Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lesson 184. Let them take your appendix.

Ready for some grotesque medical particulars? Bet you never thought you'd see that on my blog. Don't worry, I'll speak plain and simple because I don't know how to speak any other way when it comes to anything slightly scientific.

My mother is a nurse, so naturally when I had my appendix out, she pulled my file and got information about the state of it. She came home extremely excited to explain to me the condition of my seemingly useless organ, only to discover she'd forgotten the notes. However, this didn't stop her from doing her very best to put me off my dinner whilst describing what had happened. She told me that my appendix had already started to burst, one end was perforated, and had they waited even a few hours longer I would've been in serious trouble. Talk about timing. Had any of the events I'm about to tell you of occurred any later, things could've been a lot worse. There was someone looking out for me, that's for sure.

I got ill on the first day back at Uni and I thought it was just a 24 hour bug, so I went home and tried to sleep it off. I woke up the next day, still wasn't better so called Nurse Sheena. After a series of questions, she told me I needed to get to the hospital. So off I went with my fabulous flatmate to the emergency department. Several medical professionals prodded at my abdomen with great strength and disregard for my pain levels, and they all told me the same thing. In fact, one man even wanted to bring in a bunch of medical students because it was "such a classic case." Appendicitis, my friends, appendicitis.

No one told me why it happened, so I guess I can't tell you the answer to that. All I know is that my appendix wanted out, so it told the rest of my body in the most violent way it could. It gave me an ultimatum, it said"Let me out, or I explode. And then I riddle your body with potentially life threatening infection." I decided it was probably best to give in to it's demands.

So that night, they took me in and took it out. I spent four days in hospital, three of them in a shared room with an 80-something woman called Margret (Margret had three budgies called Twinkle, Little, and Star. Her favourite pastimes include: Sitting on my bed, waking me up when I'm sleeping, and telling me about her budgies) I had a few less than delightful post-op complications, I had strangers feeling my swollen belly on an hourly basis, and I had much time to think.

I pondered the metaphorical appendix. The things we keep inside that we need to let out before they explode and become seriously dangerous. The things that we need to entrust others to help us get out, that we don't want to face or talk about. The things that continue to make us ache and hurt for as long as we let them live inside of us.

We have to stop. We have to stop with this idea that suffering in silence is okay, because it's not. And the longer you keep it to yourself, the more troubling it becomes. Let someone who knows what they're doing help you get it out. Whether it's a trusted friend, or a professional, make sure you don't hold on too long. Make sure you don't make too many excuses about it being nothing, about you being fine, because it's something, and you're not. The best thing you can do, is take it to someone who knows what they're doing, explain your symptoms, trust their diagnosis, and trust the course of action they suggest.

It might set you back a little for a while, it might hurt, you might have scars, but you'll get there. Let them take your appendix.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dear Friend, you are my silver lining.

Happy Monday,
I would offer you a cupcake to ease the pain of the afore mentioned turn of the week, but I've already made plans to eat the whole plate myself and I don't cope awfully well with a change in direction.

Speaking of which, everything about my life is different now. We should talk.

Surprise surprise, I've changed. I lost a part of my heart this summer, and the whole ordeal, the whole learning to breathe again thing has changed me. Now now dear- don't fret, I'm still charming, full of wit and perfectly capable of writing absolute codswallop for several sentences. But I've learnt and I've grown and I've experienced the most extreme emotions one can encounter. I have hit the lowest place and I have seen the greatest light. I have hurt more than I thought humanly possible, and I have hoped more than I ever imagined. I have realised that nothing is permanent. That I love you should always be said out loud, that arms and hands are for holding. I've realised that you shouldn't always do what you're told, that sitting in silence can sometimes be the sweetest shoulder anyone can give.

I have realised that now is the time. Now is the time to make a difference. Now is the time to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Now is the time to make friends with the awkward-kind-of-quiet-slightly-creepy kid that you only talk to when you need to borrow stationery. Now is the time to shake off inhibitions and to simply love with reckless abandon. You don't get a guaranteed tomorrow, so quit holding back with what really matters.

I quit my music degree. I knew it wasn't where my heart really was, because my heart lies here, in writing about what means something to me. So I quit, and normal University is as challenging as it is lonely. But I'm back, and I'm brave. More importantly, I'm determined.

This is the beginning of a new season, for you and I. Fresh start, blank page, big scary challenges up ahead. I'm confident we'll face them with as much good grace as we can muster (You might have to muster up majority of it, I'm a little clumsy when it comes to physical grace) and I'm confident we'll get there.

So take my hand, and let's embark on this journey all over again.

Dear Friend, you are my silver lining.