Thursday, October 11, 2012

My changing relationships.

Something I've been thinking about for a while is how this is changing my relationships with people. I suppose at a deeper level it's about how I am dealing with things differently and how the change in my outlook is affecting the way I interact with people. It's quite interesting.

Mostly it's people that I don't know particularly well. I know them, we get on and like each other but we don't know each other. I guess. Does that make sense?

Stepping back a moment, I wonder if I have become more serious. I don't think I have, I think it's just I can't be as bothered anymore to always do the polite thing and say the right thing at the right time and basically stick to any basic social norm. (Trying not to be grumpy is something that I have to work on A LOT in social situations, so the net effect may well be me appearing more grumpy). It's not like I think I don't have to anymore because I have a brain tumour, it's more like I just can't be bothered. Maybe the lack of energy hasn't helped too.

The upshot then is that I am cutting to the chase more, I am not really doing much small talk and I'm being more direct with people. I have noticed I am asking people more questions that I perhaps would not have thought appropriate before, and I am being more interested in the real things rather than the mundane and small talk. This is a good thing. It has accelerated a few of my relationships already I think, in a very good way - it's like we have been able to skip a stage. I suppose if anything, this does throw up more serious things to think about than the weather.

I wonder if it will just be a short term thing?

Also, something I wrote earlier struck me about this. Although I have such a fantastic group of people supporting me, I still can't really shake this feeling that I'm outside, parallel, on my own. It feels like I have to step up and grow up and basically just deal with it and it's like it has actually given me confidence. I know that I'll do this on my own and I know that I'll be fine, but I suppose really it has illustrated to me that I can do it, and I am strong enough - when maybe I wasn't really aware of that before. And that that growth in personal confidence is subsequently allowing me to be more confident in interacting with other people, who maybe I was a little intimidated of before.

Who bloody knows. I'm not sure all this self contemplation is a good idea actually there's a fine line! So self indulgent!

Bye bye hair.

I did it. It's gone.

Currently wearing a big woolly hat as it's really very cold with no hair. In the end it was pretty easy, I sat in a chair and read Marie Claire (what a pile of shite, literally the first 120 pages were adverts - who would pay to put an advert in a list of 100 adverts in a magazine?) while a nice girl cut all my hair off. She didn't try and talk bollox to me and she was very nice and I couldn't really muster up too much enthusiasm so she just got on with it.

I just pretended that I was on America's Next Top Model at the end and I didn't want to disappoint Tyra after makeover week, that seemed to do the trick. It's ok, I can make it messy and I can put a scarf over it. It really isn't that bad, but it is going to take a reeeeeally long time to grow back.

The thing I'm not looking forward to is everyone telling me how great it looks. It really suits me! I have good features for short hair. Maybe I'll decide keep it like this? I look great with short hair! YOU HAVE TO BLOODY SAY THAT because I have a brain tumour and I don't have a choice but to have short hair. The only way I will truly know if someone is telling me the truth is if they say it looks terrible.

So I'm getting ready to just smile at all comments and say thanks. That's all I can do, but be sure to know that my teeth will be gritted against every compliment, as I will never know whether it is for real.

I wish it was just invisible and not a thing.

Contemplating surgery.

I have been forcing myself to think more about surgery because it's frankly just a bit weird that I'm not worried about it. It's like I have this ability to just cut it out of my thoughts and although I know it's going to happen, it just doesn't seem like it's going to happen. I can totally ignore it. I don't think this is very healthy as it all needs to be processed at some point and I don't want a big crash just before I go in.

So I've been forcing myself to actually think what it might be like. Not too pleasant really.

It's been easy to fixate on my cutting of hair, and calling the carpenter and such things, why is it so hard to be honest with myself about being terrified?

Mostly what I'm worried about is the moment they wheel me away and from then on I'm on my own. Even thinking about that makes me feel alone, right next to Olly, he's just there - but I'm on my own in this and there's just no choice, I have to do this - on my own. It kind of makes me hyperventilate a bit just thinking about that no going back moment. I remember it from my nose operation but I think this will be worse. Trying so hard to be fine, and not hysterical and a nuisance patient but at the same time being so utterly alone. I don't really want to have to do that.

That's one bit - the before. Mum says I can ask for drugs to help me sleep the night before in hospital so hopefully that will be great. Not sure I'd sleep at all otherwise. And then I won't know anything about it - I'll be totally unconscious and blissfully unaware of anything going on in my head. The others will have a terrible day stalking corridors and trying to occupy themselves. I really don't envy them that but I am a bit relieved that I'll not be aware of anything until I wake up.

And then there's the waking up. What the HELL is that going to be like? Well firstly - it's going to hurt right? You can't really have someone cut open your scalp, saw into your skull, take a lump out (easily or with some difficulty), screw it and sow it all back up and have it "not really hurt". I really am not good with pain, so I think this is my major source of denial. I just can't understand what it will feel like and it's the whole unknown thing that is getting to me I think. Yes, it will hurt - but will it be tolerable? And what will the side effects be? And how long will they last?

What if I can't speak, or see, or move my arm and leg? What if I can't get to the toilet? What if it's so bad I have to stay in hospital for ages? I know - I KNOW - this is all really unlikely, but it is a possibility that I should contemplate. And not knowing how it will be is really the problem. I just can't prepare myself for something that is so up in the air. The only thing I can do is have the operation and see what happens. This is a whole new way of life for me - "see what happens". 

Gahh, anyway, I am starting to think about it and although it brings me out in a panic each time I do, I think it's good to try and get my head round it. Now I have a date, and a list, and a bit more strength I think it's definitely time to start dealing with it.

*Little clarification, I haven't had a nose job! Had to have my nose put back in the middle of my face after a rounders incident when I was 10. About a half hour operation but with a general anaesthetic it's my only source of experience for this. Mostly I was traumatised about the length of the gown they made me wear to theatre, they only had baby ones left which didn't quite reach my waist. And they're backless. And you're not allowed to wear pants. This was very disturbing and I clearly haven't quite got over it yet.

I've made a list.

That's all it needed, a decision and a list. I couldn't sleep again last night as I have been contemplating surgery a bit more - I'm going to write about that separately - but the upshot is that I made a few decisions and that has helped me feel better.

Firstly, I have decided to cut my hair today. I have found pictures that are acceptable. Acceptable. And I have a list of hairdressers to call today to make an appointment. Just a decision in itself has given me something to do today, like a plan. Then I got up this morning and made a list on my work pad. It's great it has like 12 things on it.

So I have a bit of a busy day today and I'm feeling so much stronger and just ready to get on with it. The time has come to start again, I don't think I was wallowing as such, maybe just getting used to things and the new pace my life is taking right now. But I need to be self sufficient and not hanging around all day waiting for mum and Olly to come home. I don't want to be totally dependent on other people's plans, I have to have my own.

Also, yesterday I ordered clothes from Marks and Sparks and they're being delivered today. The impact of new clothes cannot be underestimated. This may even call for a shower (even though I have the best pyjamas on the planet and it's quite hard convincing myself to wear anything else).