So... I've had the operation and I was released yesterday afternoon and with the aid of pain killers I manage to survive. The pain is not half as bad as I expected it to be.
I am quite crippled, though: the main thing I can do well is lie down, because whenever I fold myself up it hurts (as in sitting). Things like wiping my nose with a tissue hurt because of the blowing, and things like going to the toilet for a reading project hurt because of the need to push. I apologize for sharing this with you, but last night at about 3:00am I pretty much read most of the Green Guide on the toilet without any output. Quite frustrating.
Apparently, the lack of output is one of the pain killers' side effects. After the hospital I've decided to cut their intake: I prefer to feel more pain and control it rather than live under illusions, but I'm still having project output issues.
So for now, time is spent watching TV, sleeping, reading, and listening to music through the MP3 player wonderfully huge music library. Sounds good, but it hurts; and I also look like a chicken, as the area they operated on was shaved.
So how was the operation?
We checked in as the first victims of the day at 6:00am. After filling in forms and getting dressed with hospital clothing I was waiting in a bed next to the theater room, lying down right next to a huge picture of a giraffe. They took me into the theater, showed me around, gave me the anesthetic, and that was it.
I woke up and it felt as if I was never asleep. I felt pain, but it wasn't the ravishing pain I expected; it wasn't too unlike the pain I felt before the operation. I felt the area and the only difference I could detect was that I was no longer wearing the paper underwear I wore before. Then I interrupted the nurses' conversation about the day's highly anticipated episode of The Bold and the Beautiful and they repeatedly assured me (because I repeatedly asked) that I was indeed in a post surgery state.
Eventually they took me to my private room where Jo and my brother were waiting, and I spent the rest of the day resting, chatting, munching, and going through repeated inspections. Until I was released at about 16:00; I know the pain killers had a lot to do with it, but I was surprised with how mobile I was.
My main conclusion out of this surgery? The world might be bad, but there is a lot of good will out there.
Just watching the nurses as they inspected me and replaced the bandages and all was amazing. They took so much care that when they tickled me out of doing things delicately they took it really hard. It was an obvious case of professionalism, but it was more than that: it was genuine care and good will.
In fact, care and good will were all around me. Take my friends in Israel, for example; Haim and Co with their weird but caring emails (he cannot go about doing things normally), and Uri with whom I can freely confide at length (and in fact, what is this blog if not an elaborate way for me to communicate with Uri?).
Moving in close, we have my Australian friends, who called, met me, SMS-ed me, and did pretty much all they can to be there. And then there are the people I'm in touch with through this blog: I know it sounds stupid, but having someone in The Age that thinks about you and someone in the north of England that cares gives me that added nudge of will power.
Friends from work were also quite supportive, although most have no idea what I am going through. It's a problem: I found that I cannot just mention that magical six letter "C" word, because people automatically assume you're about to die soon, when in fact dying is not on my agenda for many years to come. Sure, it's not going to be a pleasure ride, but it is an integral part of living.
Then there's my brother, who was with me all day yesterday and with whom I spent a lot of the day having quality chats - of the type we hardly ever have anymore. I know I'm guilty of not supporting him enough - and he is going through a hard time in his life.
And last but not least is Jo, who goes out of her way to help me and support me. I keep on joking that she's by far the best wife I've ever had, but jokes aside I cannot imagine a better companion - despite the fact it is now obvious she married a lemon.
What's up ahead? We're basically waiting for the pathology report to come, and it is expected to come towards the end of the week.
For the record (and anyone that knows me should know this), I am not of the "everything will be alright" camp. Not that I like to be a pessimist, it's just that I take things the way they are. We Westerners seem to have been educated that things are rosy, but it is those expectations that drive us to ruin when we face the bad things in life (and they are there, like it or not; for a start, everyone we know, including us, will die, and probably not at the most comfortable of times and not under the most comfortable technique).
With this realistic grasp of things I was able to go through the surgery with a smile on my face. Yes, a smile! I have done many wrongs in my life, and I am doing many wrongs all the time, and I will keep on doing bad things; but none of those have anything to do with what I'm going through now, and so I have no problems dealing with it. That's it, that's life, and I just want to make the best out of it.
For now all we know about the potential results of the pathology is what the doctor told Jo immediately after the surgery: he said the removed tissue looked quite abnormal and was almost probably not functioning. And if the keen eyed amongst thee noticed that I didn't put Han Solo's "you're all cleared" comment ahead of the title I did put, you now know why.