operations have gone wrong. I’m pretty sure what she said isn’t true, and I would imagine that really, she probably didn’t even say that at all.
I was going to go and talk to this lady, but now I’m not going to, which is a shame because she had some really cool looking nail varnishes.
Truth be told, I’m just being sulky. I’ve felt sulky since I got here, and I feel sorry for myself. I think the problem is that I’m tired of being here. It’s two steps forward, one step back, which I know is good because it still means I’m getting there but I just want to be there already.
I want my freedom, and now, more than ever, it seems to have been taken away.
The ward I’m on has a sign on the wall that says, “Mobile phones must be switched off, due to the possibility of interference with medical equipment.” I immediately sulked about this when we got here, but it turns out everyone seems to be ignoring it so that’s good at least. Not that there’s any signal anyway.
They have locked up my drugs and I don’t like that. I sound like a petulant child writing this but I don’t care. I have asked two different nurses, one who had a bib saying she was on a drugs round, if I could have some codeine because my leg and back are really beginning to hurt now, but both said I need to ask another nurse who will come round with a key. That was half an hour ago. One of the nurses took my blood pressure and didn’t say a word to me whilst she did it, apart from to answer my question.
They are making me wake up at seven tomorrow, which I know isn’t that early for anyone who works, but for me, a lazy and sleepy student, that is way too early and it sucks. Lights out are at ten I guess, but the patient next to me says the patient bells are going off all nights and she only got two hours sleep last night. I don’t like the sound of that.
When I sat on my bed the only other young person on this ward looked at me, so I smiled back. She closed the curtain. I hope this wasn’t because of me, and I’m sure she probably didn’t actually even see me because she looks pretty doped up right now, but it upset me, and I don’t even know why.
Last time, when I had my operation in June I couldn’t wait. I felt like I was going on holiday but this time it is different; this time there is a lot to gain, but there is also a lot to lose. There are a lot of other nerves around that area, and if they have to take those out it could have scary implications. I had an MRI today which showed the tumour had grown, however not to the extent that it should change the surgery I will be having. I feel very happy about my surgical team, and I truly believe they are the best for the job but I can’t help but worry. Time after time the situation has changed…
This was how my post started and I feel almost ashamed, embarrassed about this, but I have decided I will put the above up anyway because it is important for you to see what goes on inside my head. It is important for you to see how my mood swings and my outlook changes. This may be this whole situation, the drugs, or it might be me being a moany bitch; I would imagine that it is probably the last. But either way, the last hour has made me suddenly realise that what goes on in the world around me depends on how I see the world around me. And how I see the world around me will let me change the world around me.
In the last hour nothing has changed but my feelings, and I suddenly like it here. The large, spacious ward that earlier felt cold and unwelcoming now feels warm and inviting. The codeine I was waiting on has been delivered, and since they couldn’t find my drugs chart they brought me a doctor who could write me a new one. He was friendly and he made me feel safe.
The nurses have become bubblier; there is more laughter in the room. I spoke to the patients either side of me who were both lovely, and had a conversation with the girl I thought didn’t want to know me. I wanted to go home, but now I feel home, or as much at home as you can feel in a massive hospital awaiting major surgery.
The room around me is dark as I write this, but I don’t feel scared. Everyone in the room is sleeping, and the only sounds are the snoring of dreaming patients, the distant closing of doors and the gentle, oddly soothing exhalations of morphine pumps – yet weirdly I do not feel alone. For the first time in a long while I feel okay…
Tonight we have compared scars, stories, sympathies.
Tonight we have said we are glad to be here together.
Tonight, not as numbers on a ward, but as individuals with lives ahead of us, we have said good night…
Alternative, much less poetic ending: Tonight I have been attacked by at least three daddy long legs, and no change of perception is going to make me not freak the fuck out about that.